I had my first session of the year on the allotment last weekend and it was wonderful to be back. The sun shone and although the wind was chilly, a thermal vest, a thick jumper and jeans were the perfect clothes for action. I re-defined some of the beds with old floorboards, weeded the asparagus and emptied the contents of two compost bins, one onto the asparagus the other onto the re-positioned raspberries. Some things are coming to life, see below: these are my autumn sown shallots Echalotte Griselle which are doing well. The garlic planted in October is looking good too and I should have some Hungry Gap kale in spring.
Incidentally several shallots benefit from planting as bulbs in mid-March and Red Sun, a standard British shallot, is one that does well. I shall seek them out at the garden centre next week since they take up relatively little room and look good on the edge of beds.
I vow to be better organised this year and indeed I should be with only nine beds to manage instead of sixteen. One of the best things about growing vegetables is that you get a new start each year with the opportunity to improve your skills and to learn from mistakes and other bloggers. Putting up sturdy supports to carry netting that will protect crops against pigeons is something I need to be more vigilant about. And last summer most of the strawberries were stolen by squirrels so I shall devise a shallow netting frame to protect them nearer the cropping time.
Other tasks ticked off this week are two pots of broad beans (ten in each) sown in a multi-purpose compost and placed in my heated propagator. And my 1st early potatoes Lady Christi arrived and are now in a dry, light window to chit before planting at the end of march.