Wednesday, 15 April 2009

New season veg

We spent the Easter weekend away but, whilst we enjoyed glorious sunshine, our plot received copious rain. This is perhaps the best possible situation - no regrets for being away when the weather is wet but great potential for the plants to get on and grow in the rain.

With Steve off work Tuesday and Wednesday it was time for some serious work on the allotment. Unfortunately, life has a habit of getting in the way of best laid plans and instead of rushing straight out to the plot we had to rush to the supermarket to get some food in. Still, I did manage to buy a large plastic trug for £3. Back home and with the shopping put away it was finally time to get out.

Back at the end of last summer a fellow plot holder had offered me some of her excess spring cabbages. I didn't really have space for them and I had never grown them before but I didn't say no and I found space for 6 plants. Over the winter the poor plants got badly eaten either by pigeons or slugs but they started to regrow as soon as the weather began to warm. They didn't, however, show much sign of hearting up. It was somewhat a surprise, therefore, to find the plants ready to harvest yesterday... only with splendid florets of white sprouting broccoli! Oh! If I'd known I'd have never bought the cauliflower in the supermarket that morning.

It was also something of a surprise to see the first spears of asparagus ready to harvest. Our asparagus bed is about 10 years old now and the spears have become quite spindly. I have decided to work towards replacing the bed and have ordered replacement crowns (should have been delivered in March and I'm wondering where they have got to!). The idea is to establish a new bed over the next two years and then discard the old one. The old one is looking a bit neglected and with the emergence of new spears Steve decided to give the whole bed some attention. First he cut off all the spears and gave the bed a good weeding.

Whilst he was doing this I took the girls off to their plot to plant 4 seed potatoes each. I had recently bought them some kid sized gardening tools and this was their first outing. I was pleased that the tools were strong enough for the job and didn't instantly break. Once the potatoes were planted I left the girls to play with their new tools. Part of the set had been a broom and my youngest took it upon herself to sweep the paths and car park. This obviously gave Steve inspiration because shortly after seeing her sweeping up moss that was growing on the car park he decided to scrape it up and spread it between the ridges of the asparagus bed. He also used potting compost as a top dressing over the crowns themselves. The girls approved of his efforts because he had created a rather attractive stripey bed. Hopefully it will do some good too.

So for tea that night we ate our first harvests of the new season - white sprouting broccoli and asparagus spears.

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