Monday, June 05, 2006

The Sun it Shineth Every Day....

Three days of proper weather have allowed me to rack up a good few hours at the site over the weekend, and things are now in good order. I have reasserted my evolutionary superiority over the Kingdom of Weeds, and am now master of my own plot again. This has included putting down some black plastic on the one area that I am leaving fallow. I'm not overly keen on how it looks, but given the absolute refusal of any green manure cover crops to germinate there I don't have much choice.

I've just started pulling the first lettuces from the raised bed, and very nice they are too. They have grown good crisp hearts, and seem to be completely free from pest damage. OK, so I have about 18 of them ready all at the same time, but that's a minor quibble.

The broad beans have come on leaps and bounds since I pinched the tips out. I picked a few pods to try on Saturday, but the beans inside are not quite large enough yet. They need about another week or so I'm guessing.

The peas are also climbing up their wigwams nicely, and the runner beans have survived the cold, windy spell admirably. They just need tying in again to persuade them to leave their neighbours alone and climb the lofty path to righteousness.

My Delvdad shallots are going great guns this year, and look like being the best crop yet. The only thing I did differently this year was work a lot of soot into the ground before planting, so maybe this has helped.

And after clearing the weeds away all three rows of potatoes look promising. This picture shows quite nicely the different stages of development between the very early planted ones on the right, the second earlies about 3 weeks later and the maincrop which although planted at the same time are naturally slower growing.

The weeding has also freed up ground to transplant out the cabbages that I grew from seed, in the raised bed. One row of Hispi, and one row of Kalibos which are a red variety. The netting was a bargain at a £1 a roll from a stall at the local garden show, but it's a bugger to stretch out and needs sticks every few feet. It will be a pain each time I have to remove it to hoe, but that's life. We are surrounded by mature trees at the site, and any uncovered brassicas get torn to shreds by pigeons in a matter of hours.

Overall, things are working out pretty good. I still have a few more bits and pieces to plant out, but apart from that I'm now really at the stage where all that's needed will be a hoeing and watering session a few times a week. Once the pumpkins, courgettes and brassicas start to fill out and cover the ground the plot will be quite full.....Until the harvesting starts!


Anonymous Greenhouse Girl said...

A word of caution on the 18 lettuces … ‘It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is ‘soporific’’ … don’t want you falling asleep on the plot …

10:12 am  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Yes Indeed GG ! One would not wish to fall prey to the fate of Benjamin Bunny after all!

11:14 am  
Blogger Allotment Lady said...


Pick some broad beans the size of your finger - on second thoughts you look a big butch fella, so pick them the size of a ladylike lady's finger, slim and you can eat them raw - whilst you are working up there, or cut them up to have with a salad, cook them in their skins like french beans with a drizzle of olive oil - virgin is best - or butter and they are great.

Then you can leave some big butch ones to get big beans for conventional use. Those beans have a different effect on the ozone layers and probably add to the 'black hole' so don't eat too many of them in one go.

10:35 pm  
Blogger Greenmantle said...

Hi Al,

I did try a few spoonsful of lightly blanched small beans, with some bacon & eggs, but they tasted rather bitter. I was thinking I didn't cook them quite enough, so I'm not sure what they would taste like raw...

7:58 am  

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