Spring on the allotment

 We made the most of a beautiful weekend and spent much of it doing outdoor jobs. Mike cleaned up the back garden, taking apart the old shed that once leant on the fence in the corner. It is still waiting to be replaced and so all the tools, animal bedding and general junk is currently stored in the wendy house. I butchered cut back the shrubs, a job long overdue and Mike finally cut the grass in the front garden.

The best part of the weekend for me was heading out back to the allotment on Saturday afternoon.

I was late planting the garlic as we were still getting the allotment cleared and the beds ready. They should normally be planted during the coldest part of winter, around November through to January, although I’ve also read that it can be planted from September. Either way, ours wasn’t planted until the end of March. I figured that I had a whole bunch of bulbs that we could either try out or throw away. I decided we’d lose nothing by planting them and seeing what happened. If they don’t work we won’t be any worse off than we would have been if we’d tossed them. If they do, well, if they do then we’d have garlic!

Within a couple of weeks of planting the cloves they’ve already started coming through.

Last month I planted a whole load of strawberry plants (Honeoye, Florence and Alice) only for another 36 plants to arrive at the end of the week.  Thomson and Morgan had an offer on and I love offers as much as I love strawberries.  The new batch were unpacked and placed in a tub with enough water to cover their roots, waiting until the next allotment visit.  Due to bleeding and not being able to do very much they had to wait more than two weeks.  They were resiliant little things though, and not only survived the ordeal but flourished too.  As their reward for being so patient, Saturday was their day for planting.  The first lot of strawberries had already progressed well and hopefully their new friends will follow suit.

We’ve already got a fair few flowers on the first batch.

I’m looking forward to a glut.  I’m hoping and wishing and praying for a glut.  Strawberry jams and cheesecakes and shortbread and… strawberry everything.

I’m also hoping the raspberry canes and blackberry bushes we planted recover from their sorry looking state. They could take a leaf from gooseberry’s book.

Out of the three sets of plants only the gooseberries are looking healthy.  I do worry.

I haven’t worried about the first early potatoes though.

We planted “Swift”, one of the fastest growing early varieties which is also heavy cropping.  When you have a larger than average family to feed heavy cropping fruit and vegetables are always an advantage.  Hopefully, I’ll get some second earlies chitting within the next couple of weeks.  There is still some room at the end of that raised bed to get them started in, plus we’ll be growing some in bags and a dustbin in the back garden too.  All home grown food tastes better than shop bought but there is something really exceptional about freshly dug, home grown spuds.  And the smell is so… fresh and potatoey!

As well as planting the rest of the strawberry plants also I managed to get a variety of salad seeds sown, as well as Early Nantes carrots and another sowing of mangetout and peas to succeed the previous sowing.  Although it doesn’t sound like I actually did very much I was quite tired by the end of it.  There is still plenty more to do but I think I’ll just have to be content with little and often at the moment.  In the meantime, I think I’ll check out the online garden centres for my next order.  Sweetcorn seeds are calling me.

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One thought on “Spring on the allotment

  1. You are going to have strawberry plants coming out of your ears! I planted ten plants last year (because six didn't look like nearly enough) and we now have a 10×10 filled with plants. I read that one should pinch the blossoms the first year to allow the plants take good root and leaves flourish. So we did that. I am looking forward to strawberries this summer–mainly for eating fresh, but also for pies and maybe jams…
    The planting is definitely my favorite part:)
    Keep up the God work.

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