Monday, 21 February 2011

Dunbar Rovers

Good day at the Bridgend Allotments potato day yesterday - Got Pentland Javelins (1st earlies), my new favourite Dunbar Rovers (sounds like Melchester's lowly 1st round fodder, cup opponents)(second earlies), Isle of Jura (early main crop) and Pink Fir Apple (late main) - 15p a tuber, which is about half price from most seed catalogues! Unfortunately, thought there as no Maris Peer, and a creamy fish chowder cooked over a summer fire on a west coast island beach just isn't the same without a firm Maris Peer or two peeking out... so ordered up 2.5kg last night from Marshalls seeds, along with

"Onion Stuttgarter Stanfield (100 sets) - it has a sweet, smooth and very mild taste, delicious for salads and cooking. Shallot Topper (25 bulbs) - our top selling shallot. Vigorous with stronger foliage and a 30% bigger crop. The bulbs store for an exceptionally long time. Garlic Solent Wight (2 bulbs) - a superb softneck Garlic, producing large, top quality bulbs. Bulbs will store for months."

Popped down to the allotment today, on last day of half term, with Sandy and Dan to sow the first of three trenches of the Sutton broad beans... Stealing a month on last year's sowing (25 March) Wanted to get the beans in before the forecast snow this week, so lets see what happens! Growing 2011 is ON!!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Fertile ground

For those who really want to get the nose in amongst the onions as it were (or who know their onions, to iron out my mixed metaphor!), check out this sowing guide! For those who don't, here's a postcard from Stromness:

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Sunday night, february, music, (M.Ward album withdrawn from record library and yours for 60p) red wine, last years seed packets... Sharpen the pencil, clean the rubber, its plot plan time! Crop rotation is a much conflicting area. Everyone disagrees on the plant types (legumes, roots, alliums, etc) the amount of years to rotate and even the order... science, no... Guesswork just gets more founded over time (i.e experience) Still who wants to grow four equal amounts of ech crop... As with everything, plan a little, but only so you can chamge tack! Due to canny Sept purchasing in pounstretcher all seeds got: just need spuds, onions and garlic!

rubarb, rhubarb

Having had a weeks worth of flu, a mowzie to the allotment on a fresh saturday afternoon was more about the consititutional rather than business... Just as well as the ground is soaking with the water table a few inches below the surface. Treading anywhere when this wet compacts the soil, reducing the air in the soil so instead spent an hour tidying the beds from the edges. The remnent of the red cabbage, beetroot and celeriac, all lifted and composted.

Whilst the winter weather has taken its toll on the beds, inside the new (donated through the fence from the golf course) plastic composter there's been plenty of action, due to the thermal qualities helping the bacteria to turn over. For the first time in six years of growing i can say i have actually made compost (being sure that it was something else six moths ago). Previously i have never remembered if that layer of black crumbly soil was there when i started the pile in between the palettes three years ago!

So the rhubarb crowns got their annual smothering...