Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Spring Challenge

Well, that's it. I've completed a final weeding and hoeing of the allotment before the inevitable explosion of weeds while we are away. This is the Spring challenge: warm and wet weather is absolutely perfect for the weeds. Turn your back for a couple of days and they really take hold.
It's been a joy this morning. It is the perfect time for hoeing: a warm bright sunny morning 36 hours or so after heavy rain.
I was delighted to see that not only have my super-early tomatoes survived this week's hailstorms, but the Latah variety are even sporting their first flowers. They are looking very promising so far.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Holiday countdown

Well, that's the garden ready for us to go away on holiday. The hosta and passion flower are planted out; the coriander is harvested and frozen; and the third and final sowing of broad beans has been moved into a larger pot. They were destined for the raised beds, or the allotment. But the beds are full, and I remembered that the rabbits at the allotment have rather a fondness for beans.
I had hoped for an empty greenhouse by the time we went away, but the basil put paid to that idea. It was probably a bit ambitious to have basil planted outside by the end of May. So now three small pots of basil seedlings have been transplanted into masses of larger pots, and the greenhouse smells of summer.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Tomato: “Legend Bush”

I have completed planting out the tomatoes which I will grow at the allotment this year. Last to go in were Tomato "Legend Bush" - a modern heavy-yielding and early-fruiting variety reputed to have a good flavour, and also some resistance to late blight. It is supposed to do well in large pots, and particularly well in a greenhouse so I have left a few under glass to hedge my bets.
This photo is from the Real Seed Company's website as clearly mone are not in fruit yet!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Leek recipes anyone?

I have harvested 3kg of leaks this week, mainly from the allotment but also some from the raised beds at home. In addition, we had a lovely fresh supply all through the winter.
With Waitrose selling organic leaks at £4.99 a kilo, that's my answer to anyone who wonders whether it's worth growing your own. (I may have recently defected to Aldi, but I'm still happy to quote Waitrose prices for comparison purposes!)
The car was a tad whiffy on the way home, but that will soon clear. Needless to say, I will be researching leek recipes for this evening's meal.

Monday, 11 May 2015

2015 tomatoes

I've worked hard this morning. I have planted out the first lot of tomato plants. I got them started early, with the help of my secret germination weapon: the airing cupboard. I am trying a different variety this year, from my new favourite online seed supplier, the Real Seed Company.
The variety is called Latah - supposedly one for your earliest crop. It's a super-early variety that should tolerate short or cool summers. The leaves are very far-spaced on the stem - the plants look a bit odd – and this apparently lets in more light to reach the fruit so they ripen even earlier. Lets hope so. I waited until September for any tomatoes last year!
They look a little forlorn in the photo below. It was so windy they were bent over double.
In addition to planting these out I finished preparing the rest of the seedbed, did some hoeing, and harvested two enormous carrier bags full of spinach which I have yet to transform into something edible.
I rewarded myself for all my hard work with a glass of wine to accompany my lunch. A little decadent for a Monday lunchtime, however, I have done all of that plus loads of washing. Oh, and I'm still suffering from post election blues. I think I've earned it.

Monday, 4 May 2015

That's better

Ah, now that's better. I only managed half of it but the soil on the right is the bit I've been working on. Not a seed potato nor a weed in sight.
I'm feeling a ridiculous glow of satisfaction at the sight of this well-prepared seedbed. Middle age has truly arrived. So has a glass of white wine!

Rogue potatoes

Each one of these critters is a potato which I missed when I was harvesting last year. I clearly did not do a very thorough job!
They have waited it out through the winter, and now they are popping up all over my so-called seedbed. Along with earthing up this year's crop once more, the other job I will be getting on with today is digging these out.

Lincolnshire Sky

Lincolnshire Sky