We are enjoying days of glorious sunshine and temps in the high teens!We have had beautiful April days before that promised beautiful summers which never materialised so we are making the best of what we are getting at the moment.I have been on the allotment every day and there is Trojan work being done on all of the plots as everyone is busy.
The strawberry plants have blossoms on 9 of the 20 second year plants, the first year ones can just be seen in the background but none have blossoms so far.
The lettuce in the greenhouse is coming on , the strange upside down bottles are Kathryn's idea to seep water to the roots of the plants. Fill a bottle with water with the cap screwed tight and punch some holes around the neck, bury the neck of the bottle in the soil and the water seeps out slowly to the plant but I think one near each plant would be better.The milk bottles crunch in as they empty but the drinks one stays in shape and seeps slower.
I dug over the new brassica bed yesterday, Barry had topped this up with manure last year and it has been under black membrane all winter.The soil is crumbly and earth worms were in abundance having enjoyed a good winter!I am going to sow swede turnips today and in a few days some of the cabbage will be ready to go out.
I cut the yellowed section of leaves from the garlic, it does not look like garlic rust at present but I will be keeping a close eye on it from now on.
The dwarf green beans have settled in nicely but when I went out on Monday, 2 of the plants were lying withered on the ground.I was a bit puzzled as it had been netted against rabbits and birds and did not look like slug damage.I was speaking to Brian yesterday and he said it could be MICE! Charlie had also had some plants damaged and had put down a mouse trap and caught one.The list of scavengers increases each year!
Brian also told me Charlie had given him a tip on peas which he has tried with great success. Charlie uses supermarket dried marrowfat peas as seeds,Brian has about 40 seedlings growing at the moment from a packet!Pricewise the normal seed packet is about 4.65e for a handfull of seeds, the supermarket ones are about 1.60 for a box full! Brian will let me know how they taste but if Charlie has been using them for years then I would think they taste OK.
A quick look around the plots,Christy has potatoes up already, he planted these on 20th march under glass and will have the first new potatoes on the allotment!
Zwena has asparagus up which I am quite envious about!These are the purple variety and Zwena thinks they may be an earlier variety than the green which I have. I am hoping the severe frost has not killed off ours as they are in a raised bed, only time will tell.
Zwena also has a bed of rampant rhubarb!
We had not been over to see the hens for a while so paid a visit before we came home.They had laid all winter, enjoying a nice warm house and fenced in garden.Zwena introduced 2 cockerels recently and there has been no eggs since!These 2 cockerels crow all day long and are a new sound on the allotments.