IN FULL SWING

It is harvest time!

As it is so hot these days I started going to the allotment quite early in the morning. The plan is that I will either water the most needy plants with the hose or, on alternate days, feed the ‘special cases’ either with the seaweed extract, comfrey tea or the liquid from my wormery.

It was the turn of the comfrey tea. My, does it stink!! And the smell seems to linger close to the ground, so when I was bending down, I got a good whiff of it. Never mind, the squashes love it!

I managed to pick another large box of strawberries, pulled out a lovely bunch of carrots and a few nice beetroot.

yesterday was a day to thin out the gooseberries…..

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…and I was pleased I had this lovely lot.

Got them home and in no time made a very tasty gooseberry and mint jelly. Goes a treat with cold meat, cheese or a quiche.

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As I was picking the gooseberry I also noticed that the currants are almost ready. That’s the beauty of having the fruit bushes in the net cage – I can take my time picking them, not like in the past where it was a competition between me and the birds. Guess who lost??

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Another benefit of net cages is the ease of growing brassicas. It was the same story in the past – try to stop the birds nibbling the leaves of the young plants so there was hardly anything left. I thought they wouldn’t like kohl rabi. I was wrong. So now the kohl rabi grows in the net cage and nothing gets at it and I can enjoy the fruits of my labour.

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CARROTS

It has taken all these years of working on the allotment and finally I managed to grow some half decent carrots.

My Grandad was a great gardener but he never grew them, he always said that he isn’t going to waste time – his soil was too full of stones and they always failed. I had a different problem – the dreaded carrot fly. But this year I chose some new (for me at least) seeds, called Flakkee.

And this is the first little bunch.

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BEETROOT

It was well worth the fuss in the early spring when I sowed some beetroot seeds in the trays in the greenhouse. I transplanted them later on the allotment and today was the day! My first harvest.

From this……DSCN1895

to this

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…in a couple of hours.

Delicious.

NEW HARVEST – NEW JAM

I have managed to stop – well almost – the thieving squirrels by protecting my strawberry bed with nets, I knew why I planted them in all four raised beds – very easy to fix the nets over. Work is going ahead to move more strawberry plants into the new beds after the harvest. The squirrels were very persistent!

Never mind, all is well and the other day I picked 2 kg of lovely strawberries. The next day there were 13 jars of delicious jam – summer in a jar!

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RHUBARB RHUBARB….

…and more rhubarb.

I think it is something you either like or don’t like. It has got a lot of beneficial effects, one of them being ‘keeping you regular’.

I was walking home from the allotment carrying a bag of rhubarb. There was a lady walking the same way as I was, I overtook her and all of a sudden I heard – excuse me, do you sell it? I told her I didn’t and asked why she wanted to know. Well, she said, I have this bowel problem and I should eat a stick of rhubarb every day, just dip it in sugar and eat it. It keeps me regular, do you know. I agreed and gave her half of my harvest. I hope it’ll help her with her problem.

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ALL IN ORDER

Amazing what a day of rain can do – it seems that everything has doubled in size. I thought I had the weeding under control but how wrong was I!!

There was nothing else but get down to it and weed….and weed again. As a result I have got very nice and regimented rows of carrots, beetroot and broad beans. Potatoes are usually in order but even the humble spuds are quite orderly.

The next job was to construct a couple of frames for my next year strawberry beds. I had this idea that I’d surround an area of land with planks of wood and next year I would grow strawberries there – much easier to protect – just throw a net over the whole structure.

I was lucky, my friend on the site had an asparagus bed that he no longer wanted. It was a quick job to dismantle the whole thing and install it on my plot! Exactly as I wanted!

 

VERY FIRST NEW POTATOES

At last! I was hoping that I might be lucky – I planted some Swift potatoes in a few bucket and kept them in the back garden. I tried my luck today and the result is very pleasing. This is not the whole harvest, I just managed to pull out some, just to give us a taste.

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There are many more on the allotment so we can look forward to a few tasty dinners.

 

 

 

 

APRIL 2017

Everything in the garden is doing well. Thanks to my brother-in-law Chris I have the nicest tulips in the front and back garden – a mix of colours and types. A lot of them are in pots and the challenge next year will be to find somewhere in the ground to plant. We’ll see….