Well, I haven't blogged lately because I don't seem to have the organisation it takes to charge some batteries for my camera, to update you properly. But I thought I'd at least come and tell you that I have been busy sowing seeds. Later than usual, but considering what the winter's been like it's probably not a bad thing.
As previously mentioned, the plan is to grow less on the allotment this year and more in the garden. The allotment will have lots of potatoes and sprawling squashes and pumpkins; raspberries and strawberries; onions, shallots, leeks, carrots and parsnips (all of which I've had plenty of success with before - well, except the carrots but I'll keep bashing away anyhow...), salad greens in raised beds to hopefully give them a better chance of surviving the grass; and just a few courgettes, beans and swedes. All but the squashes will be direct sown, as and when the space is dug over... In the garden I will grow more salady stuff, tomatoes and cucumbers, french beans and mangetout/sugarsnap peas.
Planted in the allotment so far:
30 raspberry canes (10 'Glen Cova' - June/July fruiting, 10 'Malling Jewel' - July/Aug, 10 'Tulameen' - Aug-Oct)
27 strawberry plants (9 'Florence', 9 'Mae', 9 'Lucy')
3 rows broad beans ('Bunyards Exhibition')
I've got garlic waiting to go in among the strawberries, and onions and shallots still waiting for the next area to be dug! Is it too late to plant garlic and shallots? I dunno, but I guess I've got nothing to lose...
Planted in the garden so far:
9 leftover strawberry plants!
Sown at home:
3 pumpkin 'Jack O'Lantern' (which were fabulous last year)
3 cucumber 'Wautoma' (from realseeds.co.uk - the closest I can find to the fantastic Moneta I grew my first year, although I didn't have much luck with these last year...)
3 courgette 'Black Beauty'
3 'Summer Crookneck Squash' (similar to courgettes - I had to make my Real Seeds order up to £7!)
3 winter squash 'Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato' (great storers - I've still got some from last summer)
3 winter squash 'Waltham Butternut' (because whatever variety I tried last year were tiny, and these from Real Seeds are supposed to be better suited to our climate)
3 winter squash 'Burgess Buttercup' (making up that order!)
5 tomato 'Sub Arctic Plenty'
5 tomato 'Moneymaker'
5 tomato 'Red Cherry'
5 tomato 'Gardener's Delight' (that's far more tomato plants than I've got room for - I will probably give some away)
5 pepper 'King of the North' (another Real Seeds variety grown for the UK climate, promising excellent large green peppers - my favourite!)
5 Jalapeno chilli
1 large planter of Little Gem Lettuce
1 windowbox of various basil and parsley
1 windowbox of rocket, mustard and 'Wrinkled Crinkled' cress (here's hoping they have enough room)
1 big pot of chives
20 perennial sweet peas
12 'Giant Single' sunflowers
3 bushy sunflowers
a tray of petunias to grow under the asparagus
Phew! Before the end of the week I must get some beans and peas started too...
Will quickly share some slightly blurry mobile-phone pictures of the allotments taken a few weeks ago, when they flooded due to a very high water table after all the snow and rain! Luckily ours was untouched - it was just high enough to escape - but the plots adjacent to ours on two sides looked like this:
Not a good start to the season for some, but thankfully it's all cleared up now in time for the real action to start!