Monday, 13 May 2013

It's all go on the allotment!

It seems to be all go everywhere in fact! Spring is pressing on, despite the fact I'm freezing my proverbials off. So much is getting done on the plot, and we are trying not to neglect the garden too. I'm throwing myself into my remaining MA in Managing Archaeological Sites coursework and starting on my dissertation which is about managing and interpreting museum gardens. Phew!  I'm also entering every competition I can find to win tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show.

Oak Leaves in Essex

So. The allotment:  the two cherries, pear and apple are in full bloom.  And the Hibiscus trees at the front of the plot are starting their leaf bud.  The fruit bushes have all sprung into vigorous life. The onions, shallots and garlic look....much the same as they have done for months.  The peas and broad beans are surviving in a subtle and undemanding way. The sweet peas on wigwams are alive....and peaky looking.  The strawberries are wildly flowering. 
Apples, please be pollinated

The flowers in the front beds are looking lovely. I can't claim credit for most of them, but I can for the stripy tulips- I love them!  

The herb bed is filling out a little.

Seedling-wise everything is coming on, much later than it should probably, but I've never found that a problem before but then I've never grown a tenth of what we have put in for the allotment!
Do not allow your cat to sit on the nice warm seed trays for your tomatoes will come up squashed and wiggly

To summarise the sowing since the last update:

Purple sprouting brocolli; beetroot; leeks; spring onion; salsify; radishes; lettuce; french bean (cobra and a normal type!); runner bean (Enorma and a friend's unknown variety); carrots; rocket (nothing doing with that, despite all promises on the packet!); sorrel; mixed oriental mustard leaves. 

Black eyed Susan; nasturtium; more sweet peas; sunflower; pot marigold; tagetes and french marigold; teasel; flax; poached egg plant. 

Potted up:

Peppers; chillies; tomatoes (Sungold, Gardeners' Delight; Moneymaker; Bloody Butcher; Roma); tomatillos (wonder if they are any good?); celeriac
Do not idiotically lose track of pots you have put seeds in and accidentally sow another lot in the same holes for you will lose track of the variety

And other work on the allotment has included loads of toil by L to create a defined wild area at the back, in which we have planted wild garlic, foxgloves, snow drops, and celandine, and will allow some of the existing "weeds" to grow.  L has also cleared out Big Greenhouse 2,  painted up the others and been on a dandelion annihilation spree. N has been weeding like a man possessed..... Indeed, it is all go.


  1. It's a tense time isn't it? Will the weather decide to spoil everything or will we have a good year?

    1. I have been so tempted to plant out frost tender things, but as a lovely old timer down the plot said to me this week "Ne'er cast a clout...." I am of the same opinion, frustrating as it is!!

    2. No May out around here yet - just in leaf.

  2. Just looked at the "before" picture from the "Making paths" post you put up in December. The difference is astounding!

  3. Yes there is quite a difference, it's true! And it'll be good to see how it changes through this year. Hopefully it'll fill out and we'll see more green, and more flowers too, and more bee visitors!

  4. Re Tomatillos: I have grown them before. They say you need at least two plants for pollination purposes, but even just two plants will probably give you huge quantities of fruit (they are very prolific). The plants get very big and straggly, and are not very strong. Fruits are "interesting", but not as versatile as tomatoes.

  5. Hmm, thanks for the heads up on tomatillos Mark!Fortunately I've only got four plants, and I may reduce that. I've heard about their straggly nature so am prepared. This first year on the plot is about mild experimentation, but I may find the tomatillo experiment is not one I'll repeat!