Thursday, 13 May 2010

Dagnammit!

The green bits you see in the photo below are weeds. The dead-looking frostbitten brown bits - they're our potatoes.

This has never happened before, and I've never taken any precautions before. Just goes to show, I think, how early our last frost truly must be. Usually. The damage is not too bad - we've earthed up again to cover the tops and I'm hoping the plants will recover. If there's anything else I can do to help them, someone please let me know!

I read somewhere that frost could be a risk to our strawberry flowers too, but thankfully they seem unharmed. However, the asparagus is another story. We had planned an asparagus dinner for tonight, but all the spears are mushy and bad. This has never happened before either, and I've NEVER read that asparagus needed frost protection!

Frost trouble aside, we had quite a productive day of sowing and planting today. I have finally decided to invest in materials for a brassica cage. The flea beetles, pigeons and butterflies round here are enough to put anyone off, but hopefully with a little expense on some decent protection, we may have our first broccoli this year! Hurrah!

So I got busy sowing:
5 x White Sprouting Broccoli
5 x Purple Sprouting Broccoli 'Rudolph'
10 x Broccoli 'Ironman F1' - a summer/autumn variety
and some more marigolds

I have some spring cabbage I must remember to sow in July too. Cauliflower and brussels sprouts can wait until I've got my confidence back!

The last of my mail-order plants for the year came today as well. Winter Savory (right) and Chamomile (left) for the herb garden, as well as a couple of others I will go into detail about some other time...

They are now planted out happily in the herb garden.

And here are my leeks, fresh from Mr Fothergill's since I didn't sow any in time:

It was supposed to be 30 Carlton F1 - a summer/autumn variety - and 30 Sultan F1 - a hardy winter-standing variety - but instead they sent me 60 Carlton. I have been messed around by plant mail-order companies more times than I can count now - I keep saying I'm going to stop using them but I never do...

I planted them out anyway - well, most of them - and they will have to do their best. They're in four rows of 13, about 6 inches apart. To plant leeks you dib a 6" deep hole (I use the handle of my hoe) and just drop the seedling in and water it. You don't fill the holes in - just leave them to get filled up with leek! That way the stems stay white in the darkness underground, and they don't get too clogged up with dirt between the leaves. It always feels like a lazy way to plant - I love it!

4 comments:

Julia said...

Oh, what a shame! I had a similar sight when I went to mine this weekend, but only half, the others were happy and strong - odd that! We've also earthed up and have got our fingers crossed. I have had frost damage before and they recovered so hopefully these ones will too!

Robert said...

It's very hard to kill potatoes by taking the tops off! I've had mine frosted before, and they just bounce back.

Mark said...

Very late frosts this year. Potatoes are pretty hardy though and should survive.

Green Lane Allotments said...

Ours have been frosted too but have been in earlier years and as the others have said they grow again

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