Dodging the showers

I managed to get a few allotment hours in over the weekend, and only got a tiny bit wet. They really are very brief if frequent showers at the moment. One minute the sky turns gloomy and rain threatens, and then after a sprinkling of water the sun comes back out and it’s glorious again for a while. It’s hardly even worth the effort of walking over to the shed to shelter because it’s over by the time you get there. It’s a good, proper April this year, just what the plants need.

This is my first real harvest of the year, after my compost bin potatoes. Rhubarb. A week ago it wasn’t quite big enough to harvest, and now suddenly I’ve got masses of it. Crumble for pud tonight, lovely!

The raised bed that used to contain strawberries will now be a salad bed (of sorts). I’ve filled it with homemade compost and planted my Webbs Wonderful lettuces in there. Only ten so far, but I like to grow lettuce successionally as I don’t want it all in one go.

In order to keep the slugs and snails away, I’ve put copper tape around the top of the edging boards. It gives them a shock and so they wisely steer clear of it. Doesn’t seem to bother the ants though! I’d rather use this than slug pellets, and it looks pretty if nothing else. No doubt in time some crafty slug will bury his way in, or they’ll find an overhanging stem, but every little helps.

I also managed to get my calabrese (broccoli to you and me) planted out. I had to shoo away a persistent cabbage white butterfly before I could get the environmesh over the top. It was quite determined to lay a few caterpillar eggs for me.

You can see in the next row where I had calendulas growing last year! They’ve self seeded and are fighting it out for space at the moment, but I’m too busy to spend time thinning them, so it’s survival of the fittest I’m afraid.

The garlic is growing well, though the leaves are a bit yellow. I’m not sure whether they’ve caught a bit of frost, or are lacking some nutrients. I gave them some blood, fish and bonemeal a few weeks ago, so I’m hoping they’ll perk up.

The herb bed has been weeded, tidied, and mulched with some shredded material from my garden. The herbs are all coming on well. In full throttle right now are thyme, parsley and oregano.

In fact the oregano has gone a bit bonkers and spread itself around everywhere. It is lovely though. I filled a paper bag with it to take home and couldn’t resist putting my nose in to inhale it like a drug. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh herbs. Much better than a wet dog!

2 comments

  1. Wow, your rhubarb looks amazing! I only planted mine in the autumn so I’m looking forward to my first harvest next year.
    The plants certainly do seem to love the weather, unfortunately so do the weeds but I love how the plot is starting to fill up and take shape again.

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    • Thanks. I actually inherited the rhubarb plants when I took the plot on 4 years ago, and I think the plot had been dormant for quite a few years, so the plants are very mature. They were a bit weak in the first year, but a mulch of manure or chicken pellets and compost every autumn has done the trick. Making rhubarb and vanilla jam at the moment, smells delicious. Recipe to come.

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