My tomato crop this season has been very poor. Although I am still picking a few toms each day, it is nothing like previous years crops. I think that I have a: planted too many plants in the greenhouse, 28 this year where I normally grow about 18-20 plants, and b: planted them too late at the season.
However, I have a great number of Cayenne chillies this season, and more than enough to last me a full year. I’m picking a good handful each week. Used straight from the freezer they will last for ages.
With work so scarce at the moment, I have had the opportunity to keep on top of the allotment more so this year.
I usually don’t have a clear out until the winter, but there were a few jobs that I had just kept putting off. The decision to get rid of all my strawberry plants and start afresh was one that I had not relished. Although I had split them each year, the plants just had not produced anywhere near what they used to; so they are now part of the compost heap. The same applied to my one remaining gooseberry bush. It simply outgrew it’s location and didn’t really produce last season, or this. So the gooseberry bush is no longer either.
I have also removed the whole row of early raspberries (Malling Minerva) which have not performed for years, I should have replaced them some time ago.
So this coming winter I will put planting a new strawberry bed, a whole new row of early raspberries, and will also add six new canes to my main crop raspberries (Glen Ample), along with two new gooseberry bushes in a different raised bed next year.
I had no idea as I am visiting my allotment so infrequently at the moment, but a fellow allotmenteer told me that I had Blackbird that had set a nest in my Rhubarb. I did indeed have a Blackbird in my Rhubarb, and she was sitting on four eggs. I left them alone for over a week and have been today to see that the nest is now empty. Hopefully, all four and the parents are doing ok and I look forward to the extra members of the choir when I’m listening to the Blackbirds singing.
I’m sure that I am planting potatoes early this year. I think I will have to look back in my diaries at some point to search for previous years’ plantings. The weather (apart from yesterday’s sleet) has been really mild, and as the sun shone today, the earth was dry – perfect time to get some spuds in.
As every season I am growing “Arran Pilot” again. They have chitted nicely. With a helping of organic fertiliser in the bottom of each trench they are now planted and earthed-up.
This particular raised bed is not quite wide enough to take three rows of potatoes but I managed to get all the remaining onions sets into the remaining space, which was nice.
It has been a very mild and wet winter, it is always great to see the first ‘greens’ of spring.
There are currently restrictions on personal travel, movements and a ban on all social gatherings due to “Corvid-19” or The Corona virus. However, one is allowed one exercise per day; taking advantage of this unusually warm weather it is time to start planting, getting out into the garden and the allotment. The Rhubarb is shooting away again, as it has every year. I will take a couple of stalks shortly to try in a pie. (That is, unless there is a total lock-down and everyone is not allowed out of their houses).
I had purchased my onion sets for this year some time ago and had left them in trays in the greenhouse. This year I am trying a couple of varieties for the first time – A white onion called “Snowball” and a coloured onion called “Pink Panther” both of which I cannot wait to see how they get on. I have also planted the usual “Sturon” and “Red Barron”. I have most sets in the ground now with only about one hundred remaining to plant.
Potatoes this year are “Aran Pilot”, which I grow every year. To me it is the finest First Early, but my second early and main I have not tried before, they are “Cara” and “Charlotte” both of which I am looking forward to getting in the ground very shortly.
The Wonder of the World, The Beauty and the Power, The Shapes of Things, Their Colours Lights and Shades, These I Saw, Look Ye Also While Life Lasts. – "Denys Watkins-Pitchford".