Never in the few years I have been growing has it been so dry so early chez Plot 100. Any delicate forking at this time of year is usually accompanied by a nasty sucking sound and sometimes, if I’m really unlucky, the smell of eggs. But last week I turned over one of the stickier beds without a problem. Which makes me think it’s worth taking a few risks. That bed is due to be fully spudded in any case so I’ve chanced Lady Christl potatoes at the drier, northerly end. My theory is that the first row can come out in mid-late May and I will be able to use the space for oca and beans under one of the smaller Munty frames.
(As something of a tangent, I’m delighted to have been asked to write a monthly post for Kitchen Garden magazine. The first one came out just over a week ago, and, surprise surprise…it’s on Munty frames. If you’d like to, you can read it here.)
The fig twigs I brought back from Italy have been languishing in glasses of water since early Feb. I just haven’t got round to potting them up – I don’t know why, perhaps I have subconcious blinkers each time I go into the kitchen. None of what Paolo said were the best fig have sprouted or grown roots, which is a shame. But the ‘second-best white fig’ and the ‘black fig from the corner of the road’ have both got a few leaves developing and possibly even roots. So they are staying in water for now. What I don’t know is whether these are varieties which self-pollinate. If they need the little wasp then they are out of luck over here! I suppose I will find out in about 3-5 years…
The little Charlotte Russe mulberry is really going some in the greenhouse. It seems to be loving it there and has put on nearly 2inches of shoot growth since it arrived a month ago. Even more excitingly, it is absolutely covered in tiny, and I mean really titchy, flowers/fledgling berries. I am going to shift info on this to a separate page on here so I can monitor it’s development month by month.
My major jobs at the moment are preparing a new strawberry bed and a cutflower patch on #92. The bed for strawberries has been worked a lot, just needed the kale removing and is pretty trouble free, but the flower patch has been a real battle with bindweed, docks, couch grass and those horrible tap-rooted buttercups that my plots seem so easily infested with. At least I don’t confuse them with strawberries anymore!
To add to the workload, there are plans afoot to shift my shed from the sunny top of the plot to the bottom, which would give me a good, level place for that second greenhouse, as well as removing some problematic travelling shed-shade. I marked out the shed’s actual size in the new space and am now quietly regretting buying one so very big (and currently full of junk!). Oh for an easily-moved 6×4!
At home I have sowed many kinds of beetroot: Chioggia, Devoy, Dobies Purple and Egyptian, Zermatt leeks and the rest of the tomatoes on my growing list (which is on a separate page here) And flowers. I’m still trying to work out what flowers I will be growing – at the moment it feels like I am sowing everything and working out where to put it later, which didn’t work so well for me last year…Most of the peas and broad beans are up and waving about – the Sugar Lord seed has had very low germination rate though – about 8 out of 24 seeds, which was annoying though they are elderly. I was hoping for more as they are pretty rare and I want to save seed from them.
Winter harvests are still going strong, but with the warmer weather I need to crop it quickly or it will all go to seed. The PSB is in full flow, all coming at once so every meal is chocka with cruciferous veg. I also have lots of parsnips to roast or soup, leeks, silly numbers of swede and, gloriously, my rhubarb has grown with enormous speed. We’ve already had a kilo of it and I can see it’s nearly ready for another picking.
And finally, my WordPress stats have alerted me to a marvellous person or persons unknown who, for the last couple of days, have been reading my ENTIRE blog. Every. Single. Post. Please consider this as a heartfelt thank you – you deserve an endurance award!
Categories: Diary 2017