Saturday, 3 July 2010
A quick 20 minutes... PAH!
I should have sorted this post out mid-week but I just didn't get round to it. I went to lottie for a quick raspberry pick. Ya know, a short 20 mins to harvest the first of the fruit ready for picking, then back home to do other things. Well, as usual, that 'quick 20 minutes' turned into a full-blown 3 hours! To be honest though, I was really pleased to actually spend a good chunk of time really working the plot. I got the hoe out and did lots of weeding. The generous watering the plants are getting is, of course, benefiting the weeds too. Once the hoe gets pushed around the plot is transformed and looks nice and tidy. I have very tidy plot neighbours so I usually get guilty if mine looks messy. Silly really!
I also re-jigged bits of the plot I'd planted out. Some plants were being overshadowed by others so they needed to be moved to get more light etc. The peppers in the med bed were being dwarfed by the tomatoes so they got re-homed. Also the charlotte potatoes from last year have popped up again (great, as they were SUPER delicious) and were encroaching on my aubergines. Aubergines, why do I bother? Last year they didn't do all that great and this year they don't look all that great either! Maybe next year I will learn not to bother....!
FINALLY, I have success with sunflowers. This is the 3rd or 4th lot of seed I've tried to get going and by a miracle I've got 4 plants looking pretty good. The rest of the seed were a no-show and the earlier seedlings I tried just got munched. I am amazed at how hard I have found it to get sunflowers growing happily. Aren't they meant to be a doddle, something a child could grow?! Anyhoo, I've moved these into final growing positions and put in some support canes. The way I got them to grow eventually was like with the peas - in plastic bottle tubes in an attempt to keep the slugs away.
I mentioned the rogue charlotte potatoes just now. Well, I had to dig up some of the plants that were growing through the path and over the aubergines - they had to go. Even harvesting a little early I got a good crop from the few plants I culled. There are still lots left. I am sure I will have charlotte pots popping up in the 'road end' big bed for lots of seasons to come, which to be honest, is no bad thing :)
I also spotted this red lettuce (variety unknown - any ideas?), growing under the patio apple, seemed to be nibble-free. Odd, I thought, as I've avoided planting lettuces due to the expected battle with the slugs. I can just about handle the holes in spinach as I love spinach so much. Well, reading blogs and lottie sites, as I do, I learned something I didn't know. Red lettuces don't appeal to slugs. Well I never, why didn't anyone tell me this before?! That's it, I am definitely stocking up on red lettuce seed to grow my own. I actually prefer the red varieties of lettuce anyway - it appeals to my artistic eyes more than the green. These are a few leaves I grabbed to munch on. Tasty :)
I also finally planted out the last lot of sweetcorn that was struggling along in the containers I'd planted the seed into. Poor things needed space to grow. I planted out 24 seedlings so if their older brothers are anything to go by they should do well. Fingers crossed.
Oh, and I did pick some raspberries and it did take a 'quick 20 minutes'! I just got the ripe ones from outside the netting and it was enough for a bowl of rasps for pud. However mostly they need a little more time before the main harvest. I also brought home some of the cornflowers which are making a great sugarsnap support, as well as looking fabulous.
The weekend is ear-marked for catching up on my glassy goodies business but I am getting a 'go down the allotment' urge already! I also need to do something with all those blackcurrants I picked the other day.