Tuesday 22 March 2011

Allotment days

 The lovely warm weather has meant that I am able to get down the allotment a little more reliably.  The other day I managed to get the peas sown, and used the twigs from the Rowan tree we cut down last year.  Sophie very kindly watered the peas on this trip down to the allotment.
 This last year was the first time we grew purple sprouting with any seriousness, and it is coming to fruition now, with some lovely sproutings close to being ready to harvest.  I am amazed how much patience we have needed to have with this crop, sown this time last year, and only really producing now.  We lost quite a few plants over the winter too, but the plants we have left look good and strong, so fingers crossed we will have an ok crop.
 The spinach overwintered well, and I am looking forward to regular pickings from here.
 I usually try to time my visits to the allotment when Sophie is tired, and will have a sleep.  She associates the allotment with a time to have a breastfeed!  Anyhow, this Monday when we went down, she wasn't quite as tired as I thought, she helped out a bit, and then came and watched me trying to uproot a very stubborn tayberry plant!  Whilst doing that I found some snails, and introduced Sophie to them.  Now, Sophie is rather scared of any creepy crawlies, which I have found quite frustrating, as there are so many around, and quite curious, as no-one else is so I don't know where this fear has come from!  Snails were a good introduction though, as they move so slowly.  She found some grass to give them, and watched as they peeped out of their shells.  We also found lots of worms, but she wasn't so taken with them!  Slowly, slowly, and hopefully we'll get there!

We've had the wildest patch of the plot under carpet for a good 18 months now, and this is where the potatoes are going to go this year.  So I also made a start on uprooting the remaining stubborn weeds (mainly dock!), Going to have to be quick though as the potatoes are busily chitting away!

Finally I noticed that the blackcurrant bushes have a bad case of "big bud".  This is where the leaves do not develop properly, and can harbour a mite which lives within the bud, and can carry a disease which affects the plant, and reduces the crop.  Last year we had this a little, and I pruned out the affected branches, we still had a decent crop of blackcurrants.  However, this year the bushes are extensively affected.  I will have to cut it back severely and see if that sorts the problem out.  However, I fear that the crop this year will be compromised.  There is no treatment for this that I am aware of, but should anyone know any different, I would love to hear it!
I am loving this time of year, things aren't too manic yet, and I feel we are making headway.  You never know, this year we may actually get the whole plot being productive!!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, and great that Sophie is happier to be there now too. We went through a phase with Imogen where she was too concerned about the various bugs that she wouldn't want to be there for long, slowly it got better and now she's fine - seeks them out and has lots of fun.
    Won't be long before she wants to do more, planting seeds and being like mama x

    I've not heard of big bud, hope you find a way to rescue them though.


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