Sunday, 10 April 2016

An allotment month

I've abandoned this little blog, life has been filled with work, the gym, family visits and time on the allotment getting seeds in the ground and preparing for the grow season.

In March photos from the plot are typically very brown, it's all soil and not much in the way of growth (unless of course you count the grass that has taken over during the winter) but the seeds are going in and tiny plants are making an appearance.

Seeds planted in March

  • Kale: these went in a propagator on a sunny windowsill in the house.  The seedlings made their appearance really quickly and have subsequently been moved to the polytunnel and potted on (bottom left photo)
  • Brussel sprouts: these went in at the same time as the kale and made their appearance in a similar time frame.  I've never grown sprouts before, I don't have much luck with the brassica family (with the exception of purple sprouting broccoli) but Malcolm on the plot across the way from ours does really well so I'm basically going to copy anything that he does and hope for the best
  • Sunflowers: we're doing a bit of an experiment this year we've planted 12 seeds outside and 12 in the polytunnel.  The polytunnel seeds have made an appearance and look pretty strong so far (bottom right photo), nothing from the outside seeds yet...
  • Broad beans: these were planted in February not March outside in a raised bed, they've made an appearance and don't seem too munched which is good (top right photo).  I'm hoping we'll be able to start harvesting beans at the end of May
  • Purple sprouting broccoli: from a tray of seeds (approximately 30 seeds went in) I'm hoping to get four or five strong plants that will go through to harvest
  • Spring onions: we've put these in the polytunnel this year, when the soil outside starts to warm up we'll put some out there, I know everyone who grows their own veg says this but in particular with spring onions when you grow your own you can taste the difference 
  • Beetroot: we've put a couple of rows in the polytunnel and a couple of rows outside in a raised bed, so fair only golden detroits (the yellow variety)have gone in but we'll get the traditional purple ones in over the coming weeks.  You don't want to put all of your beetroots in at the same time, we like it but there is only so much you can eat in a short period of time.

Plants being harvested in March

  • Purple sprouting broccoli: (centre photo) these plants take forever to get from seed to harvest, and I do wonder sometimes if I should use precious space on the plot for them, I then see how much they cost for a small tray of about 10 stems and I am vindicated in my decision to plant them 
  • Kohlrabi: (bottom row, centre) we planted these seeds in the polytunnel bed in November and have been harvesting them since January.  There a very fresh, sharp tasting root but it's not an unpleasant flavour, we tend to add them to stir fries which add a nice crunch similar to water chestnuts

April is when things truly kick off and we start planting the flower seeds, butternut squashes, courgettes, beans, and strawberry plants.

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