A gorgeous afternoon at the allotment today, and the raised beds are finally built, filled, and sown.
We filled them with compost from our own pile and topsoil from the plot, and topped them off with 100 litres each of Homebase's organic compost (4 x 50l bags for £15 at the moment - not bad!) so we know it will be weed-free. The right-hand bed is filled with spinach (Medania) and lettuce (I always love Little Gem - it grows so easily and can be harvested early or left in the ground for ages, as long as you keep it well-watered). The left-hand bed has rows of red and white spring onions, beetroot (Boltardy), radish (Scarlet Globe), Lollo Rossa, and a couple of 'head' lettuces (Balmoral and Webb's Wonderful). No mustardy leaves or oriental veg here - the flea-beetle problem is far too great - but I may try them in the autumn after the lettuces have bolted and the flea-beetles have gone dormant, or whatever it is they do. With the radishes I'm just hoping for the best - after all, it's not the leaves I want...
The two patches at the ends of the beds, in the foreground of the photo, are sown with coriander as I find it tends to keep aphids away, and there's also a double row of Swiss chard (Bright Lights) at the far end, between the beds and the paving stones.
I know it's a bit of a risk direct-sowing all these, especially in such fabulous weather, but I just don't have space for the seedlings at home. I'll have to keep them well-watered over the next week or so to make sure they get a good start.