Every now and then I feel that my efforts to keep the site reasonably weed free are like painting the Forth bridge (but even that doesn’t need painting over and over again, they have got some special paint that lasts longer). It was the turn of my largest soft fruit cage – I have lost count how many time I did that and the weeds keep coming back.
I didn’t stay much longer after that and after lunch at home it was time for some greenhouse work. I have some garlic growing in there in one of my grow beds already and now I have added some shallots and onion setts in small cell trays. It works with the garlic – I’m hedging my bets as I have some garlic growing on the allotment already.
I haven’t tried it with the onions or shallots yet, it will be interesting.
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 had so many tomato seedlings I had to put them not only in the greenhouses but outside as well. To my surprise and pleasure the outside ones are doing ever so well. I’m bottling oven roasted ones, making them into sauce and bottling them as well, the possibilities are endless. At the same time I am also using them in making tasty lunches – in combination with courgettes.
These monsters are tomatoes beefsteak, very firm, fleshy and very tasty.
The plot keeps giving, I am amazed every time I start harvesting.
The carrots are the very first ones and we had them steamed today as part of our lunch. Same with the potatoes and with that a piece of fish each, done in the oven very simply in foil with a drop of olive oil.
Very tasty indeed.
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.
It is well and good to have the rain and heat, everything grows but certain plants grow better than other – like weeds.
It feels like painting the Forth bridge but even they don’t have to do this any more ! I, on the other hand, have to carry on with the weeding. I have finished the onion and garlic beds today – I wonder how long they’ll stay like this.
Only time will tell.
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.
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.
I went away for almost two weeks and thought that I would find a bit of wilderness on the farm. Not so, everything survived well. My very good friend Irene watered the plants in the greenhouse and thanks to that I had a lovely crop of delicious tomatoes.
That was a nice surprise because I started growing in the greenhouse rather late. I think these might be Gardener’s delight – I found the plant growing on a path! Gave it a good home and this is my reward.
I had the usual stalwarts – carrots and parsnips, also a very nice cabbage. Long may it continue.
As usual, whenever I go away, I looked to buy some different seeds. I was in luck this time. Found a new seed company and managed to get some seeds – white onion. Not the little pearl onions as I know but full-size ones. I tasted them whilst away and they are very nice, mild and sweet. We shall see how I get on.
…are improving. Amazing what a sunny day and a few willing gardeners can achieve.
Today was that day. Reg, who is not at all well but just keeps going somehow, had a helper – his grandson Carl. Hat off to Carl, he worked really hard and then Simon very kindly rotavated the plot and I can’t believe my eyes.
I was helping Simon with planting his onion sets and he rotavated a part of my plot. It was dug over but became very hard and lumpy. It is not any more!
The atmosphere on our site is very good, people talk, exchange ideas and seeds etc – by the way, thanks Simon for the onion sets, we shall never suffer shortage of onions! Or potatoes. Or anything else.
Happy gardening and may the sun shine on us.
Well, the weather isn’t too great but everything in the garden – or rather on the plot – is growing fine.
It was rather chaotic in the greenhouse and in the veranda at the back of the house – an organised chaos I must add. The veranda was used for hardening off all the plants before I took them to the farm to plant out and this method worked! Everything on the farm survived the move and is growing well.
Cabbages in the net tunnels, tomatoes, lettuce, Chinese lettuce, climbing beans are all fine. And then there are the hardy types who survived the winter out there – onions, shallots, garlic, strawberries, rhubarb and last but not least the potatoes and raddishes who are trying their best.
…and a lot of hard work was the order of the day on the allotment today.
There was a plot on our site that nobody worked on. I thought that somebody wanted it and was going to start working there. I was wrong. It happens from time to time that people think they would like to have an allotment but when it comes to actually working on the plot, the reality hits them – it is quite a lot of work. This particular plot wasn’t overgrown with weeds – I know because it was mine last year. When I harvested the potatoes I dug it all over so it was in good order.
All the same, this person didn’t return so rather than to leave it neglected, I took it back and it is all ready and just waiting for good weather.
I had to clear some big drums , some were full of sand – this belonged to the chap before me who was into growing exhibition parsnips. Anyway, all the drums are gone, the sand neatly heaped to one side and the new space ready.
Because there was quite a bit of sand mixed with the soil I took an advantage of it and made it into a parsnip patch. We’ll see.
Next on the list was finishing planting some garlic – I had some tiny cloves, put them into grow cells, they rooted so now was the time to put them out, join the overwintered ones.
Onion sets and shallots received the same treatment. The shallots were well rooted in the cells so they’ll have a head start. Then I planted some red onion sets but even though I thought I had enough I shall have to get some more. Work will continue…
Last but not least was some work in my greenhouse when I got back home. I wanted to have some very early potatoes, decided on the variety. They’ve chitted well so they went into pots and will be kept in the greenhouse for now.
Then it was the small task of looking if all the seed trays are well watered and that’s that for today. Tomorrow is another day….