Saturday 22nd February
First day for the Shed opening this year. Went up and found hardly any queue for once. They’ve changed the shallots from Golden Gourmet to something else, drat, thanks to a new supplier. Look mostly the same though! Bought quite a lot of them, a pound of onions (thankfully still Sturon) and eight each of Charlotte and Sárpo Mira as usual.
Put the spuds to chit and this time remembered to get the onions laid out on paper plates so they didn’t go mouldy. Planted the shallots in pots, realising a bit late that I’d not got enough as they were heavy bulbs. Fortunately had some fairly large Golden Gourmets left so planted them to make up the numbers!
Saturday 12th April
Planted 27 shallots out in the allotment. They have gone next to the garlic, making the bed all alliums. I am very impressed at the state of the garlics – growing very strongly. But I guess they would, given the warm winter we just had. Decided to put a few slug pellets about, since lots of slimies will have survived as well and I don’t have the luxury these days of risking losing crops.
Leeks also looking fantastic. Will have to get them up soon or they’ll be bolting. Time to eat a hole in the freezer I think. Dug a few!
Looking over the main part of the plot Shallots, garlic and leeks (and a few beetroot)
Wednesday 16th April
Up to the Lottie after bath time and straight to work planting potatoes. Off came the cover from the bed and I found very few bindweed shoots given what there could have been. Hand weeded them out and then dug holes. Instead of manure or comfrey, put a good number of chicken manure pellets in the bottom and put the potatoes on top, before covering them with little mounds of soil. Was quite a relief to get them in given forecasted rain. Have too many other things to plant out come the weekend.
Potatoes, before covering up. The usual way of doing the rotation! Back of an envelope…
Friday 18th April
Out of the house at 11am and then spent an hour trying to find the square non-deformable netting for the Brussels sprouts cage. Wickes didn’t have any. No surprise there. Neither did South Heath, which was rather odd, though they did have the deformable by-the-metre stuff which is just big enough for butterflies to get through, so useless. Picked up some leek seedlings while there. Only Musselburgh though. Managed to upset the sprouts all over the place while going relatively slowly round the Gt Missenden roundabout and had to stop to rescue them. One snapped but rest OK, if squashed. Cross. Got two packs of netting at ridiculous cost from Hildreth’s so I have enough for next year, and finally made it to the Lottie about midday.
Started out by clearing the old cabbage bed and then digging up the few visible weeds growing under the weed fabric. Forked it over a bit then planted 140 onion sets. Sprinkled over a decent lot of chicken pellets. Then moved onto the bed with the massive marjoram/oregano plant. Lovely smell but taking over, so up it came. Getting the soil off the roots was fun! That then freed up the space nicely and I put the covering sheet from the old broccoli bed over it before planting the sprouts. Getting the netting over was a nightmare. It wasn’t big enough. So how did the old netting fit last year? After a lot of grumbling, ended up getting the second pack out and tying them both together and to the support.
Next up was tidying the cabbage netting. Decided in the end to take up the cover from the old spud bed and put the holey cabbage one back down, then put up the supports and net. No plants, but at least it’s ready and tidy. So only thing left is the runners bed which Gardening Lady is currently working through.
Garlic, shallots, leeks Potatoes, cabbage, runners, marrow beds, onions and sprouts.
The whole plot is looking good. Having it worked and productive for a whole year makes a massive difference in how it looks the following year, especially when black weed fabric is used the instant a bed is cleared (and during growing if possible). I might even cover the runner bean bed this year too, before planting.
Easter Sunday 20th April
Sowing today, in the dry of the potting shed as it threw it down outside. Have now got most of the tender veg sown: French beans (15 pots, x2 seeds), courgettes (6 pots, x1), marrows (3 pots, x1), aubergines (3 pots, x6) and basil (3 pots, lots). All are in the heated propagator. No runner beans as I can’t find the packet! Oh and a giant pumpkin which I hope does better than last year’s.
Easter Monday, 21st April
Bought more runner bean Enorma and sowed 15 pots. Left them in the shed until I can get the second heated propagator out and plugged in somewhere. That’s the lot. I hope. If all the cucurbits grow, the plot will look like it’s been taken over by aliens.