I am quite surprised how well the leeks germinated. A bit too well. Last year seeds just didn’t want to know – I did have some leeks but not a lot and carrots and parsnips were so poor that I had to re-seed them twice.
I have finished planting my leeks today having started yesterday. I had a piece of land ready for them, I just had to run a hoe through it and then rake it fine.
Yesterday I planted 79 leeks and today I finished the job. We have a grand total of 111 leeks – I think we’ll manage to go through the winter with this.
I had room for one row beside the leeks so I planted my onions grown from seed. This is one of the few times that I was successful with them, in previous years nothing germinated. When it comes to seeds germinating this year they are all excellent so as a result I have got many more tomatoes, peppers and chillies because all the seeds came through. I’m sure I’ll manage to fill all my four greenhouses and also countless large pots…..
As the weather is still nice I knew I had a few jobs to finish on the allotment. There were some parsnips left in the ground and as I’m trying to get the land ready for this year’s growing I had to get them out. In the end there were quite a few of them, some of them rather big. I don’t mind the crooked ones – they get peeled and cooked all the same. There are just some leeks left on this particular piece of land and they’ll get used soon enough.
As I was washing the parsnips I noticed a big clump of stinging nettles all around the tap. I knew they were there – that’s one of the things, I knew about them, wanted to get rid of them but never got down to it. Somehow today they were rather too obvious in the sunshine so out they went. It all looks much better and makes using the tap painless (or should I say sting – less?)
All this took quite a while so I was quite ready to bag all my goodies and go home. I also took home some potatoes. My harvest was very good, I still have got a couple of sacks in the shed. I wanted to take some for us to eat and also some small ones to chit, to add to the others I bought in the garden centre the other day.
Yesterday was an unseasonably warm day. I had to remind myself what date it was, it felt like a good day in early spring. It is too wet to do any serious work on the allotment, but saying that, all my serious work is done. The greenhouses are ready for the next growing season and as I have four of them I can spoil myself. I have decided to grow quite a lot of tomatoes, less of aubergines and a good mix of sweet peppers and chillies.
I have a good reason to grow more tomatoes, we are still using my bottled tomato soup and also chopped roasted tomatoes.
The chillies did very well and I have managed to dehydrate them, ready to be used in future recipes.
Yesterday was dedicated to work in my big greenhouse in the back garden. I have got four large grow beds there and I was able to single out and plant all my leek seedlings, also the onion seedlings. I have started those in late November. It seems to work, they are looking good.
I have also planted some garlic cloves, to make sure I have got enough to harvest later. I have garlic already growing on the allotment but you can’t have enough!
That was exactly my thought about onions and leeks so I started two more seed trays with leeks and onions. The plan is to grow quite a lot of vegetables that we like.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.