April Showers, Where Are You?

Not too long ago, I was complaining about the plot being too wet. Well, now it is much too dry! I can only hope that there will be some showers in April. The ground takes twice as long to work, but we haven’t let it stop us from planting more seeds. Compost was once again added into the soil and worked in. Our clay soil is a bit like a crumble mix. The clay is the butter, the soil is the sugar and the compost is the flour; we need all three for the perfect sowing conditions.

The third row of our first plot has been planted with baby carrots and parsnips. We have only planted half a row of each per row to try and avoid a glut. We will plant more of these in a few weeks time to ensure a staggered crop.

Last year, part of the right side of the plot was not used and thus remained neglected. Unfortunately only two plots were planted up on the right side of the allotment; these were pumpkins and lettuce. The front quarter remained empty. This year, we have prepared some of the previously neglected right side and planted some potatoes; as they are great for breaking up the soil and did a great job of doing so on the left side previously.

We have used Royal Majesty (purple heritage variety) and some white potatoes (Cultra). Some of the Royal Majesty seed potatoes were quite large, so these were cut in half and the open end was left to dry for a few days before planting. A new skin had formed over a previously exposed potato.

Tom’s office has now become a greenhouse. The window is perfect for germination as it has sunlight for most of the day, although he is fast running out of room and there is still much more to plant! The Black Russian, Yellow Delight and Midnight Snack tomatoes are have all been potted on and will make their way to the allotment soon. All twelve Gherkins have germinated, so we will probably give some of those away. The various Chilli Peppers have also has a high success rate of germination so some of those will probably be given away as well.

Speaking of greenhouses, this was tucked away at the back of my Mum’s shed. I had been looking into getting a cold frame recently, so this popped up at the right time. It fits perfectly under the window box, the front of the shed gets the most hours of daylight as well so there was no better place for it.

Currently germinating in the greenhouse are:
– Various sweet peas varieties
– Sweetcorn “Incredible”
– Lemon Cucumber
– Crystal Apple Cucumber
– Marigold “Boy o’ Boy” (French, Orange)
– Sunflower “Valentine” (Pale Yellow)
– Uchiki Kuri
– Giant Pumpkin “Atlantic”
– Orange pumpkin (unsure of the specific variety)
– Kohl Rabi (Purple)
– Cape Gooseberry “Golden Berry”
– Green Peas (unsure of the specific variety)
– Purple Dwarf French Beans “Amethyst”
– Yellow French Beans “Polka”

The sweet peas will be planted out sometime in the next week or two. The tomatoes and various other plants from Tom’s walk in greenhouse will make their way over to the little allotment greenhouse.

The days are much longer now and I sometimes find myself spending 6 or 7 hours at the allotment. The time really does fly by, although at the moment there aren’t really many places we can go to.

I know this is still a strange time for us all, but better days are coming.
This too shall pass.

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