I don’t remember sinking cauliflower plugs, but I must have done. Was pottering around, having sunk gladoli, and saw the white curds of a cauliflower. Naturally, I had to tell my mum about it and she was the other side of the plot pulling up weeds. She then decided to harvest it, and ear marked it for her to have it in her stuffed chappatis tomorrow. It’s not huge, just a little bigger than my hands. But the curds are okay, tightly packed together. There were a lot of leaves, and these were chopped away. Not bad, and hopefully we will be plugging in more cauliflowers at some point.
These are the last caulis to be collected for this year. These were grown in raised beds, with lime added on planting, beneath a cover of debris netting. Most of them have been okay. Half, though, were blown and eaten by pestilence. I forget not what variety these were, but I do remember them being an F1 variety.
Some of the flower heads have been quite big with nice healthy looking curds. Others have been small. I guess putting them in 3×3 formation might need looking at. Using netting certainly helps. Without netting, it’s highly unlikely you would get a crop. I would also place stock in using plugs. My seedlings never survive the slugs.
The sunshine has helped mature some of the tomatoes. As I await the vast majority to go red, there are a clutch that have gone a lovely bright yellow. Most of these are yellow stuffer. Whilst they are not the same size as yellow peppers, they are a similar shape. There is not a lot of tomato-y stuff inside, as they can be stuffed. These are a nice fleshy, firm fruit through. Not particularly delicate. I guess as they have a large cavity, they might not be full of tomato taste as one would normally expect.
Ma has harvested a cauliflower, she tells me that was football sized. I say was, as it has been eaten.
Looking ahead to the winter, today some winter brassicas were planted out. Ma got very excited yesterday when they arrived, and they have to be planted out ASAP. I had a vague idea where to plant them and how. In the one bed, that hasn’t done very well or very much. Also this area, has in past flooded quite a bit too. Of course, many will tell you about having to net them. Well, these are part netted, part fleeced. I do have veggie mesh on the other cabbages.
Stupidly, have left gaps in those and so flutterbies have got in. As well as that, slugs! I swear they are psychic. Only just planted things, collared them, added pellets. Whoosh. Big fat thing was there as though it had ESP. Was promptly lobbed. It was not pleasant.
Anyway, the cabbages, caulis and broccoli have been sunk. As to whether they last, well that’s another thing.
Yours in anticipation,
You’d think I was telling tales. Recounting everything that happens. Well, it’s nice to share.
Sat in Dad’s garden are the surviving classroom cabbages. Not many, but enough. I say cabbages, there could easily be cauliflowers in there too. As ever, they are not labelled. Some of them are getting quite big, whilst others look as though they are resting on their laurels. Perhaps these are seeds sown too early, and for an autumn crop.
You will see Mama H, harvesting radish seed pods. These are from the bolted moolis. Moolis that Mama H was rather relishing, alas the weather put paid to them. Whilst the root, is a write off. The rest of them, was not. There are spicy, crunchy seed pods to be had. I remember as a child, eating them whilst playing in the back garden. Wonderfully potent. Mama H has been known to curry them with a couple of potatoes.
Talking of which; the last of the ‘new’ batch was taken up. Kestrel and orla potatoes. Next year, I might do better in leaving the kestral in a bit longer.
Mama H and I surveyed the plot today. Mum dug over a bit of the raised beds. The Cabbages will go in some of them; leaving me to review what can be put into the bed when summer has gone. Yes, I said summer, but thunderstorms are forecast tomorrow. I really need to think about that. Of course, there will be overwintering onions and garlic. That is expected tradition for me. I like doing that; only to be disappointed by the rain that ravages them over the dark and dank autumn and winter months. I really haven’t thought too much in detail as to what will follow what. Everything was just broadcast sown and plugged in, with no logic. Successful, but does mean things get pushed around a bit in terms of organisation.
Oh, well, tomorrow is the start of another week.
Yours in anticipation,
They are still waiting, in the Wendy. A Wendy that is driving me mad, with its nearly broken flap zip. We have scarlet emperor and painted lady runners. I have sown a second batch of scarlet, along side enorma. I have to say, that one or two; enorma are failing. Alongside, we have sunflowers
Frauzauber, lipstick and lemon drop sat patiently. Lipstick has one single flower. Fed and watered tonight.
In there some where is a Sunderland kale. As well as some cauliflowers. Bits of chard and spinach in there.
Yours in anticipation,
With the heralding of the May Day bank Holiday, you would have been forgiven this morning for being bah humbug as the heavens opened. Everytime I went to even think about putting my wellies on, the heavens opened. It was noon before the threat of rain dissipated. Having spent over a week away, this was an opportune time to see how the land lay as Mama H had been watering in my absence. I have also resisted, in clearing my window sills.
So down we pootled, my mother and I. You go to do one job, mum finds you another 76 to do. The one urgent job to do was to plant out the caulis from
Aunty Tish and net them. There was also a Sunderland Kale that needed to be put out too.So mama H did that as I was charged with watering things. As you can see, lots of fenugreek and various spinach like seedlings are germinating in a carpet of green. Looking good there.
With being charged with the watering, if did so. The potatoes are still asleep, no green shoots there yet. There is still a threat of frost. Frost, that hopefully will leave the blossoming Concorde tree alone. Last year, this was the one tree that stood there sulking; with the apple and plum flowering and fruiting. Something positive to take note of there.
Carrying out a couple of experiment, early direct sow. Dwarf French beans. Varieties sown were purple queen and borlotto dwarf. These are somewhat speculative, as we only just into may. The other experiment, is the laying of shredded paper as a mulch on a potato bed. That one is for further observation.
The Garlic, looks lovely! As do shallots. They in particular seem to have bloomed out of nowhere. Looking fairly sorry for themselves, they have taken on a whole new look for themselves. Some of the spring planted garlic is starting to send out some green shoots as are the onions. These were all mulched today, I really don’t fancy the weeds that have started to pop up.
Finally a few splashes of colour. Not as many as last year, but the tulips are blooming and looking lovely. More anemones were sunk today; whilst racked with pansy envy. There are no survivors on the plot, but at home we have about five or six that were pinched by Ma and put in pots. Providing a burst of red, white and purple.
So much to do. Really would have wanted to plant out a couple of squashes. Might try with a couple later this week. Another experiment….
Have a lovely may bank holiday where ever you find yourselves.
Yours in anticipation,
After the freeze, comes the that. As you can see, that means puddles. Lots of them, and fairly deep too. I ventured down there today; it’s been over a week and a half since that snow fell. More than once, my wellies got stuck in the mud. On one occasion, I felt myself about to lose my centre of gravity. There would have been a splash, I tell you. I righted myself, and kept plodding on. Being heavy clay, the word plodding is the operative verb here.
The agenda, was to do something about the poop that Pops and I had gathered some weeks ago. An allotment neighbour had also found me some-from the same source-and was kind enough to stash it on the plot for me. I had to haul the bags towards the larger 2m x 1m beds. Today, four out twelve beds had poop added to them. I often feel that I have made a rod for my own back, in having so many raised beds, that subsequently need filling with dirt. The thought process required therein, was how that would happen. Two of the rectangular beds have poop in them, as do two of the smaller beds. A fifth larger bed, was filled entirely with a whole builders bag of leaf mold. I think that it roughly one tone of leaves. One is a little bit closer to having filled raised beds. The next part of the plan, is to use the remainder of the builders bag and the three bags that sit at the back of the plot. These are very heavy! I struggled somewhat with them today, there was way no I could physically lift them. So I will have to think of a creative way to fill a rectangular raised with them. it is the central bed, in the third picture that is left to fill with poo. I can have a bottom layer of leaf mold, and put the poop on top. There is some luck, in that the smaller beds, are already full of leaf mold. What they would need, is to be topped up with compost. Something to be done in phases, I think, over the next couple of months.
On the sowing front. The chilli adventure is altogether frustrating. Once out of the propogator, the baby chillies keel over on the window sill. They are probably too cold. Aquadulce claudia Broadbeans as well as suttons dwarf broadbeans have been sown. A good 53 paper pots worth of seed. One of the allotment neighbours shared the wisdom of ‘if in doubt, sow beans.’ I therefore intend to test this hypothesis. Further to this, there are baby cauliflowers. These are all year around, purple cape and I think, Mayflower. They took their time, as did golden self blanching celery. I will be intrigued to see how that copes really. And if the plot is always going to be wet, then maybe it has a fighting chance. There are also baby lyon2 prizewinner leeks. I don’t think mussleberg ones have taken off.
In another month or so, I will think about tomatoes. There are many different varieties in the seed stashers, and it would be lovely; if something actually came off. There are yellow, red and even black cherry tomatoes. In addition, there will be further beans. Dwarf french and also runner beans. Mama H has been really quite vocal about these. What can be envisaged, is lots and lots of dwarf beans all over the plot. This is going to mean alot of paper pots. Paper pots, that mama h has developed a technique for making. She simply takes the paper from me, as I try to make them; and makes them for me. Who am I to argue?
In the spirit of growing, I have also donated a batch of seeds to http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/seed-swap/68032-virtual-seed-parcel-v4-uk-france-3.html
As the growing season is only yet in its infancy; anything can happen.
Yours in anticipation,