Thursday, 11 April 2013

The sun almost came out

I went down the allotment in the rain because I just had to dig up some raspberry canes from my old allotment to take to Lechlade tomorrow. If I left it any longer, a new plot-holder might appear. It stopped raining when I got there and the sun almost came out. I dug the canes, then looked to see whether there was anything else I could salvage from that plot. I ended up with quite a lot of bamboo canes - mostly medium size, to take to Lechlade to stake tomatoes, a rhubarb plant, some artichoke plants, a water butt (vital in Lechlade because the only water is in the shop, and you can't get a watering can under the tap because the sink is too shallow), and a small table which I originally thought might do for when I stop work and sit down in the shade with my jug of iced lemonade - I've since decided to use it in my next window display there, but I can put it in the garden afterwards.

This took quite a while, but I still found the time and energy to put in three rows of seeds: Boltardy beetroot, Maestro carrots, and Tender and True parsnips. I always put the parsnip seeds in a few every 8 inches, with radish in between to mark the row while waiting for the parsnips to show themselves. I put in a few Little Gem lettuce between the parsnips too - I can move the seedlings later. I don't like wasting whole rows on lettuce or radish: the radishes will be used quickly and leave a gap which could've been used for something more long-lasting, and you only need about a foot of lettuce seedlings to keep you in lettuce plants for months.

I put these in in the bottom end of the allotment, which had been rotovated last year and is now very soft and friable and fairly weed-free. I will use the bit that has been rotovated recently for bigger plants: sweetcorn, tomatoes, marrow family.

I am trying to be parsimonious with my seeds so that I can save some for Lechlade. I only bought enough for one allotment. But I have a lot of old packets of seeds that are out of date but might grow anyway, so I will use them up in Lechlade. Now I have to find my pots at the bottom of the pile of rubbish in John's shed and get on with sowing the tomatoes and corn and cucumbers. Normally they are already coming up by now, but it's been far too cold to put anything in the mini-greenhouse outside the flat. It's finally warm enough now.

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