Monday, February 28, 2011


Perfume of spring

Driving to work this morning I noticed that many of the trees along the ring road were in a bloom of white flowers. This is a definite sign that spring is almost upon us! Despite temperatures that are still chilly, the days bring many bright sunny periods, to cheer us up after all the winter gloom.
Yesterday was a productive day down the allotment. I spotted the garlic shoots finally coming up, but I planted another 10 cloves nevertheless, for some fresh summer garlic, even if it stores not so well as the overwintered variety I find. I also got in my 500g of echalotes, only the long variety this year, hopefully I will harvest several kilos like last year. I am still working my way through the 2010 harvest of onions and echalotes! Planted too were 250g of Stuttgarter brown onions, I will do the Jaune Paille des Vertus and the red ones later in March.
I tentatively started the spuds, putting in several Ratte that were left over from last year and the first of the Belle de Fontenay earlies. I will keep planting spuds from now till end of March.
And I even managed to get in a couple of rows of Kelvedon Wonder early peas, netting them from marauding birds!

The winter garden is finished, I pulled out the last sprouts and the broccoli, which had rewarded me with a last flush of shoots - I will definitely do some early this year, in April, to try and get some broccoli going most of the year. It takes up less space than other brassicas. I pulled up the remaining leeks, which are already chopped in the freezer!
And as for the spring garden - the rhubarb is growing, the baby artichokes have taken well, in the last weeks of wetter weather, and the overwintered spring Durham cabbages are growing too. Hopefully in a couple of weeks we will have fresh baby cabbages!
I now need to reconstruct my seed beds which have fallen apart slightly over winter! and get sowing with beetroots, salad greens, and spring onions.
And at home, the first aubergine shoot has come up in the pots, now I need the rest to get moving. This week the tomato seeds will be sown!

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