February 2010


June 09

April 2010


Woops. Another huge gap. I did pop up to the plot a few times in the back end of 2009 to pick some things, but the slugs pretty much demolished all of the courgettes (I got two) and the sweetcorn didnīt go in fast enough to be ready by the time the autumn hit. And I never got back to dig up the maincrop spuds either.

But being a stubborn gardener, who doesnīt like giving up, I refuse to take the option of quitting the allotment on the grounds that as fast as I can get it refurbished the weeds are taking over again. But I still have to face the fact that this is true. So Iīve gone for the only other option I can see.

I have engaged a gardener to do the preparation and weeding work for me, and to get that wilderness back into productive beds. Sheīll probably find a load of potatoes hiding that are usable or starting to grow, and also a lot more bindweed than is desirable (mind you, is any?) and I hope sheīs still speaking to me at the end of the first week!

I hadnīt realised how much of a weight this was going to take off my shoulders. I went straight from the allotment to South Heath and bought seed potatoes (all Charlotte - they are the ones we eat most of!) and onion/shallot sets. And parsnip seed. And beetroot seed. All stuff to bung in during March.

Meanwhile, at home Iīve got the usual propagator full of chillies. The conclusion from last year was that we might as well not bother with anything other than the Prairie Fires: tiny, pretty plants, tiny chillies, WHOA heat. And early. And Iīve still got my main plant from last year. All the same, we sowed jalapeno, cayenne and a few others just for the fun of it.

Normal diary service will resume shortly...

March 2010

Sunday March 7th
Walked up with small boy and my mate Jools, on a glorious day. Once upon a time Iīd have been up there all day. Ah well. Small boy was excited and wanted to run about so Jools took him walkies while I had a look about. Picked two cabbages. Yes, these are last yearīs minicoles; 5" across after getting rid of the mankier leaves, and perfect. After this so so cold winter. Amazing. Set the purple sprouting broccoli cage upright again (the snow had made it lean precariously) and the plants, though smaller than the amazing ones of 2007 I never got to eat, seem to be doing ok. No sign of flowering though - but Claret is a late one so I expect itīll flower in late April.

Two beds have magically been dug over this week: I need to sort out some black plastic as soon as possible or things will get mad again come May when all the weeds take off. My gardener says sheīll be able to do me another 4h this week, so hereīs to another couple of beds. I hope itīs still nice next weekend and not too windy so I can get the weed membrane!  Sadly, NA Kayīs has gone bust so I canīt go there any more. :-(


Cleared beds!

Thereīs PSB Claret in there somewhere...


Sunday March 14th
Having been duly treated to Motherīs Day lunch, and plied with bunches of daffodils, I ran off to the plot during small boyīs naptime. My runner bean plot and two other beds have now been dug, making five ready to go. I dragged some carpet over the runner bed (not brilliantly, but should help till I get proper stuff) and planted 31 Golden Gourmet shallots in one of the others. The end of the bed got three rows of parsnips `Tender and Trueī and the start of the next bed got beetroot. The rest of that one will probably be onions, in my annual and usually-futile attempt to grow the wretched things. Cleared the wayward cabbage beds a bit, so all the mesh is away and the piping on a cleared bed, so they can be sorted out easily ready for the off. Potatoes, probably. Have asked Gardening Lady to have a go at the other side this week, so I donīt get shot by the Council after the April inspection (though I could always just put black plastic over them regardless of having been dug!!!)
I got three more mug-sized Minicoles as well, though not sure the tiddly red ones will be usable. Thatīs what Stir Fries are for...


The view as I arrived.


Small boy at Wisley, planting me a Motherīs Day sweet pea. Bless! He loved doing it, so hereīs hoping...

(I hope he has better luck with sweet peas than I usually do!)

Saturday March 27th
Astonishingly heavy showers today. Dashed up in snoozebreak armed with Sturon onion sets, and managed somehow to get a mere 77 of them in just before it started to throw it down. Chris was up there somewhere but couldnīt see her and calling didnīt elicit a reply. Assume she was digging up the top end!
No more beds done by Gardening Lady this week. The ones that have been done are now growing couch tuftlets, so will need hand weeding. Great. But on the good side, Iīm going to have annual leave again soon, so hopefully Iīll have a day or two to actually do it!!

Update from last entry: small boy now has his two sweet peas up. And I have beetroot! Parsnips as usual no sign after just 2 weeks, though the area is *covered* in germinating pot marigolds. More weeding...  PSB looking like itīs thinking about flowering, as the tops are bulking up a bit.

Lots of narcissi out. Love this time of year.