We are getting greener!

Yesterdays rain has brought about a big transformation in the garden at home and on the allotment. It was badly needed and even though we were supposed to have showers today we just had one heavy shower this morning and the sun has been shining all afternoon.
According to the moon planting guide today was the last day for flowering plants for nearly a week so I took the cauliflower, broccoli and marigolds out to the plot, I can only hope I am reading it right! The cauliflower and calabrese (Broccoli) are in the brassica bed netted from pigeons and rabbits.I firmed down the soil first by doing a bit of 'surfing' with a board to compact the soil as brassicas like a firm soil.They are planted up to the bottom set of leaves but I was careful not to bury any of the leaves in the soil, no point in giving the slugs a taste!I will put collars around them during the week also, another rainy day job cutting out the circles from some old black plastic like weed membrane.I held back some of the broccoli which I will pot on just in case there are any casualties.
The marigolds lining the pea and french bean beds, marigolds are a good companion plant and are often seen in allotments to attract bees and tempt whitefly to leave the legumes alone!
The rainfall has brought the potatoes up almost overnight and I earthed them up again, frost is not forecast but better safe than sorry.
All of the strawberry plants are covered in blossom!In answer to a query on a previous post from Foxylox about the strawberries, I did buy 6 plants last year in Aldi 2 of which were early varieties.These plants have all been relocated so they cannot all be an early variety.I think we will cover them with polythene in case of frost or temps dropping again, it would be a shame to damage them now when they are doing so well.
I tipped the raspberry canes. I cut the tops off of the canes, just about 3 ins from each. This is to make the old growth easier to find when we are cutting back the canes in autumn.They are slow to put out growth this year due to the cold winter and frosts.It is a job I have meant to do each year and then forget until we are trying to sort out the old and new canes when cutting back later on.
I cut some baby leaves from the spinach in the greenhouse, about 25 in total not a lot but this year we will cut them young to try and prevent the plants from bolting.
Now for something a little different,a few weeks ago I did a guest post for Anna and she sent me some of her handmade soap in return. I have been using the Gardeners Soap which is terrific,it raises a lovely lather and feels creamy on the hands.It removes the garden grit and leaves my hands lovely and soft.I always put on gloves but have a habit of removing them to get to grips with some small job and never remember to put them back on!I am not sure if Anna sells this soap but I would highly recommend it to any gardener!
In the greenhouse which was almost neglected for a few days the sweetcorn, courgettes and cucumbers are up, these were planted according to the moon planting chart on 16th April.The yard long beans are forging ahead, only 3 of the Cantare bean are up and all of the peas are peeping through.
Cabbage and Brussel sprouts are outside with the spring onions, it is getting a bit like musical chairs out there now moving things around to gain space.


Anna Bee said…
Hi Peggy - had a happy afternoon on the allotment today - great to finally get a bit of growth, it has been sunny but not soft for so long.

And great to get feedback on the soap - I sell a bit at my brothers farmshop - http://owelorganic.wordpress.com/farm-shop/ - actually he just gives them to his good customers.

I prefer to teach the skill than sell the product - I'll be running a day long class in May http://growyourownfood.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-courses.html

Really good to hear that the soap is working for you - there is dried orange skin in it for help exfoliate, and Calendula to heal and scratches. And lots of Olive oil to moisturise. I never wear gloves myself either - but your hands do get rough.

Thanks for the mention!

OffalyGoodLife said…
How do you find the moon planting chart? I've heard of it, but never tried it - worth a go would you say (let's face it, we could do with all the help we can get)?
Crystalrainbow said…
This year is my first ever on an allotment and am enjoying visiting here to get some helpful tips i too am moon planting :) so far so good althought the poly tunnel has only just gone up and am a bit behind times but am sure it will all work out :)
Peggy said…
Hi Anna, I hope to make one of your classes in the next few months, glad the allotment is forging ahead.Its all systems go while the good weather lasts.

OffalyGoodLife, I am afraid I only use it spradically when I think of it but this year I will try.
www.the-gardeners-calender.co.uk is where you sign up for the weeekly newsletter and get a week by week moon planting guide

Crystal rainbow, hello thanks for leaving a comment.See comment above for moon planting info.A polytunnel will be a great asset on your allotment both winter and summer.
foxylock said…
Ahh yes the old Aldi plants are finding their way into every garden in the country I reckon, can be quite good with the offers too. I'm happy to report my strawberries have copped themselves on and are now showing the first flowers. Can't bate da bit o sunshine !!
Ann said…
It's surprising what a difference a drop of rain and some sunshine make. Your strawberry plants are looking very good. I'm hoping a lot of the slugs and snails were killed off by the harsh winter, I haven't seen as many so far this spring.
rain, what's that? Your plot looks amazing Peggy and you're way ahead on all your sowing. Must be a real delight to share your love of gardening with your daughter and grand children. I predict no strawberries making it to your table though - nothing better (except peas imho) for a post digging snack :o)
The allotment is looking great. Lots of hard work but well worth it. My grandma used to plant by the signs whatever that meant. They say it works wonderfully. Me, I just stick things in the ground when the urge hits me... maybe that is why I have no luck growing anything!!
Hi Peggy

A little moon-planting tip that I only learned recently - my 3rd year of biodynamics, and after delicious, beautiful-looking but small cauliflowers - Broc and Calabrese are sown on flower days, while Cauliflower (despite having the word 'flower' in the name) is sown on leaf days.
I have no idea why but I trust the Thun's and their remarkable calendar so I will take their word for it. The proof will be in how well the caulis do this year. Will keep you posted.
Matron said…
Your strawberries look very happy on their raised bed! They will warm up nicely and it looks to be a good year, mine are covered in blossom too. We haven't had any decent rain here for weeks either! Still, we now have a bank holiday weekend so that should be a wet one if the others are anything to go by! xx

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