22 April 2009

Mad dogs and Englishmen

Monday, lovely and sunny, I'll have the day off. Was very hot in fact had my sun hat on all day (sadly a necessity due to the rapidly thinning hair) and used the suncream (if you're reading Mrs D!).

To catch up slightly though, been spending a fair amount of time on plot no 1 hacking down the hedge - again. Yes that's me again Mark (of absent neighbour fame). This time it's down to about 3 foot high and there was rather a large bonfire the other night to get rid of a lot of it. Still got loads left, but now the plot gets sunlight in the afternoon. The trees are next...

The plot 'below' ours has also now been taken and cleared, and they have chopped down most of the hedge between our two plots as well. It's good to see more people on the site and someone doing something with that plot that actually looks in quite good condition. Also might encourage me do to something with that end of the plot.

So having set fire to most of the rubbish on the plot last week in a satisfyingly large bonfire last week thought I'd best get on and dig over that side of the plot - not least because I'd got a dozen asparagus crowns in need of planting. So I dug over the patch above the comfrey and removed a load of weeds. I then raked it over with the cultivator to get out all the weeds I'd missed. I then threw on some rockdust, dug it over again and added loads of well rotted manure. It has to be said that not every bit of the allotment gets that much love and attention! The rest of the area I'd dug over after planting the asparagus was covered with a couple of barrow fulls of manure on the surface. I'm hoping this will be where the courgettes go - you can see this area on the right of the picture above.

The (perpetual) spinach is not at an end at all, despite needing the space for the onions. It is growing extremely well and we've already had enough to go with a couple of meals off it. The same is true of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, which is actually quite prolific at the moment. Tastes amazing, lovely and tender - just a shame it takes up so much space for so long.

Elsewhere I noticed the (dwarf) peas are just beginning to poke through the surface. Whether they are still there the next time I go down is a different matter. Following a suggestion from some other blog a glance at (!) I put my tall peas (Telephone) in trays to start them off to try and avoid the pigeons and/or mice getting to them before they get going - and also to allow me to get some sticks in place. All my potatoes are now planted, 5 rows on each plot - with just Charlottes and Sarpo Axona on plot no 1 and the same plus Pink Fir Apple on plot no 2. It will be interesting to compare how they do, although they should in theory do much better on no 1 as the ground has been better prepared and the soil holds the moisture better there.

On the fruit side of the plot things are looking fantastic after the cold winter:


Gooseberry bush


The main fruit bed

All I have to do know if keep the wildlife off them all so we get what will hopefully be a bumper harvest from them all. The fruit on plot no 1 is looking a lot better than than on plot no 2 for some reason???

So eventually up to plot no 2. A bit more digging and 120 onion sets were planted. I also tidied up the greenhouse and took up several trays of plants from home to put up there - much to Mrs D's delight, so we can now sit at the kitchen table again! In a couple of weeks we might even have the spare bedroom back as a spare bedroom too ;>)

Planted up lots of courgettes, summer squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, couple of different types of dwarf French beans in toilet rolls and probably more I can't remember! Not sure where they're all going to go though...

Finally I bought one of these the other day:


Seemed like the perfect tool for the allotment. Not had chance to try it out yet, but this weekend...


Jennifer AKA keewee said...

You have been very busy in your garden. Isn't is great to get things in the ground, then wait to see how much they are going to produce? This is my first year at growing vegetables,last year i was really just playing around, now I am serious about getting as much as I can out of my veggie garden.

Gordon Mason said...

I've been lusting after one of those kettles for some time (also called a Kelly Kettle) but currently use a petrol stove. Keep posting about how you get on with it.

RobD said...

Ah yes the original plan was to get a Kelly kettle, but this one has a whistle on the kettle to attract the attention of my fellow plot holders at brewing up time ;>)