Home brewing antics can now be found at my other blog; http://gettinggrist.blogspot.com/

Friday, 25 March 2011

Allotment - March

It's been a while since I did some hard graft up the allotment. I know this because my body is telling me. My back is screaming.

Little and often is probably the best approach, but being self-employed, I have to make the most of any quiet days. That said, the weather being as it is, I made sure there were a couple of quiet days this week.

Aside from the general tidying and weeding, it was time to sow parsnips. In fact, the white pointy buggers have come full circle. I still had a couple of rows left from last year, so I dug a few up. Parsnip soup will be on the menu shortly;


Although thought of as difficult, I've never had a problem with parsnips germinating. I follow the good book and sow three seeds per station. If I'm lucky enough to have more than one come up, I simply thin them out.
Previously I've sown the variety 'White Gem' , but this year I've gone for Javelin. I'm not sure why I've changed, they've always done well for me. Perhaps it's mans' desire to crave something new. My wife can probably confirm this.

Now parsnips weren't the only root vegetable to be sown. My little'un loves pulling up carrots, so I sowed some Chamare and Chantenay Red Cored 2. Both Chantenay types (short and stocky) and we do these in our tyre stacks.

The height thwarts the carrot fly, and will hopefully deter the rabbits. The furry ones manged to dig some up last year when the stack was just a two deep. Let's see if they can manage three...

Elsewhere on the plot, the garlic was looking healthy. A friend of mine gave me some bulbs before he returned to Australia, but I forgot to label them, so I'm not sure which are which, but I'm sure they will be nice all the same.  Thanks Scott.
I also put in a row of first early potatoes - Accord. The missus isn't overly keen on new potatoes (note to self: must trade her in for a different model soon), so as a result, I'm just having the one row. The remainder of the bed will be given up to maincrop, Cara.

In behind, you can see the outline of the hop frames. I did need to do some remedial work to one of these, as a few canes had worked loose in strong winds over the winter.

Then beneath the frames, I have a few rows of strawberries which I've transplanted from home. They were originallyly in pots but didn't produce much, so I'm hoping the allotment will see them to better effect.

Elsewhere, the new gooseberries were budding up. I planted another nine during the winter, to add to our more established bushes. And our solitary blackcurrant was also looking healthy.

And in among the nettle patch up the back, was one of these...

Back at home, the tomatoes cared not whether they were in a fancy propagator or a Flora tub, for they germinated quickly and are due for potting on, while the two squash I sowed ridiculously early have also come up.

The downside to all this green-fingered activity is that I've not had chance to prepare for a brew today. That, and the fact and my back wouldn't let me, even if I had.

Time, I believe, to crack open a cold beer and to head for the hot tub, on the basis of a job well done. Don't tell the wife, she thinks I'm working today...


  1. All looking good there!
    I've always chitted my parsnip seed and grown on in toilet rolls because I was told how hard they were to germinate.. Perhaps I should direct sow a few this year as well and see what happens...

  2. Maybe I've just got lucky with mine, but it's worth giving it a go with a few to see how you get on. Chitting seems an awful lot of effort - I'll keep reading your blog and see how you get on.