Friday is fertilling day surely?

 

Well, I’ve finally fertilled – the potatoes that is – and you can see the results of my initial groping about in the allotment bed above.  Alongside 2 of the largest courgettes I’ve ever seen, which clearly are basic actual marrows, and my fav veggie so far, more beetroot.

I’ve harvested 2 potato plants so far; and I’m aiming to harvest the rest over the next dew weeks.  I’ve a question however for my more experienced readers.   I thought the seed potato – the one that was chitted and then planted – would end up withered and exhausted.  But as each of the potato plants I’ve harvested so far have had a brown potato along with the little gathering of pale, blond, new looking potatoes I’d like to ask – is this the original seed potato???

The beetroot have been great; so much so that while harvesting this little load I’ve also planted out some more seedlings, hoping for a further harvest before autumn really sets in.  The weather has been really hot, and really dry, so much so that the tomatoes have suffered – quite a few crisped off leaves despite a regular session with the watering can.

The other beds are looking good: beans and sweetcorn competing to fill up not only the bed, but the air-space above it.  The sweet-peas that I planted just because …. are adding a nice touch of colour at the end of bean alley, and the netting has proved very successful at keeping pigeons off the brassicas.  I’ve also planted out some swede seedlings, and another set of PSB / cauliflowers / Kale.  But the onions seem to be hiding ….  I think next year I need a dedicated allium bed.

Now – it’s finally raining – so I’m off to watch some tennis!  Here’s the cooked result of the marrow / courgatte tasting.

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Harvesting, sowing, tending

So Monday was a sad day, last hands-on session of my RHS Practical course at Hadlow.  It’s been really inspirational, well worth the hands on experience of pruning, propagating, sowing, digging, and the conversations with such a diverse group of gardeners.    We have 2 trips out to consolidate the learning, and chat about gardens, but then I have to decide wether I can cope with the Level 3 Practical while also doing the L2 Planning and Maintenance course.  This is the veg plot we planted tended over the past year

Lovely, isn’t it!  

So, on the allotment this week I have finally harvested the broad beans, prodded, blanched, and frozen my crop.  Fantising about broad bean and chorizo salad as the best use over the summer.  BBQ anyone?  Chopped down the tops and popping into the compost bin, and left the roots to do their thing with the nitrogen.  At the other end from the broad beans the courgettes are beginning to swell, and the sweetcorn is thrusting through their prickly leaves.  Lost one of the onions.  The runner beans have been playing host to black aphids, so sprayed with soapy water.  I have also planted dwarf French beans in the gaps.  

Courgettes swelling, sweetcorn doing its thing

In other news, I’m still baffled by the parsnip seedlings.  Partly because by sowing in threes I have little groups of coriander-like leaves, rather than a neat row.   However, I’ve also sown some at home in the mini greenhouse in toilet roll inners which should be easier to spot once planted out.  Carrots are as carrots are, easier to spot so I’m anticipating the carrot white fly to make an appearance any day now!  And you can see how the beetroot is finally swelling next door.  Looking forward to roasting these, black pepper, rosemary, goats cheese sprinkled on top …

Brassicas are coming up, so I’ve sown a further set (purple sprouting, kale, cavalo-de-Nero, cauliflower romescue) are now propagating in the mini greenhouse, the lettuce (Little Gem) and rocket are coming up, and the potatoes are making flowers.  Soon I’ll need to get my first firtling fingers ready …

Starting to rock now …

Broad beans went in last week, and I’ve now (yesterday) tied them up a little better as the droop wasn’t too appealing.  Look strong ( if wonky), and the bees are clearly happy enough to pollinate.

Initial burst of courgettes has suffered a little from front, but most of leaves are fine.  Four more planted, and I’ve now built a wigwam for the runners.  Which, as you can see on the right, have stormed up since the weather turned warmer and moister.

Sweetcorn is now in as well.  Everything in this bed started at home in a small plastic greenhouse as I’m hoping that should give them the best possible start.  Theory that didn’t work with the sweet peas: planted 12, and only 3 seeds have come up.  So I’ve planted them along one of of my bean supports to encourage pollination (well, to add some colour too).

Eagle-eyed viewers will see I’m using the low tech string approach to the runners: train the beans up string tied to a cross- beam. If it’s good enough for Hampton Court, it’s good enough for me.  And if the sweet pea survivalists actually manage to put in any growth, I may experiment with string cordons too.

The eagle-eyed will also spot that the corn / runners are not doing the pucca 3 sisters thing with the beans growing up the sweetcorn.  As the beans are taller than the sweetcorn it didn’t seem practical … Learning for next year, get the sweetcorn off to an earlier start.

Meanwhile Mick is incapable of keeping out of the action, even during Keef’s better solos.  The chitted potatoes are poking through.  Whoop-de-do!

Sir Walter would be very proud

No sign yet of the carrots or parsnips, but I have popped in the beetroot that had germinated.

Next task is to populate Brian with brassicas.  Seed sowing into the plastic greenhouse, and then a fortnight later I hope to be planting out.  And I really must remember not to plant all at one go.  Half trays will be fine, different seeds each end.  Oh, and salad onions; to help protect the carrots when they come up.  It’s all go!