The garlic was planted out on Sunday 1st November. Two hardback varieties – Sprint and Sultop, and an unnamed variety bought from our local horticultural stores, it looks like a soft neck and certainly white variety, but who knows what it is!
As you can probably guess from the name, Sprint is an extra early variety. The cloves had sprouted already and they were chomping at the bit, ready to race.
This is how they looked halfway through the month (top pic) and just today in the bottom pic. They’re certainly living up to their name. The others are just starting to poke their heads tentatively above the ground. At least I’ll have a better succession of garlic next year, and maybe Sprint will out-run the garlic rust that usually arrives a bit later in the summer. They’re all new varieties this year, I had planned on replanting some of my Provence Wight from last years stock, but I decided 5 rows is probably enough.
So, with all the over wintering onions and garlic in, the beds dug over, compost trenches mostly filled, and green manures sown. There’s been little else to do this month. Which is just as well because …
… it’s been pretty wet and muddy of late. We had our first frost at the beginning of the week, which has seen off the nasturtiums, and hopefully some of the not so welcome pests on the plot. I recovered the lid to one of my compost bins this morning, which must have blown off in the recent high winds (storm Abigail no doubt) and discovered a loveliness of ladybirds (that is the very apt collective noun for them, more here) huddled together in hibernation on the underside. So I put it back where I found it, weighted to the ground with a big stone. They’re as worthy as my compost.
I’m also hoping the recents frosts have benefitted my sprouts and parsnips which are meant to taste all the better for it.
I’m a tad disappointed with my leeks this year. They’re a bit stunted and pathetic looking. I seem to remember the weather was extremely hot when we planted them out and we had to do a few mercy runs down to the plot with containers of water as the butts had run dry. I’m sure this must have set them back, I know we lost a few of the smallest ones. They did eventually recover, but they’re not the majestic beasts we’ve come to expect in recent years. Never mind, I’m sure they’ll taste just as good with some potatoes and cream in a comforting soup.
You win some, you loose some, that’s very much allotment life.