Sunday, 19 April 2009

All the potatoes in now

Another beautifully sunny day today but I didn't have much left to do on the allotment. Steve was busy most of the day getting the second early and main crop potatoes planted. He started by rotavating the bed and racking to smooth. Then he checked a couple of reference books to remind himself of the recommended spacing for the rows and between tubers. He's been growing potatoes for about 30 years now but he still likes to check this. Then, as usual, he counts the number of tubers we have, looks at the space available and works out how to fit them all in. Having done this, he then uses the rotavator to dig trenches for each row of potatoes. He carefully places the tubers into the bottom of the trench then buries them with rotted compost from the compost bin mixed with pelleted manure. Only a thin layer of soil goes on top of this and over time we gradually fill in the trench to keep the plants covered until, after repeated earthing up, the trenches become mounds.

I sowed three rows of swede seeds. I grew swede for the first time last year and it grew very well. It is the main vegetable in Branston pickle so last year I made my own version of this pickle and sold the lot! So this year I'm hoping to grow a few more swedes and make more pickle. That's a heck of a lot of chopping though!

My girls had a great time on the allotment yesterday doing whatever it is they do when their imaginations get going. I assumed it would be more of the same today but within about half an hour my eldest arrived at my side saying she wanted something to do because she was a bit bored. I suggested she sowed a few sunflower seeds on her plot so I helped her with this. In the meantime, my youngest had arrived and wanted to know what she could sow. But I had nothing to suggest. We have all the crops sown suitable for this time of year and we're just waiting for the tender crops to grow in pots. When you are 4 years old waiting can be difficult and for a few minutes she nagged some more to plant a tomato plant.

Shortly after this I told them that I needed to pop home to pick up my camera because there were some things I wanted to photograph. They both thought this was a good idea and they wanted to bring their cameras out too. So a few minutes later we returned with our cameras: a Fisher Price indestructible thing for my 4 year old but my 6 year old can be trusted with one of our old digital cameras. Soon it was time for me to return home to start the dinner but my eldest was still snapping away happily so I left her to keep her father company as he continued to plant potatoes.

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