What a pleasure to be out on the allotment on such a good day. The hen pheasant was busy checking out the allotment when we arrived, I hope she is not thinking of nesting on the ground! Last year the eggs and possibly the mother didn’t survive very long against a predator.
April and May are the busiest times on the vegetable plot. Today the first of the potatoes were planted out: Bambino; Colleen and Ambo all earlyish varieties and ones we have not grown before. Next week the main crop ones will be put in.
The first row of carrots, Nantes, was sown. A trench was dug and the ground in it riddled to remove the stones. The carrots are being grown in the old asparagus bed so the soil is quite sandy from that so no extra sand was needed. After sowing, the area was covered with enviromesh, to keep out the carrot root fly.
At home, the winter brassicas, kale and broccoli, have been sown. I’ll get young leek plants at Gardening Scotland but if you are sowing your own, now is the time. Mice are very fond of peas so it is better to sow them in pots and plant them out as young plants. The first batch, Hurst Greenshaft, has been sown.
Last year New Zealand flatworms were found on the compost heap and when I took off the plastic cover today I found more lying on top of the compost, all curled up with the cold. There are likely to be more and we certainly don’t want to introduce them to the vegetable plots. We are thinking we shall have to bag up all the compost and dispose of it unless there is some way to kill them and any eggs there might be.
We are planning anyway to change the compost heap to a different part of the plot where it will have more sun to speed up the composting process.
Last week saw the final digging of the area of the old fruit cage. It is only a rough digging to loosen the soil and get some air into it. We’ll sow green manure and annuals there this season and come the autumn mark out the new raised beds.
The sprouting broccoli is in full production now and we had a good picking of the white and purple varieties.
Jobs for next week
Plant the main crop potatoes
Sow beetroot, parsnip, turnip, swede
Plant out the second row of broad beans
Rake over the old fruit cage area and sow green manure