First Harvest of 2009
I cannot believe I have not had time to be on here for a few days! I must get around to see what everyone has been doing on their blogs. Every morning and a couple of afternoons have been spent on the allotment and I actually forgot to take my camera and when I did I forgot to use it, I had so much to catch up on.Yesterday I did remember, while Ed was putting down the boards for the paths I removed the netting from the Purple sprouting broccoli which had been in place since last August when it was planted out.The ground had become quite compacted over the winter and it was very dry underneath.The mulch of horse manure had smothered all but a few weeds, most of them were at the edges growing up from the path. I had read that loosening up the soil and piling it up around them would help so that is what I did also removing yellowed leaves and generally tidying them up and gave them a good soaking with the hose.
A few of them have little purple hearts developing but I will leave them for another week or so before cutting. I am looking forward to eating our first meal of them! The leaves look healthy and I did cover them again with the netting as they are the only brassica on the plots at the moment so the pigeons would have had a field day with them.
Our first cutting of the rhubarb, I was not sure when to harvest but decided to try some anyway. These are about 6 sticks ready to become a rhubarb crumble. It was delicious as the rhubarb had quite a mild flavour. There are a number of other stalks coming on and lots of new ones, again I put it down to mulching with the horse manure.We only have the one stool but I am going to put in a few more as we all use rhubarb.
I spent most of one day digging out at the back of the greenhouse which was overgrown and probably had not seen a spade for years it was so compacted and weed infested.I pulled out roots of thistles and the teasels which I did a post about here which also has a photo of the overgrown site around the greenhouse, and various bits and pieces which had become buried over the years. I put a barrow load of well rotted horse manure on it and dug it in.
There was one big Globe artichoke at the edge of the new plot growing over the path so I dug it out and got 3 offshoots from it. I put them in here as they will provide some shade for the greenhouse when (if) they grow and they look impressive too. We will not have anything to eat from them this year as the flowers are pinched off the first year to let the plant develop and produce the globes the second year. The original plant must have been years old as the roots were huge! They should be dug up and split every 3 years or take the offshoots from them.
Other jobs done this week:
Strawberry plants put out and new ones bought in Aldi added to the runners we had saved from our own last year.The whole fruit bed was covered in grass cuttings as a mulch to keep down weeds.
All the brassicas in the mini greenhouse ( summer cabbage, brussels sprouts & red cabbage) were repotted into individual pots to develop their roots before putting out. I was watching a gardening programme and a man who was blind but had a fabulous allotment had his own recipe for compost so I tried it. Compost,a handfull of lime to protect against clubroot, some fish ,blood and bone and some egg shells, I cracked half a dozen eggs for the shells and we had scrambled egg for breakfast Sun morning! I bought the ingredients and potted them up in the compost 2 days ago and I think they are showing signs of growth already.
I planted seeds of antirrhinums (snap dragons) in seed trays at home.
Sinead, Aoife and Kevin have their own beds in the allotment and have onions, strawberries and flowers in already.
Hardening off in the greenhouse on the allotment are the runner beans which will go out towards the end of the week if the weather improves as the forecast tells us.