LEEKS

I have been trying to grow the perfect leek – never managed. I grew them, yes, but they were a bit spindly, nothing much to them. It wasn’t the seeds, not sure why it didn’t work.

This year is a different story. I have harvested a few and every single one is just perfect. I don’t think I did anything different but….

They are great and the taste is second to none.

THERAPY

I said it in the past and I say it now – going to the allotment is better than any therapy for me. I can self isolate, even on my way there and back, it is only about five minutes from my house and when I’m there I am in my little paradise.

Yesterday and today were devoted to digging and getting the land ready for sowing. I did my winter digging everywhere on my plots during the autumn and winter but this was to incorporate the horse muck and refresh the land where I had to walk on it (getting the top net for the fruit cage all square etc)

20200330_111635

This piece of land was quite compacted but all is well now, ready for planting my potatoes.

Today’s effort was slightly bigger, it also helped that we had a shower of rain last night. This will be for carrots

20200331_121326

and the final piece is ready for leeks. My leeks did very well last year, it was the Mammoth variety and they were very tasty.

20200331_121339

22. FEBRUARY

Another day, another upcycling done. I was offered some blue rubber chippings, the kind used in playgrounds; of course I accepted. It took just the two of us, Frank and myself, filling a few large sacks and a wheelie bin, then taking it to the allotment and the result is…

I didn’t mix this with the wood chip, these two paths are small and to the side but important to cover all the same, it stops the ground getting muddy.

That was the other day. Today was the day of harvesting the last of the leeks and as it wasn’t too wet I decided to dig the patch over. Good job done, it was quite easy and by getting this done all my digging is finished. I hope the leeks will do as well this year, they were tasty and lasted the whole winter.

20200222_152424

 

JANUARY

Today is the second of January, another year gone and I’m ready to start one more year of enjoying myself on the allotment, growing an amazing range of vegetables. I have finally harvested the last of the carrots – they are not perfect but the taste is great. I have to cut and peel them, however they look so it doesn’t make much difference. The freezer is full of chopped carrots, ready to be used in stews etc, also grated carrots ready in small bags just enough for a carrot cake.

20200102_152209

I also pulled out some leeks, that emptied one of the beds and as it was a nice afternoon, just the weather for digging, I did just that. If I do a bit each time I go there I will be done in no time.20200102_152126

END OF DECEMBER

I am amazed that I still have some carrots to harvest. I know that parsnips and leeks are fine left in the ground but not carrots. Well, I went down to my ‘farm’ yesterday, the weather was very nice, dry and mild, it was quite easy to dig out some more carrots. I had to stop myself from digging as I thought I wouldn’t manage to take it all home. Fortunately Frank came to my rescue and we had two full large bags of carrots to take home. They are not perfect but not bad either. Very tasty they are!

There were some purple and yellow carrots among my harvest and I remembered that my friend gave me a packet of mixed seeds. The purple ones were completely free of any blemish, no carrot fly damage, altogether pristine. The yellow ones were the same as the usual orange ones. I decided to get a packet of purple seeds, put the theory to test. We shall see. Mr Fothergill company has them, they are Purple Haze. Watch this space next year, they are on order.

The leeks are doing well this year too, I have been harvesting them regularly and I still have quite a lot in the ground. The same with parsnips. I know they don’t look perfect but they more than make up for it in taste.

STARTING AGAIN

Here we go again, another start of a new gardening year. I cleaned my greenhouse in the back garden and started three seed trays with onions and leeks. I didn’t do at all well with leeks last year and was determined to have another go. I’ve got Leek Mammoth seeds and have high hopes for them.

It is an unheated greenhouse but a very good one – a Rhino greenhouse – so the seeds should do well. We’ll see.

THE FIRST OF MANY

I started the new year as I mean to continue – on the allotment. We managed to take one more load of slab pieces to the allotment and that was enough to make a path in the middle of my large cabbage net cage.

The afternoon was devoted to sowing some seeds in trays. Leeks, onions Ails Craig and white onions, the seeds I bought when I was in Malta. I saw them there in the shops and was very happy when I found the seeds.

I use seed trays that I bought a number of years ago from Harrod Horticultural company. It was money well spent, I’m still using them and with care they’ll last many more years.

20180101_153156

They have one big advantage – even if I would miss out a few days, the seedling will be fine as the whole thing sits on top of matting and takes up water via the felt matting suspended in the bottom tray with water. I just have to make sure the tray is regularly topped up.

WINTER VEGETABLES

When I first started gardening on the allotment I didn’t realise that I could have fresh veg almost all year round.

Today is the first day of the new year and I harvested some leeks, swede and parsnips

005

and rather surprisingly some spring cabbage.008The ground was quite firm after yesterday’s frost but soft enough to lift the parsnips. They came out nice and clean and it didn’t take too much effort to clean them. All this fresh veg will be made into a thick country vegetable soup, just the thing for a chilly winter’s day.