Monday, May 21, 2007

Welcome to my office, a wedding and Fava beans……

The last few weeks have been a little weird as April’s weather seems to have caught us a little off guard. The glorious April weather lulled us all into a false sense that summer was here – but thankfully the past few weeks of rain has meant lots of seeds have sprung into life and we are at last eating produce from the allotment.

As you can see from the planting plan the plot is looking pretty full – the areas in grey are now fully planted so you can see there is not much space. For those who are really interested look how it has changed since March.

I have found that I have had a different set of results between planting direct into the soil and seeding everything in trays and then transplanting into the ground.

I prefer to seed everything in the greenhouse and then once seeds have come on I transplant these into the ground. This does take a little longer but what it does mean is that I don’t have to thin out seedlings on my hand and knees at the allotment. If you have sausage fingers like me the last thing you want to be doing is trying to separate delicate seedlings on your hands and knees! Give me the peace and quiet (and warmth) of my greenhouse.

Essentially I am planting a tray of seeds once every 2-3 weeks. E.g. I seed Beetroot in a tray and in 3 weeks time they should be ready to plant out; once they have been planted out I seed another tray. This means that if I have some old seeds I can see that they have not germinated and so take some action. This also means that I should get a continual crop of that veg right through the summer.

Also one quick related note re the allotment – we went to Fiona & Andy’s wedding last Friday and I was very surprised to see a picture of my allotment as a table name – apparently most of the people on our table like digging holes which was why we were all out together, though I think everyone else seemed to dig bigger and more interesting holes than the ones I do for my spuds. Still it was a top day – thanks to Fiona & Andy.

Anyway I think that’s it for the moment – I must pop up to the allotment now as I need to pinch out the tops of my Broad Beans – apparently when the first pods grown you pinch out the top parts so they concentrate on the pods not getting any bigger – and finally did you know that Fava beans are in fact Broad Beans – somehow you can’t imagine Hannibal Lector saying ‘Broad beans and a glass of Chianti’ can you?!

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