Saturday, 21 March 2009

Starting to grow

The seeds that I sowed a week and a half ago have already sprouted - I find the whole seed-growing business so exciting!

The sweetcorn in the kitchen were the first to pop their heads out

and then the peas and sweetpeas in the greenhouse came out to say hello

I'm hoping to get more seeds sown this weekend - if I ever tear myself away from this computer!

My potatoes are also chitting away happily.

I know experts are divided over whether chitting is really necessary and trials have been done which seem to show that "unchitted" potatoes produce just as large crops, but personally I just love being able to "do something" with my potatoes while I impatiently wait to put them in the ground!

I called in to the allotment on Wednesday afternoon on the way back from work and dug a little more of the first long bed.

It's scary to see how much there is to do!

The other job I tackled was lifting and turning over the carpet on the path between our allotment and Alison's.

It had become well and truly "planted" in with grass roots so pulling it up was like playing tug-of-war with the entire England Rugby team! I was exhausted and close to defeat but finally got it turned over and loads of the clumps of grass pulled out.

You can just about see the difference if you compare this picture with the one below.

and then of course there is the added bonus of my shadow!

Hopefully we will go up some time this weekend - so far today we have just been pootling about at home even though it is a beautiful sunny day.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Even though Daisy very kindly tidied out my greenhouse a couple of weekends ago, even though I had already put the soil in the pots and trays, and even though I had stocked up on new seed packets last month, I still hadn't got round to sowing any seeds.

So after visiting Alison's new greenhouse this afternoon I knew I had to make a special effort to get on with it. But as I explained to Alison, I associated time by myself, sowing seeds in the greenhouse with a nice glass of wine.

As it turns out, my memory must be playing tricks with me because by the time it was appropriate to have a glass of wine it was also pitch black outside! But I decided to go out and sow some seeds anyway (with my glass of wine) because I knew I'd just end up leaving it too late in the season to grow anything.

(those little pots now have pea seeds in and the wine glass is now empty)

I managed to sow about 25 sweetcorn kernels, 20+ peas and a full packet of sweet peas - I just hope they grow!

And so that this is definitely an "allotment" post, I'll leave you with this aerial photo of my plot courtesy of Google Earth.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

What not to wear..............

As I was driving home from my 2 hour stint at work this morning I was debating whether to go home and tidy or go to the allotment and dig. Then the sun came out so the decision was easy.

When I got there I naturally had to sit in the car for 10 minutes to do some knitting before getting on with the real work!

I dug over the first half of the left hand bed at the front of the plot (one of the ones we created last time from the 3 smaller squares) and I learnt an important lesson:

Don't try to dig in an ankle length skirt! It's rather awkward!!!

but then again, I decided not to take Lesley's advice to tuck my skirt in my knickers as I didn't think that would go down to well with the other allotmenteers!!

I harvested a lot of leeks so we will be having some delicious meals for the next week or so (the last ones we had were so tasty)

and some chard.

Then I was really pleasantly surprised because I discovered that I did have some parsnips after all - I had been sure they had all failed.

But do 4 really count as "a crop"? I don't really care, because they smell fabulous and as two are the size of small trees maybe that is a crop! I'm not sure what the "rust" is on the two large ones but I'm sure it will cut off and that the rest will be scrummy.

I also took a bit of a gamble because I moved three purple sprouting broccoli plants because they were where I need to grow my potatoes this year. I hope they survive the trauma!

Now I have an aching back and that particular yawny feeling you get when you've had a good dollop of fresh air - time for a bath I reckon!