Sunday, 29 March 2009

Asparagus and Potatoes

Today was a lovely day. As well as a picnic lunch, we cleared one of the beds and planted some Rocket first earlies (may be a bit late, but I'm sure it's been too cold), as well as weeded the asparagus patch, the overwintered peas and cleared some blanket weed from the (very small) pond.

Was chuffed to find I had asparagus shoots coming up from 4 of the plants (my neighbour has two). Photo to the left of one of my red asparagus (I can't remember the variety). They've been in the ground for 3 years so this will be my first harvest. So Excited!!! Mind you, was pleasantly surprised to find that purple sprouting broccoli bears a striking resemblance to asparagus.

Also built another flower box to go alongside the deck and cleared some of the stones from the displaced soil.

I've also harvested some forced rhurbarb - a picture of my partially successful attempt is on the right.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Seeds and seedlings

Elizabeth and I have just repotted my 4 March seedlings: Golden Tomatoes and Red Cherry as well as the Ailsa Craig onions. We've planted sunflowers in toilet rolls which are now sitting alongside her sweetpeas on her windowcill (see picture).

New seeds planted are various tomatoes (Tumbling Tom, Yellow Cocktail, Moneymaker, Tigerella, Gardener's Delight, Pomodoro Follia ibrido, Striped Stuffer), Sweet Pepper 'California Wonder', Butternut Squash 'Sprinter' and Festival Squash. These are now sitting on top of the shelf in the living room near the uplighter - I've found it's the best place to germinate seeds without investing in lots of equipment!

Next I need to take seedlings down to my greenhouse at the allotment - hope the weather improves.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Weekend work

Spent Saturday at a friend's house - started work on her greenhouse. Miles of beading to be slotted into seemingly hundreds of bits of aluminium. After a while we gave up and went for a walk but I have been told that she's working away in front of the telly! Will be back soon to help put the frame up and glaze it.

Meanwhile, back at my own plot... on Sunday I put together the new raspberry bed (no. 1 of 2). I also planted some more broad beans and put in the left over red baron onion sets (near the broad beans). Two year old and I also planted sweet peas into loo roll holders and they are sitting on her south facing window cill awaiting germination.

I have a trough of strawberry plants that I rescued from the site of my greenhouse before I put it up. They live in the greenhouse and have their first flowers. Hopefully I'll have so me early strawberries. My purple sprouting broccoli seems almost ready to pick and the last of
my brussels are looking very plump (should have picked them a while ago but couldn't face any more nor give them away!).

Think also that I spotted my first little asparagus poking it's head up. Better get on and weed the bed whilst I can (shame to lose the dead nettles - bees have been visiting them).

Friday, 20 March 2009

Another week

Not managed to get down to the allotment much this week. Managed some digging - cleared (2 bags of) bindweed roots from the raspberry patch on Monday. Tuesday I spent 30 minutes at lunchtime putting preservative on the raised beds. Today as the sun set I weeded the early (i.e. last October) peas and replanted (the first lot having vanished) some broad beans.

Must remember to bring the cordless drill so I can put the new beds together.

Some of my tomato plants have second set of leaves :-)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Seedling update!

Haven't made it to my plot this weekend, but just checked my first lot of seedlings. I have 7 little cherry tomatoes, 3 golden sunrise tomatoes and lots of little onions (ailsa criag). No cayenne pepper yet... I'm sure they'll make an appearance soon.

Only bit of gardening this weekend was planting peas in my mum's mini-plot (3 troughs on her balcony).

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

What I did in my lunch hour

Nipped off to the allotment today at lunchtime. Managed to plant the second pear tree and tie it to the arch as well as make the first bed/box next to the "deck". Am feeling very pleased with myself (very productive 50 minutes!).

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Have just checked the tray of seeds we planted the other day. The onions have pushed little onion leaves out of the soil. Tomatoes (cherry and yellow) and Cayenne pepper aren't doing much yet. However the salad mix Elizabeth planted last week in the greenhouse has also germinated.

I find it really exciting to see these first signs of life...

New pear tree

Elizabeth and I were at the plot on Friday and put together the new arch and planted the conference pear tree we bought on a whim at Christmas time. I tied it - espalier-fashion - onto the arch. The idea is to have a pear arch - but need to buy another one for the other side. We also finally made up the copper labels and hung them from all the trees (before I forget what they are!).

We also harvested a couple more leeks. Only have about 10 left.

Spring is in the air!

This has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks as the daffodils in the warm south-facing garden at the front of my flat have poked their heads up out of the soil to welcome the sun. The days have been getting longer as well which means I can escape to the allotment for a short while after work!

I've been at the plot this morning and it was glorious. A warm (14 degrees), sunny day with signs of life everywhere... the plums have baby leaves, the buds on the quince have broken open and the buds on the pear tree are just about to burst (see pic). To add to it the primroses and daffodils were shining brightly.

So what did I do today? A bit of a mix really (should learn to focus!). I prepared one of the beds and planted rows of shallots and onions interspersed with rows of parnsip (panache) and carrots (charnterey and scirocco). I started the big dig. For the last two years I've lost my raspberries under an uncontrollable mass of bind weed and couch grass, so today the de-weeding of the raspberry patch began. I dug up about 6 plants (some with first signs of life) and pulled out a bucket load of bind weed and couch grass roots and replanted the raspberries.

I also put in the post supports for the rail around the deck.

Had another feeble attempt at trying to keep the purple sprouting broccoli covered with netting - it's just starting to sprout and I'm sure the hordes of wood pidgeons that live in the surrounding trees will get to it before I can (they've already stripped the leaves).

There was a lot of digging today - don't know about tomorrow but I'm already a bit achey!