Week 8 – Sunday 19 – Saturday 25 May 2013
I feel a sense of achievement this week. Generally the allotment is going well. I have completed all my current maintenance tasks such as hoeing the beds and the paths and providing supports for the légumes. I have also managed at last to rake and sieve the soil in Bed C into a fine tilthe ready for the planting of some fresh seeds. As a result I have more or less finished planting up the allotment, although I have left some space for some plants currently in the greenhouse, of which more anon.
The asparagus is now 2′ high and the first batch of Jerusalem Artichokes is coming through. The French Beans are also sprouting in the greenhouse. However, my Swiss Chard is not progressing. This has been planted in a shady spot as I read it would tolerate shade, but I am beginning to suspect that it is not getting enough light to establish itself from seed. My peas are also still not showing and I have thus planted some in pots to grow indoors and will then replant the patch from the established seedlings.
Outdoors I have planted the following seeds in Bed C:
I have planted two rows of “Musselburgh” Leeks. According to Dr Hessayon this Scottish variety is Britain’s favourite home grown leek as it is very hardy, reliable and fine flavoured. I have chosen it as it is not too tall and will thus not shade some of the other adjacent plants. It is a mid-season variety that should be ready for harvesting at the end of the year.
After some deliberation I settled on the “French Breakfast” variety. It is not the traditional globe shaped variety as it is cylindrical in shape. However, I like peppery radishes and this variety is recommended as being hot and woody if harvesting is delayed. That said, I bought a bunch from Morrison’s this week and was disappointed by the total lack of taste.
Despite being very easy to grow, this salad vegetable is very expensive in the supermarkets, so I have planted two rows for now and plan to plant some more later in the year.
I have planted two rows of the “Green Globe” variety next to the broad beans at the far end of the bed so that they don’t shade any other plants (they grow to 4′ in height). However, I did not do my research well enough as it seems that it is very difficult to grow them from seed and they will not grow in clay soil – so there is not really much hope. I may thus have some spare space for other plants soon!
I’m not a great fan of lettuce and it is prone to attack from pests so I had not planned on planting any. However, my sister-in-law has given me 12 plants from her greenhouse so I have planted them in Bed A in between the rows of mangetouts as a “cash crop”. This is the sunniest plot.
All the space on my allotment plot is now either planted up already or reserved for the celery, peas and beans growing in the greenhouse. There is more I would have liked to have planted but I will see how I get on this year and review my selections of plants next season. As I only started preparing the plot 2 months ago I am sure that the soil will not be the best and in the Autumn I will devote some time to adding manure to the ground. In he meantime I have taken over a fresh plot and am digging it over to prepare it for growing fruit this Autumn. The plot is twice the size and as I have some ambitious plans for it, it presents a considerable challenge.