Sunday, 2 May 2010

Honkjazz The Musical Allotment - Part 22

Well hello now. Inspired by the insightful and witty comments the last post generated I thought it about time to say hello again and fill you in on some of the news.

A lot has been happening what with it being spring and all. It was very hard to resist the lure of the early planting frenzy that some gardeners may give in to but we know what the weather is like in Devon so we waited it out. Just as well as there were a couple of very late frosts here which would have done us no favors. 
I'm struggling to remember what went in first (it is very early o a Sunday morning). Let's see - oh yes, well the garlic and winter onions were (and still are) going mad, especially the garlic. We didn't lose that many in the torrential rain at the end of last year so that was lovely. Unlike the broad beans which suffered heavy casualties. Still, we've got about nine pants left and Blunts has planted some more now to give a good staggered crop. I'm not sure that the ones who survived are anywhere near as big as they should be but we'll take what we get and be thankful.
Or else!!!
Nothing really, or else nothing. 

So that was that. Bibby's fruit mullered corner had completely over grown and was a disaster. Except for the strawberry plants that we put in the ground. Although we didn't get a single fruit (no netting = fat animals) the plants went fortheth  and multiplied. From the original four or fiver plants we got about forty new ones. So we've given away twenty odd and planted the rest into the Belfast sinks. Once we covered them with some of the old window panes they have thrived. Excellet.
The strawberry rescue operation was part of a campaign to reclaim the fruit corner and Bibs has done brilliantly. It's all be dug over and fenced off and once the rubbish fruit plants (raspberry and gooseberry) have been rescued from their battle with the weeds at the fence we'll plant them in the newly transmogrified bed. We've also got some lettuce plants along the fence here. They were being thrown away on the farm where I work so I rescued lots of them and we now have loads of green and red battavia, some Russian red kale, green kale, coriander plants and some other lettuce plants of unknown origin. These have been planted in all of the areas where things had died in the cold and rain so all of the available space is now taken up.
Which is nice.

Talking of herbs there was another freebie going at work in the shape of a box of mixed herb plantlets. I had those as quick as a flash and they now line the inside of the fence in the fruit corner. I can't wait to take some pictures because it's really lovely there now.

Over the last couple of months I've also dug the beds over and filled a couple with pig manure ahead of the potatoes going in (this week). Bibs and I set up a bed for the peas, using the chicken wire fencing from last year. Improvements mean we'll be planting on both sides of the fence instead of just one this time. Blunts has also planted peas on the first fence only. We'll do the second fence in a week or so and the third fence a few weeks after that.

See? A completely different type of staggering is going on at the allotment this year.

We've got to clear the old swede/brussel sprout bed and we'll be putting some cabbages in there. The brussel plants are still in the ground as everyone else seems to have left theirs so we'll follow suit and see what happens.

Lastly would be the runner beans which went in a couple of weeks ago. They've nearly all shot up (helped by a buried trench of pig manure under each row) and are looking lovely. We'll get the cane supports up this week so they've got a frame to hoist themselves around on. They've each been allocated a sponsor so I'll keep you posted on who's bean plant is growing fastest and which one gives the best prizes.

The icing on the muddy cake was a trip to the dump to sling out all of the rubbish and knackered window frames and stuff. That made me very happy indeed!

I'll take some photos once Big Al' has popped over in the week with his petrol strimmer and tidied the place up a bit.

Until then.........