Not just the first day of Spring…

plotiversary cakeIt’s my plotiversary! On this day four years ago I took on Plot 100 and my obsession with growing fruit and veg began. Who’d’a thunk I’d so happily swap vertiginous heels, a cocktail habit and nice nails for 170sqm of weedy dirt? I have made (really quite a lot of) cake, and am having a homegrown dinner while catching up on the #gdnbloggers monthly Twitter chat.

I’ve been feeling a bit guilty for neglecting my original plot for the young pretender. It’s too wet to do much yet on #100, but today I have:

  • weeded and re-chipped the bottom path – no sign yet of the horsetail there, but I’m ready for it when it shows!
  • bare-rooted & potted 2 red gooseberry plants for shifting elsewhere later in spring, likewise some of the strawberry plants from the bottom bed. In doing so, I learned that underground horsetail shoots are tiger-striped as well as black, and gooseberry roots are a glorious orangey red;

gooseberry roots       gooseberry potted March 16

  • thought up a cunning plan to drain some of the top beds on the plot more effectively;
  • wild garlic march 16spotted the first shoots of Devonian wild garlic coming up in the hedge – originally from John & Trisha’s garden in Tiverton, happily transplanted to South London. I’m so pleased it’s taken. Roll on the wild garlic pesto dishes…!

Sown at home: the first set of seeds that, to me, really mean spring is here – tomatoes – Crimson Crush F1 destined for outdoors, Burpee’s Jubilee, Kenilworth King George, Latah, Marvel Striped, Paul Robeson, Red Zebra, Rob’s Trial ‘C’. I’ve tweaked the tomatoes after updating the seed spreadsheet again and realising that I have 92 varieties. Which is a little extreme…

Also sown spinach, leeks, parsley, chervil, coriander, dill, more Padron peppers, because 5 plants will not produce enough for regular tapas heaven, cape gooseberries and Casper aubergines.

Potted on Antigua aubergines and some of the chillies. From the look of the leaves I think I have spider mites – and these might be the reason for the poorly Crimson Crush too. So, time to start misting the plants and I am off to research organic controls – neem oil would possibly work, but it stinks to high heaven and I won’t inflict it on indoor plants.

Pasilla Bajio chillies are stubbornly refusing to germinate. They’ve taken over from Fish chilli on the ‘things that won’t grow for me’ list, so now it’s personal. I’ve tried pre-soaking in tepid water, sowing in my heated propagator & chitting. None have worked. One last try is soaking overnight in a thermos of warm water (yes really – very high levels of faff!) and then being super careful I don’t over-wet the compost. With a new packet of Thomas Etty seeds from Petersham Nurseries – I was more than a little star-struck seeing the fabulous Richard E Grant 2 tables across from us in the cafe.

This is #100 as I left it with the sun going down – still a lot to do, but it’s a wonderful place to be.

plot view 20 March 2016

6 replies

  1. The plot it looking good, Beryl. You’re growing a lot of varieties I’ve never tried so I’ll be really interested to follow their progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks v much. Let me know if there’s anything you’re particularly interested in and I’ll make sure to let you know how they do. Brown-thumb moments permitting. 🙂


  2. Happy 4th plotiversary! Well done on all the work. You have now made me think I am going to have do something when my first plotiversary comes round, have a whole harvesting season to go first though 🙂
    I need to start sowing my tomatoes as soon as I can get the chillies out of the heated propagator, they were very slow germinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It’s worth celebrating, particularly when the digging/clearing etc seems endless and progress sluggish. There’s a queue for the growlights over here – tomatoes are about to break through!

      Liked by 1 person