Friday, 27 April 2012

Cold and wet

A quick visit to plot 18 revealed what the cold, wet April has produced. The temperature has been below average, below the magic 10 degrees many days. Following the very warm March it has been a bit of a shock. On the other hand the drought has been broken by more than double the rainfall for the month.

Broad beans are doing well. They are short and strong so they should grow nicely. Asparagus is growing slowly. Most of them stems are fat, so when they are ready to cut they should be juicy. There are a lot of stems too.

The onions all seems to have sprouted. They seemed to take a while to get going, but now they are looking good. Parsnips too look very good. They cope well with cool weather and the rain has helped them on. The freshly planted spinach and beetroot all have taken well.

Fruit bushes and strawberries are flowering and looking strong. The rhubarb has produced a couple of kilos of young, juicy stalks.

Friday, 20 April 2012


Someone has stolen some of our asparagus. We found footprints on the plot that were not ours a couple of weeks ago and now some spears of asparagus have been taken. I know it has not been grazed because the small spears that are too small to cut yet are still there, an animal would just eat anything above ground. I'm going to leave a note to remind the thief to be careful in case I catch him.

I weeded the strawberries and then covered them with a wire frame. A few flowers are beginning to open. The berries will be a long time coming yet, but I don't want to risk losing any to the birds. After the very welcome rain we will need to protect them from slugs. I have spread bark chippings around the plants, tucking them under the leaves too. That helps.

The onions are sprouting, the garlic is doing well, the broad beans look sturdy and the plants in the greenhouse are doing well. So well that the first batch of beetroot and spinach are almost ready to plant out. No sign of any carrots yet.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Hmmmm, Rhubarb

We took our first rhubarb of the season today along with some more asparagus and a spring cabbage. The cabbages are in the middle of the ground set aside for leeks, but I'm sure they will be long gone before the leeks are ready to go out.

The rhubarb tops and a few outer cabbage leaves look a bit lost in the freshly emptied compost bin, but it will fill up over the coming months.

Onions are just beginning to sprout and everything in the greenhouse looks fine. Things are only growing slowly now the temperatures are lower, but that is often good as the plants get stockier and not leggy. A couple of sunny days and things will romp away.

Saturday, 7 April 2012


With the rain earlier in the week and some overnight the plot looks nicely wet. The rain also smooths out the ground so a well trodden path shows up in outline but individual footprints disappear. We popped up to check the plants in the greenhouse and to see if the asparagus was ready to pick. The plants were fine but the asparagus needs another day or two.

Then I noticed something that shouldn't have been there, a crisp fresh footprint. Then another and another. The prints don't match either of our boots and were bigger, so someone has stepped over the low part of our fence and walked down the plot, before leaving at the bottom end somewhere near the hedge. The gates were closed, the shed and greenhouse doors were fastened nothing was damaged or moved.

Someone's shed has been broken into recently, maybe the wearer of the boots was looking at ours. We don't leave anything valuable in the shed and no weed-killers or the like that could do any youngster any harm, only a few old hand tools, string, nettings and the like. We don't lock it either I think that implies that there is something valuable in it and by the time anyone finds out that there is not, the lock or the door has been broken.

It is possible that someone was just curious? The view over the back hedge is good, but you can see that by walking down the path between plots. Did someone see our shed was open and walked down to close it? If so thank you. The fact is, we will probably never know. Some people might be worried or unnerved by this, I'm just curious.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Today the rain came down. Most of the day there was some rain, sometimes gentle sometimes quite hard. It will make no difference to the drought; we need huge amounts of rain to fill the aquifers, rivers and reservoirs. It will, however, help growers in the short term because the top soil will be nicely soaked, for a while anyway. It should have put back some of our lost water reserves too.

Jean sowed the next batch of beetroot and spinach and the first batch of spring onions.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Mange tout and Cabbages

Rob gave us some spring cabbages as small plants last year. They have been quietly growing away over the winter and we have eaten the first one. It was rather good so it has prompted us grow some summer cabbages. We bought some seeds today and sowed some of them. It seemed a good time to sow some mange touts too, so we did.

So already the plan has been changed, but that is what plans are for, aren't they?