Author Archives: alondongardener

Rhubarb!

Well, I’ve managed to completely clear (and compost!) the two big bed on the allotment, which for mid March is something of a miracle.

The rhubarb got moved to one end of the middle bed a year or two ago and this year is finally starting to look happy with the world. There are 5 plants here, and although a couple of them are on the small side at least two are almost well enough grown to give a crop already, which is just insane.

In the same bed, a few garlic bulbs from last year that never did anything have finally put in an appearance – perhaps I planted them too late, and they needed a winter to wake up? Anyway, I’ve added some more garlic from the kitchen that had sprouted, so we should have a decent garlic patch this year.

The rest of the bed will be given over to beans this year – I’ve sown a row of broad beans already, and the next job on the list is to shift the support over for the berlotti beans.

Tayberry Revisited

Last year’s support for the tayberry was not an unqualified success. To be fair, it did mean that I was able to harvest a lot more berries than I think we’ve ever had, but ultimately the weight of the bush broke pretty much all the bamboo canes I’d used to construct it.

This is a bit of a common theme when I construct plant supports – they always seem over-engineered in the early spring, but then the plants start growing like crazy and before you know it, everything breaks.

This year, I’ve rebuilt the support with much more substantial timber, and hacked back a lot of last year’s growth so with any luck, we’ll get another easy-to-harvest bounty!

2017 – Back To The Plot

So 2016 was, once again, only intermittently logged here. Maybe 2017 will be better!

I managed to get some decent clearing done in the autumn, as well as another 20-or-so barrow loads of compost that occasionally gets delivered to our allotment site.

But I didn’t really get over since New Year. That’s partly down to being in Hong Kong during January but I can’t blame it all on foreign travel – the weather was wet and miserable, and the longer you’re away, the harder it is to force yourself back to work.

Happily, it seems that my hard work is starting to pay off; the dug beds are still fairly clear, only really needing a very light forking over to disrupt what little weeds have appeared. The grass hasn’t really woken up yet, all the trees seem to have survived the winter storms and there’s even signs of life starting to show on them all (the pear tree, above, seems the most advanced right now).

Things Are Growing

potatoes-1It’s been quite a while since my last update, thanks in part to the fact that we were in Japan for pretty much the whole of April!

Before we left, I managed to sow onions, garlic and potatoes – and as you can see from the picture, the potatoes (and everything else) is growing nicely.

Obviously by being away at this time of year, we did come back to some impressively high grass, and weeds everywhere, but I’m slowly getting back in control of things. Beans finally went in last week, and we bought some supplies from the allotment plant sale the weekend after our return – some cabbages (already planted out), tomatoes (in the greenhouse) and a variety of pumpkin and squash which are just hardening off before going onto the allotment.

cauliflower-1Last year’s brassica have finally all been cleared out (not least to make room for this year’s squashes!) – the savoy cabbages were fairly successful but the romanesco cauliflower less so. Only a few of the plants really produced any cauliflowerness, and those that did weren’t very large. The picture here is by far the most successful of the crop.

Still, this year may well be more successful – I managed to get a decent amount of compost into most of the growing fields and with any luck that, plus the chicken pellet fertilizer, will help things grow a bit stronger. Certainly the potatoes are looking happier than they ever have before over there!