Thursday 17 May 2018

The allotment in May 2018

May is the month that everything starts to happen at the allotment. Annual fruits are appearing, seedlings are coming up and veggies are planted. It also seems to be the month when the dandelions are at their most prolific!
We were overwhelmed by courgettes last year. We conducted three trial plantings to see which method was the best. After planting in troughs in the greenhouse and outside we found that simply in the ground provided the best results. This year we planted the whole packet of seeds. Two didn't come up which I calculated as a 12.5% failure rate! So we don't end up with such an enormous glut of courgettes this year only one row will be planted. The excess plants have already been given away!

The courgettes were actually traded for a heritage tomato plant. I haven't taken it up to the allotment yet but hopefully next month it will feature. We didn't germinate any tomato seeds this year. We only wanted four plants for the greenhouse so it wasn't worth the effort. Instead I bought four plants from a local grower that has just reopened to the public after 10 years.
Anyone want any rhubarb? I can't cut the stuff quick enough at the moment. We'll be making rhubarb cordial soon with it so that will be around 2kg used. I noticed our local supermarket was selling 400g of rhubarb for £1.50. I'm a millionaire!
Along with the rhubarb it does help to have a good selection of other crops on the allotment you can rely on year after year. The pear blossom has gone and made way for tiny fruits.
The huge redcurrant bush is already dripping with fruit waiting to get plump and ripe.
Next month we should have our first crop of strawberries for the year. It's lovely to bring the kids after school to pick fresh strawberries to have for pudding that night.
After that the raspberries will be ready and with the many plants with have they should go through to November.

The first early potatoes have started to appear and been earthed up. The other two plantings have also gone in. As long as the dreaded blight doesn't pay a visit in a couple of months we will start to have enough potatoes to see us through until next year.
In their little cages are Brussels sprouts and broccoli. We are determined to beat the pigeons and slugs!
It shows how warm it has been the last week as the leeks were sown on Sunday and by Tuesday the first of them had already germinated. In the previous two years they seemed to take ages to come up to the extent we wondered if we had got some duff seeds. As the recent weather has been such a contrast to how the winter has been we are still digging up and eating last year's crop of leeks!
Our weed situation hasn't been helped by the fact that either side of us there are two plots that haven't been taken this year. When the wind blows the air is covered in a cloak of dandelion clocks. I also spied a poppy at the weekend so no doubt they will start appearing soon as well!

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