Growth explosion

Even though the weather over the last few weeks has been rather strange, the allotment is getting very exciting!

Growth is happening, although slowly.  Some of the seeds I have planted outside don't seem to be doing very well at all, they seem sort of in a suspended in a non growth state, I am not sure why but others on the plot are saying it is an odd year so far.

All my sunburst squash have been planted out, and flowers are forming.  I think I have planted too many of these little beauties and will have squash for months on end. But to see the yellow flowers and the bees buzzing around makes me very happy.

 

In the polytunnel, a lot of things have moved outside now and I have more room.  

In the permanent beds in the polytunnel, the tomatoes I have are Moneymaker and Costoluto Fiorentino. They are growing very well and the first flowers are forming on the Costoluto Fiorentino variety, whenever I water them they give off the lovely tomato smell that takes you straight back to childhood.

The aubergine are doing OK but not great, the same with the peppers and chillis.

The cucumber plants are doing quite well, and I am excited to see how they grow as this is something I have never grown before.

 

We had a plant sale at the allotment, and I bought some kholrabi, it intrigued me.  Something I have never seen in the shops or eaten before.  I think they will be quite interesting.  

I have now planted them outside under a net so the birds can't nibble them.

 

Leeks have been sown (elefant variety) and are growing quite well, hopefully they should go outside in the next month.

 

In the polytunnel, this is a usual sight.  Things everywhere, I really need to sort out my storage in there.

 My gloves are on top of a bucket of chicken manure pellets, I use the pellets all the time.  Whenever I plant something out, I add the pellets into the hole, and around the plant, I hope this gives them a good start, seems to be working so far.  My plot neighbour who has had his plot for forever swears by them, so I am following his lead.

 

Outside, the kale has gone to seed, and the bees have loved the flowers.  

Since taking the picture, the kalehas gone onto the compost heap to make way for pumpkins to go into the spot.

In the compost heap I have tons of creatures, and two bumblebees are nesting in there as well.

Not all the beds in the below picture are mine, I only have half a plot.  Mine are the width of the picture and 2 beds deep.

 

I am really pleased with the way the plot is coming along.

But the weeds!  Man, they are incessant. 

The bed on the right at the front of the picture, is full of seeds, at the front I have borage, in the middle 2 kinds of beetroot and at the end a kale.

But the weeds are everywhere.  I have had to lets the seedling get bigger before I can figure out if it is a seed or a weed.

The weeds seem to grow quicker than the seeds.

The sweetcorn is planted out and still quite small, I hope it survives.

The potatoes are growing great guns, I have covered them over and they are popping out of the top of the soil again, I need to cover them over again this week.

Comfrey, a plot holders best friend is about to flower.  It is supposed to be great for using the leaves for turning into liquid fertiliser, but adding them to water and letting the water go smelly and funky and then strain and use, I will try this later in the year.

 

Onions, I planted in early October, I planted radar variety.  They have started bolting (flowering, and cutting energy into making seeds rather than making the bulb fat) so I cut a few of the flowers off the offending ones, and dug them up.

I think next year I will plant Spring onions rather than Autumn ones as they are less likely to bolt.

But, this is the first crop I have had. I have planted and then harvested, I cant believe how happy I was at this.  it is amazing. 

So satisfying.

So very satisfying.

I went home with my onions, rocket and salad leaves I have in the polytunnel, and I made an egg sandwich and added the salad leaves and onion, the eggs were from our hens in the garden. It was one of the best things I have ever eaten. The satisfaction was immense.

To be honest I am in love with my plot.

The time that I spend outside, listening to the birds. Watching the bees and butterflies.

Tending to plants,

Weeding (OK I don't love that bit).  

The whole process really, of nurturing, I am truly enjoying. I am getting a lot more out of the experience that I ever thought was possible.