Saturday, 3 May 2014

Bittersweet Plot Action

Strawberry flowers are out!
Both the great and the awful sides of allotmenteering were in evidence today. The good bit was that, amply aided by Kasia's mum, we got a load done and the place is looking damned neat and tidy, at least by our standards. The other side of things is that there has been further damage to both the water system and a number of allotments. As in the past, this was directed chiefly against committee members. The sheer dedication to such boneheaded gittery - these comedians must be getting up halfway through the night in order to avoid detection - is astonishing. Anyway, I haven't much to say about that which doesn't involve a vast and unending torrent of expletives, which would make for poor, and indeed demoralising, reading, so lets focus on what we got done.

Our house has, of late, resembled a small garden centre as a veritable smogasbord of seeds have germinated. We've been hardening a lot of stuff off which has involved an additional morning/evening chore of putting out/taking in a whole bunch of seed trays. Today we managed to get some of these planted out onto the plot which, apart from anything else, will shave a few vital seconds off the morning routine. Hurrah.

Spinach front, peas at the back
Spinach and pea seedlings went into one of our newly installed raised beds, after I gave it a good dig to mix the soil conditioner sitting in the thing to the soil underneath. This resulted in a very spongy and supple mix, which at least feels like it should be great for growing. We shall see. We netted the heck out of these which should keep out any lurksome pigeons.

I love peas and their weird tendrils. Wasn't there a lot of chat about tendrils in War of the Worlds? I wonder if H G Wells was into peas. Kasia got a bunch of beetroot, kale, borage, Turk's Turban squash and chard seedlings in. Planting out seedlings is like the plant equivalent of sending your kids off to uni, sort of. Let's hope none of this lot drop out immediately following fresher's week.

I was well chuffed to see that all our Rocket first earlies had upped periscope. They got earthed up. We actually had a bit of a frost here last night, so this seems prudent.

Harvested some leeks. Just a few left now of the over wintered ones; had them for dinner with asparagus, Jersey Royals and hollandaise. Decent.

There's green stuff all over the apple tree now, a very positive development. Are these the first blossoms preparing to unravel themselves into existence? Hope so.

Talking of blossoms, some of our strawberry plants have flowered already. Strawberries are total mavericks, they just flower when they feel like it. The strawb patch is looking well established now, I'm hoping for a belter summer and lots of fruit. It's been just the odd few berries here and there for us so far, once the local fauna has taken its cut.

We got plenty of weeding and tidying up done, paths strimmed and tea drunk, none of which makes for compelling photography, so you'll just to imagine what it looked like. We're off to Rome for a few days so it feels great to leave the plot looking tidy. I may bung up some pics of any particularly nice food or garden related stuff we stumble across here. I'm especially looking forward to fulfilling my fantasy of being James Richardson, checking out the latest transfer goss in the Corriera della whatsit, while supping on some ridiculous knickerbocker glory type contraption. Just do me a favour: if you see any hoodlums or vagabonds doing criminal damage type stuff on an allotment near you, give them a vicarious slap in the chops from me.



  1. Sounds like I had a similar planting day yesterday at my plot in Jesmond. A word of caution - I planted borage a few years back and bitterly regretted it. It is fab for the bees and butterflies and has a lovely cucumbery flavour but it's a tap rooted monstrosity that seeds all over the place and has triffid like properties. It took hours to get rid and it's still lingers.

    1. Thanks for the heads-up! We've planted it in containers, so that should help limit its spread. I want to do that thing where you put borage flowers in ice cubes cos it looks pretty and everything.

  2. Wow your leeks look amazing! My house looks just like yours but you look a bit more tidy organised than me. Hats off to you. Btw me and my partner are thinking of going to Rome, our first abroad hol for many years, being a dog owner put paid to going abroad. Alas my best bud Harry Labrador has gone to the rainbow bridge so holidays abroad are back on the agenda. Truthfully I would rather my dog was here still than the chance of a hol in europe

    1. Sorry to hear about Harry. Rome was bloody great. Food/Gardens/Ancient Stuff-related pics and words will be up here soonish.

  3. You got on wwell woth your I started sowing in the greenhouse so I am a little further behind than you. I'm not worried though....I may be a little later but i will still have wonderful homegrown veg!!

    1. This is a fantastic time of year, things really starting to come through now. Best of luck with your crops!


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