Tuesday, April 23, 2013


At last some movement

Spring has somewhat timidly arrived but I have decided that the work on the plot cannot stop now. Last weekend, I worked pretty hard, weeding, covering the unused sections, and mostly sowing.
I now have the seed bed on the go, and the root veg. The peas and broadies are up, even though there are lots of gaps in the peas (have to sow some gap fillers there!). Leaves are breaking through on the early potatoes too, at last.
I have not yet put down the list of veg and varieties for this year so here goes:
Carrots (first sown 14 April) Early Nantes
Beetroot (14/04) Cheltenham greentop and Boltardy
Turnips (14/04) Snowball and Milan Purple top (already germinated)
Mizuna (14/04)
Radish (14/04)Sparkler (already germinated)
Lettuce (14/04) Little Gem and some red and green oak leaf - I already have some plants thriving in another corner!
Ishikura Bunching onions (14/04)
Garlic chives (14/04)
Cabbage Red Drumhead (21/04)
Leeks Winter Giant (21/04)
Leeks Zermatt (21/04)
Beets in module (21/04) Cheltenham greentop
Brussel sprouts (21/04) Samba variety

In March, sowed Early Onward peas, and Imperial Green Longpod Broadies (which are looking beautiful!). Still have to get in the Alderman tall peas (running late) and I also have some Oregon Sugar Podsugar snap peas which need to go in.

Indoors, the tomatoes are veritable triffids. I am going to sow this week the first cukes and courgettes to get a headstart ( I have Nero Di Milano and some pattypan squash and trying Bedfordhsire Prize cukes although I also have some burpless green from last year left too).

Monday, April 15, 2013


Spring arrives!

And it's none too soon. Yesterday was a brilliant sunny day and a few hours in the garden were well used. Despite my hand still causing some pain, I managed to dig in the last few potatoes (Allians type, supposedly a second early/late variety, quite waxy, yellow flesh). I also planted out I don't know how many white spring onion bulbs and sowed in some seeds of Garlic Chives (here called Ciboulette de Chine, or Chinese chives, I have never tried them before) and some bunching onion seeds, which probably won't work as usual!

I reworked the bed of early sown seeds, all of which seem to have been killed off in the cold wet weather of March and early April. in their place I sowed: a new row of mizuna, some turnips, Ealr Nantes carrots and some Boltardy beetroot. In another space I sowed radish (Sparkler) and some mixed lettuce seed. I would have liked to have done more, but time did not allow me to. I went and got some heavy cardboard that had been stored up and covered the undug parts of the plot: my arm won't let me dig as I would normally do so I must work to keep weeds at least to a reasonable level. I did a little weeding in the most needy parts and hopefully I could pop down later this week and do another half an hour here and there, like howing the onions which could do with it. They have taken quite well, the echalotes showing healthy green shoots and the other varieties too, although just starting. I thought I spied a potato plant peeking through the surface: I will keep an eye on that. Early earthing up also prevents too many weeds!

Spring had also brought a new flourish of sprouting broccoli (I have a nice recipe for broccoli and pasta, maybe I will make that...) and also 4 cauliflowers! Big ones too! I was thrilled with those, I have had a few caulis this last year but smaller than that. I will sow some more, as they are a veg that we like a lot. I gave one to my neighbour, and took the other 3 home, we already have eaten one!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Back at work

After my convalescence....
The cold miserable weather continues, one of the worst springs on record. I have not even finished putting in the spuds, which is a record for me. Still, a quick check the other day showed that the broad beans were peeking through the soil so something is growing at least! I think all my early sowings are buggered though (turnips, mizune, radish).
Must prepare the seedbeds this weekend and get sowing the brassicas, salads, and other greens, like the chard, Also need to sow the carrots and parsnips, beetroot, more peas, mangetout peas and the rest of the spring onions.
Indoors the tomatoes and peppers are doing ridiculously well. But when will it be warm enough to plant them out???? They will be triffid size by then. I will not even think for now about cukes, beans and courgettes.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013


So very cold

It is April, and still the garden sleeps for the most part. I am slowly recovering from my broken wrist and with some help I did manage to plant most of the spuds and all the onions. But it has been so cold during March, apart from a few bright spells, that the sowing is hopelessly behind. I am rather worried as the peppers and tomatoes are getting so big indoors but it will be August before they go out at this rate!!!!
We went to Brittany for the Easter weekend and at a market there I found some late spuds (I have found it impossible to get the Pink Fir APples I wanted so I have given up for this year), spring onion sets and some lettuce plug plants. Hopefully those will relieve the itchy fingers, with a bit of fleece! But it surely must warm up soon. I believe it has been one of the longest winters I have seen since living here. It is most disheartening.

Maddeningly I cannot find the name of the potato type I bought. I seem to think it started with an R (Revelle? something like that) - the farmer told me it was a later variety, yellow flesh (it seems to be a brown and not red skinned variety) that is quite firm and he said they were good keepers.... so I guess it will have to be a surprise. I bought a kilo and a half and there are a good few tubers there, at least 30 and he only charged me 3.75 euros which is a total bargain.

I shall pop down to the allotment tomorrow and see how all is progressing: I found some Aquadulce broad bean seeds, the last in the packet so I shall sow them and hope for the best.

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