Monday, 1 April 2013

Lift Off!

Full of chit
The snow stopped, the gales abated, heck- even our old pal the sun even made a prolonged appearance. I'm not calling the arrival of Spring yet, but it was lovely to spend the day down on the plot and we even got our (possibly over-chitted) "Rocket" first earlies into the ground. It felt good, and now you get to read about some actual gardening for once. Treats all round!

I'm hoping we haven't jumped the gun here, but these spuds had grown chits well beyond the oft-prescribed length of 1.5-2cm, so in they went. Kasia had heroically dug over the patch they were bound for yesterday, so all that was needed was to dig a shallow trench. We filled this with a thin layer of compost from the heap, then sprinkled more on topof the spuds. My reasoning for this was that the compost, being far lighter than the cloddish soil, would be less likely to damage the chits, and might afford the spuds some nutrition in their early life in the ground. We'll see in time if this does them any good. If the worst comes to the worst and we've been too fast out the blocks with these we've still got more first earlies, seconds and main croppers to go in.

Apart from putting four rows of spuds in, we had another great blaze, getting rid of more of the knackered rotten wood that used to be our fence, and sat drinking tea while listening to Radio 2's rundown of the "best ever albums", which placed something by Adele higher than Blonde on Blonde and ended in victory for Coldplay. Whatevs.

Look, it's blue!
We also pulled up the last stragglers from the leeks we planted around this time last year. Some were rotten inside, but there were enough that hadn't either rotted or bolted to produce a thoroughly gratifying  pan full of leek and spud soup.

In the ground
On the bench
In the bowl
I used Felicity Cloake's excellent recipe, adding a swirl of beuerre noisette because, well, just because.

So, a pretty great way to finish up the bank holiday. The weather forecast is looking cold, but not farcically so, and with the arrival of the lighter nights the world of allotmenteering is suddenly feeling just a slightly happier, more welcoming place.


  1. We are still holding fire hoping the ground will warm up a little. So isn't the bird song music enough for you :)

    1. We had this patch under cover, so hopefully that'll have helped. As soon as the birds learn some Dylan, their songs will be enough!

  2. What a great feeling it must be to finally get something in the ground. I wish you luck with the spuds,and don't forget to cover them with fleece on the frosty nights! My chits are still a bit small,so am holding off for another week or so.
    I do love a good leek and potato soup too...yummmm!

    1. Cheers Catherine,looking forward to seeing which of the four varieties we've gone for does well...

  3. That soup looks fantastic...I have potatoes and leeks still in the ground...i guess this would be the e perfect thing ...that is if they are still ok!!

    1. Hi Tanya, I'd heartily recommend this recipe, and actually, any recipes from Felicity Cloake's "Perfect" recipes:

      Hope your spuds and leeks are edible!


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