Sunday, 3 April 2011

Photographs of the allotment in early April.

Still not a lot happening on the allotment and therefore I have taken good shots of soil - mostly.
Comfrey plants starting to come into leaf.  
The comfrey is starting to grow now.  I will be taking a crop off it during May probably.  I could really do with some now though because I am running out very quickly.    
The new path up to the shed should make harvesting the comfrey easy.
The path to the new shed will make harvesting the comfrey that much easier.  This bed will need hoeing soon because there are a lot of small weed seedlings just germinating.  
The roots bed
I have just put in three rows of parsnips and two rows of carrots.  I will cover the carrots with enviromesh next week to keep off the carrot root fly.  I was going to sow the other roots but I needed to plant the sweet peas.  You can just about make out the rhubarb in the background.  I have had this covered up to now but today I took the covers off.  I took as many of the forced stems as I thought prudent and put the bins, that were covering the rhubarb, away.
I have just given the stawberries a really good feed but they still look poor at the moment.  I am hoping that they will perk up a little  in the next few weeks.  
You can see the cloche wire frames for the enviromesh cover  over the carrots.  
Potato bed from the south end
 The Oca is in the bottom left corner of the photograph.  You can't see them because I have just planted them.
Potato bed from north end
Not much happening on the potato bed but all the potatoes are in now.  I just hope that I don't get any severe frosts.  I will keep hoeing them up so that they are covered if there is a frost.  So more photographs of just soil  for the moment.  
Tarpaulin over the onion bed.   
  I will be taking the tarpaulin off the onion bed as soon as the onions have grown a little more and need to be put outside.  I might put it over where the Florence fennel and lettuce are going when I water on some of the slug and snail nematodes. It might give the nematodes some protection and they can clear off any slugs under the tarpaulin.  
Garlic with the tulips
I was not expecting these tulips to be flowering this year because the bulbs were so small.  They seem to be doing really well and will give a good show.  I have spread out the compost that I put on this bed and it has produced a good friable soil to plant into.
The bigger bulbs are on the left and these are producing large flowers.  
The garlic has just had a good feed of comfrey tea and they seem to have appreciated it.  There is a tree peony at the end of the tulip row which did not fare very well last year.  It is doing much better now.   
Rhubarb, sweet cicely and blackberry.  
Although the blackberry post looks as if it is lean precariously over the path, it is remarkably firmly anchored in the soil.  I will take it out at the end of this year and make sure it is upright.  The rhubarb is from the rhubarb that I found on the allotment when I took it over. That was thirty years ago.  I just kept dividing and planting new crowns.    
Sweet peas
These are two of the sweet pea lines.  Restormel (redish) is on the left and Valerie Harrod (peachy) is on the right. I had too many of both but I am not going to give any away until the seedlings have started to grow and I can be sure that I will not loose any.  
A forest of canes
I really am hoping for a good show of sweet peas this year after all the disappointment of loosing most of the autumn sown ones.  Hopefully they will do well this year.  
Chionodoxa sardensis
Chinodoxa is flowering now that the cyclamen has gone over.  I forget what else I have in this little corner. 

Blackcurrant bushes
I moved these blackcurrant bushes last winter and they seem to have weathered the move.  They have a lot of big bud mite on them so I will have to cut them back next autumn.  I might not get any fruit next year but it will mean that I will have cured the big bud.  
I am walking all over the brassicae bed but I am not worried because I like to put the brassicas in a firm soil. 
Where the brassicas will go
 I am keeping the old branches for the pea lines so they will be moved off here soon.  I don't like leaving a pile of poles like this because it attracts the slugs and snails.  Two lines of transplanted broad beans are doing well.  I watered these in with comfrey.  I think they will be out of the way before I put the winter cauliflowers in.  

The primulas are putting on a bit of a show.  The viburnum will produce a heady sent in the next few weeks.  
The path to the tap
You can just about see that I am adding even more compost to the pea bed because I want a mound to put the squashes onto.  The compost is really friable but I do tend to get it all over the place when transporting it with the wheel barrow.  The aubricia has started to flower well now, however I would have liked it to be a little more spectacular than this.  
The winter cauliflower in the picture is starting to make a cauliflower.
Winter cauliflower
 It is only small at the moment so I will leave it to grow a little bigger.  It is only one of three that have survived the winter - out of 25.
Pea bed
This bed has had a thick layer of compost spread over it.  I am not going to dig it in but just leave it on the surface.  It does have some weed seeds in it but I will just hoe them out.  You can just about see the other two winter cauliflowers at the edge of the bed.  
French bean poles
I will have to hoe again under the French bean poles because the compost is throwing up a lot of weed seeds here.  

As you can see the trackway is dry.  It seems that my drainage pipe and the dryish weather has meant that I do not have to slosh through the stream that runs down here.  I have put shreddings alongside my allotment but I want to either put some more on here or sow it with grass.  I am not sure what I will do at the moment.

Although there is still a lot of bare soil in the photographs, there are some things that are starting to grow.  I will expect to see a lot more growth in next months' photographs.
Poor old bay tree
My bay tree suffered during the winter.  I did not have a greenhouse at the allotment to put it in and it is a little too big now in any case. I will prune it back very severely and see if I can stimulate it into growth. 

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