Sunday 2 May 2021

Allotment Update

It is a very slow start to Spring at the moment. Unduly cold, lots of overnight frosts and, it is said, the frostiest April in sixty years here in England. On many evenings we have had to go and cover seedlings and the fruit trees to protect them. 

The little lean-to greenhouse in the front garden has been getting full!

I think the damson tree hasn't appreciated the cold nights and there's nowhere near as much blossom that has "set" than this time last year. Perhaps just as well - there's still some damsons in the freezer! The Conference pear tree might not have as many on either this year, 

However, the apple trees are in full blossom as well as the Comice pear tree. 

This is the Falstaff, which is along the back fence, and gets the sun for most of the day. Last year I picked well over a hundred apples from this minarette tree and it looks to be a good year this year too as long as we don't get any more cold weather. 

This is the Gala apple tree, a reasonable crop last year but with it being very late ripening it has to be netted against hungry blackbirds, some apples aren't ripe until early December! 

This is the Chivers Delight apple tree which is getting overshadowed a little bit by the hazelnut tree at the back of the allotment. However, last year it had the biggest apples it has ever had, a yellow apple much more sweet than a Golden Delicious. 

The rhubarb in the foreground was a division from the main plant a couple of years ago and looks like it is now well established. I have frozen some already from the main plant and will, once I have sufficient, make a rhubarb compote for use with porridge or on bread. 

The potatoes have also needed considerable earthing up this April with the regular late frosts. However, with protection of the broad beans, peas, turnips, strawberries, blueberries and radishes, it looks like we have been able to ensure everything survived. 

The asparagus has been coming up and we have had, I think, three pickings from it now. 

There's been plenty of purple sprouting broccoli, we have around a dozen plants and although I don't like the taste of it one bit (!) the others in the family eat it regularly. There again, there's only two of us that eat leeks, including me, and there's only myself that eats gherkins, but there's always something for everyone in the thirty-five or so varieties of fruit and vegetables that we grow in the allotment, yard and house!

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