Saturday 23 May 2020

Lockdown Day 61 - allotment update

So, today it is blowing a gale! The original plan was for a cycle ride but looking at the forecast we decided that walking the two hundred yards or so to the allotment was far enough!

The calabrese and the cabbages are doing really well, protected under netting from the sparrows and woodpigeons. The latter are getting bolder and have taken to sitting on the carrot tyre stacks until we arrive and scare them off.

Also in this area, but out of shot are cauliflowers, and purple sprouting broccoli. I'll need to weed this area tomorrow.

Our peas have started flowering and are getting very tall so I have had to take the mesh off and hope the sparrows don't have a pea party! So far we have over 30 pea plants and ideally I would like some more to germinate but maybe it is too late now.

We've grown a small number of broad beans now and they have started to set bean pods. Soon I will need to pinch them out to avoid getting blackfly on them. They are secured to some stakes.

This is spinach (in the background) and some very small beetroot plants in the foreground. The beetroot got nibbled by sparrows and so mesh is over this ares as well although the spinach didn't look as if it had been touched. We have picked a few spinach leaves for use with tea as well as some radishes which are off the bottom of the photo.

These are the mini sweetcorn that have become established pretty well after planting out last week. we grow them in toilet roll tubes filled with compost and put the whole pot into the ground. The pot will decompose over time. Sweetcorn are planted in blocks so that they self pollinate easily. We freeze the mini sweetcorn for use with stir fries.

Here are some of today's pickings including four strawberries already! We planted a mixture of early and main crop strawberry plants about eighteen months ago and this year they have really quite matured and have plenty of fruit growing and ripening on the plants. The radishes are planted every week to give a good continuity of supply and are picked when quite small so as not to go woody. 

We have decided to leave the asparagus to grow into ferns now and regenerate itself after, I think, five pickings. I believe that five or six cuttings is the most you can have each year without weakening the plant. The carrots have germinated inside the tyre stacks and the rest of the strawberries have been protected from the beak of the local blackbird by a mesh net!

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