April allotment catch up

Friday, April 12, 2019

There's always something happening at the allotment. Changes and growth continue daily so no doubt by the time you read this half of what I say is out of date old news. March and April are when the weeds make a renewed start on the plot which heralds the springtime shift. If it's warm enough for weeds, it's warm enough for plants*!
*ish. It's not that warm and high risk of frosts still so you have to be careful with anything susceptible.
The first harvest of the season is rhubarb. We had covered it up in order to 'force' it to producing tender shoots in the protected atmosphere of the dark and relative warmth. These were then pulled off, gently bubbled in a saucepan and eaten. Usually C pull the rhubarb but he was busy and I was impatient. I had a go myself and it was much easier than I thought. If you cut it then the plant won't regrow, so pulling is essential for a longer crop. Neighbouring plots with rhubarb have huge plants so I don't know why ours are so small? Anyway, we've since had a second lot and taken the buckets off.

Last year we bought new strawberry plants and hoped they would establish. Many did but some died - some always do, I don't know why. So this year we're hoping for a strawberry crop! I missed them last year.
The orchard half plot is changing quickly. The plums and pears are now in blossom with others going to flower imminently. The muscari, daffodils and tulips are going well. I've sown seeds for others this year and given it all a decent weed.

Parsnips, carrots, beetroot and swede have been sown.
Onion, garlic and shallots have been in since last year but have been added to.
Those artichoke are huge. I regret feeling sorry enough for them to plant them up...
Broad beans are doing ok.
Seeds in.
The old flower patch has become the asparagus bed. We lifted, divided and re-planted them over winter. I hope we can eat some this year as it's so good but they may not be up to much yet.
The charlotte potatoes were the first to go in but the three other varieties are now in. Maris piper, desiree and marfona. Something for every potato occasion. I want to get the whole plot weeded properly but have so far just concentrated on specific areas. Maybe over Easter we can get it ship-shape. There are lots of seedlings in the greenhouse growing; leeks, brassicas, sweetcorn...
It's all go.
Take care,

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