Thursday 28 March 2019

The Allotment in March 2019

It seems like ages since we have been down to the allotment to do a good block of work. The weather has been terrible at times for allotment purposes but not as bad as last year! Each time we have been wanting to go down there's been a downpour which isn't great when needing to dig soil.
Although we have had a lot of rain this month combined with the relatively mild weather it has obviously suited the rhubarb.
We cut a big pile of it to take home with us. It's very satisfying to come home with a harvest from the first proper visit of the year. A batch of rhubarb was immediately cut up and made into rhubarb crumble for eating that day and to put in the freezer.
As the summer was so hot last year we thought that the leek crop had been completely frazzled. We had it in the greenhouse over the winter in shallow boxes. Obviously this meant that they were never going to grow big but we did pick out the best to take home with us. As Mr JibberJabber pointed out – you pay a premium for baby leeks and these nearly went on the compost heap last autumn!

As we were digging we of course came across a number of stray potatoes. Some of you may remember that last September we had our crop of potatoes stolen from our plot. After feasting on homegrown rhubarb, leeks and potatoes for our Sunday dinner it did make me more enthusiastic for the coming year.
Elsewhere around the plot it's blossom time. The winds have been quite strong recently but the pear blossom has survived.
Looking even better is the plum blossom. This tree was cut down by our (now gone) neighbour while strimming his very overgrown patch in our first year on the allotment. Hopefully we might get some fruit from it this year.
Most of our time was taken up preparing the beds for this year's planting. We did a lot of work in November which has paid off now. One good way to get the soil ready and at its best is to enrich it with manure. Now with a bit of a tidy up the beds have been laid out and a selection of onions, shallots and garlic were planted.
As ever we prefer the method of simply putting the onions on top of the soil. It's worked well for us in the past but you do need to be mindful of heavy rain washing away the soil from around it.
One final shot of the allotment this month – a beautiful tulip. This one was left at the allotment but I think I'm going to cut some next time to bring home with me.

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