This week on the allotment

A cloudy day with dark threatening rain clouds and Arthur Seat disappearing in the mist but it was dry and the team needed to get on with all the planting.

This week the rest of the winter brassicas were put in with several varieties of kale – Daubenton a heritage variety from Garden Organic, Curly Scarlet, Nero di Toscana and of course Pentland Brig which is tasty and always does well-   Flower Sprouts, a new one for us, which produces frilly rosettes rather like blousy Brussel Sprouts on long stems and purple sprouting broccoli for April cropping.

The cabbages – Mariner Early Red, Kilaton and Primo – were planted under enviromesh to keep them free from the caterpillars of the Cabbage White butterfly.

The runner beans have been hardened off and the varieties are Celebration and Black Knight. Black Knight were put in in the pallet and 30 minute bed.

We added some manure to the soil in the raised bed and planted the last of the new strawberry plants – Elegance – with Tagetes round the edges for the colour.

Everything was netted against rabbits and pigeons. The rabbits have already been nibbling the tops of the shallot leaves where they could and a couple of years ago they ate through the stem of every runner bean when they were mature plants.

It was good to see the peas which were being eaten by the pea and bean weevil all surviving and growing on.

The recent cold spell has affected the fruit tree bearing – we shall have no plums this year and some of the apples show no signs of fruit either. These rely on the bees to pollinate them and it was too cold for them to leave the hive. However we grow a variety of early to late apples so we shall have some fruit from the later flowering ones.

Blossom on the Tayberry

Looking ahead to next week:   Planting out the tender veg – French beans, courgettes and marrows; Succession sowing of carrots and turnips; Cutting the comfrey; Weeding!

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