Spring is in full swing on the allotment right now and it’s a massive understatement to say that we’re pretty busy – lots of sowing, weeding, sowing, thinning out, sowing, hardening off, sowing, planting out and sowing…..busy, but loving it!
The chickens are loving the new grass, the dog is loving watching the chickens(!), the children are loving getting their hands dirty and I’m loving the sun on my back and the prospect of some delicious homegrown fruit and veg!
Sowing: Late spring sees us sowing runner beans in situ in the 3-sisters bed, as well as the parsnips, another variety of beetroot, purple carrots (can’t wait to harvest these!), autumn cauliflower and successional sowings of calabrese broccoli, kale, fennel, spinach, red cabbage and lettuce.
Everything is going according to plan so far (our allotment plans are here), except that we ran out of sweetcorn seedlings after a mouse nibbled them. I’ve sown some more, but they’ll be well behind the others and possibly too small for the runner beans to climb up in the 3-sisters bed. We’ll have to wait and see. Also my blue Twonga pumpkins didn’t germinate, so I’ve sown another batch. They were to climb up and over the arch, so again, we’ll be watching and waiting….
Planting out: The weather and the soil are definitely warming up and I think we’re past the last frosts, so it’s time for the more tender crops like french beans, courgettes, sweetcorn, pumpkins, sweet peas and twonga squash (if they ever germinate!!) to be planted out. Our main crop potatoes and red onions are also now planted in situ.
The red onions caused a bit of consternation this year as they arrived, not in sets as expected, but as rooted plants. They needed to go in straight away, but the biodynamic gardening calendar was not playing ball – a root day with a descending moon wasn’t due for another 2 weeks. We went ahead and planted them and it’ll actually be interesting to see how they fare compared with the onions that were planted at the best possible time in the calendar. I’ll keep you posted…..
The flower patch: It’s just as important for us to have flowers in the allotment garden as vegetables. Not only do flowers look pretty and smell lovely, they attract loads of bees and other beneficial insects to the garden. We’ve got some fantastic perennials in the flower patch – honeysuckle, verbena, hollyhocks, roses, geraniums, lavender, nepeta, comfrey and alliums – all growing strong.
The annual sweet peas that were sown back in January were finally planted out on the hazel wigwam this month, along with other annuals such as cosmos, nasturtiums, calendula, the ipomoea, tagetes and sunflowers. Borage has self-seeded all over the place and is an awesome companion plant, so I’ve moved the seedlings to good spots around the allotment.
I’m so looking forward to hanging out amongst our flowers, fruit and veg, but more than anything else, I can’t wait to create some amazing homegrown meals and put bunches of flowers all over the house!
Roll on Summer….