Friday, 15 April 2011

Allotment update

I'm on holiday today but I got up nice and early (thanks to the cat) and headed over to the allotment for a catch-up.

I'm really behind this year - I've hardly sown or planted anything - but thanks to my recent strategy of concentrating on permanent/perennial/self-seeding crops there's still quite a lot going on!

My fruit bushes are beginning to flower; I have blackcurrants, gooseberries and some raspberries which spontaneously appeared in one of my large pots. My plum tree has bloomed and is already bearing lots of tiny green fruits. I bought a little "patio" apple tree a few months ago - lots of leaves on that and it looks quite healthy, but I won't get apples this year. I've also got a small crabapple with red foliage which I grew from a tiny seed, and two more babies from a juicy apple I ate at some point during the winter. One day I will have apples galore but for now I just have a selection of pretty trees.

The little fig tree I bought last year has (mostly) survived. One of the branches seems to be dead, but the rest of the plant looks quite healthy. There is even a tiny round fruit (or flower bud?) on it...

The jerusalem artichokes are already up (a very reliable perennial crop) but my globe artichokes don't seem to have made it. I should have protected them with straw over winter. The rhubarb made a good start but is looking quite slug-eaten and still too feeble to harvest. I really have no luck with rhubarb! My mint bed is looking brilliant already, but the wild water mint seems to be bullying the garden mint a bit! I also have lemon balm in there, which is looking good. Lavender, rosemary and thyme are all doing well in their respective giant pots and tryes. Happy self-seeded things include rocket, cornsalad, parsley and chives. And there are LOTS of wild edibles too including nettles, sorrel, ox-eye daisy, ground elder, hops and this morning I even found what I think is a morel mushroom (I left it alone though).

So far this year I've sown carrots, beetroot, runner beans (under cloches), a few herbs and a few weeds. I did actually sow weeds - I have a whole bed devoted to burdock. I'd really like to try it (you can eat the roots) but digging up wild plants is illegal. Let's hope they all survive the slugs!


  1. For someone who is behind that's a very long list :D
    I've actually planted something !!!! A Buddleia I got from my mother. Will be a while before it attracts any Butterflies though. The Quince bush is attracting black bumble bees though (it was humming the other day). Might plant some strawberries as there were some here when I moved in and the alpine ones are too small.
    Currently eyeing up a Pentax K-x or possibly a Nikon D3100 DSLR. Have you visted any of the local Bluebell woods yet ? I might try the one over towards Charnwood forest tomorrow.

  2. Mother Nature is doing all the hard work, not me!
    Let me know which camera you get. I'm familiar with most Nikon and Canon DSLRs but I've not had chance to play with a Pentax. They are supposed to be very good, and they come in pretty colours too don't they?
    No time for bluebells I'm afraid! :)