What an ab-so-lutely glorious day! Full-on sun and it felt (however fleeting it might be) that Spring is just around the corner. The sun flushed everyone out onto their plots for repairs & prep. It was nice to see people and have a brief chat. The bees were all out too – so many it looked like a heat haze above the hives!

sleepersI have scored a completely unexpected bonanza of a freebie this weekend. Some 9ft sleepers were left in our car park in November as part of the bonfire pile. They weren’t burned and are apparently up for grabs. So, with some help, I’ve grabbed 4 of them. They will make an amazing greenhouse base – and I can’t quite believe they’ve been sat there for 4 months as freebies. I hope I don’t find out I’ve inadvertently pinched someone’s stash. (I did ask first though…) Lionel helped me move them, after watching me break nearly every H&S recommendation to get the first one down to my plot – my 1970s barrow nearly buckled under the strain! (and it fell over on the corner, which caused much cursing)

We’ve had a woodchip delivery that is more wood than chip, so have barrowed a few loads to top up my squishy paths and hopefully they will last longer than the last ones.

Turned over some soil to see how wet it still is (wet!) and pushed the cultivator through 3 beds for some speedy weeding and to break up the surface. The pigeon-shaped demons can’t quite get to all the kale through the netting (I’ve watched the beggars sit on the netting to try and get nearer the leaves, pecking through the holes), the plants in the middle look ok and I might just get a small harvest in a couple of weeks.

I also emptied out the trug of salsify to see what was what. It looks quite respectable, though lots of the roots are weedy and might be straw-sized by the time they are peeled. I put the compost back in, together with some growmore and 5 of the best roots to see whether I can grow them for seeds. If nothing else I am looking forward to seeing the flowers. I would have taken some pictures, but the camera battery packed up and I didn’t think to use my phone. My other harvest was leeks – 4 nice fat ones for tonight’s dinner, cut into thin strips and sauteed in wine and butter with plenty of pepper….dribble.

And of course I had another long look at the 2 plots again. Thank you very much to everyone who’s commented on the forum, it’s much appreciated. Although Plot 1 is slightly bigger and does get more sun at the moment, the monster leylandii which cast most of the shadow on Plot 2 might be chopped down soon, once we’ve come to an agreement on cost-sharing with the owner of said trees. And Plot 2 does look like a lot less work…

I have some great-looking Kajari melon seeds from a kind forum member and they are some of the first things that will be grown on the new plot. I can’t wait to see how they grow, their photo in catalogues is stunning. And I am going to get raspberry canes while they are available through Blackmoor. I was going to go through DT Brown with the free postage this weekend, but the varieties I want seem to be better value through Blackmoor, and I’ve had great fruit from them in the past.

At home the chillies are bimbling along. Not really doing much above ground since I don’t have grow lights. I caved in at B&Q and bought some mini flower plants for the balcony – fuschias, petunias and geraniums, more to grow in memory of my lovely neighbour than anything else. I know nothing about flowers and guess these need to stay inside for a bit. Nothing else is going near the propagator for another week, but then it’s full steam ahead!

PS And as an aside, I can’t believe how tasty the salsify is. We had my entire crop in one risotto tonight – I need to find space to grow an awful lot more.

Categories: Diary 2015

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