A belt and braces sort of day

We were the first up on the allotments on Saturday.  This deliberate move meant we could be first in line for the water tap before the hoards arrived.  Strangely, they didn’t … arrive that is, and we had the tap to ourselves for the 5 hours it took to fill our 1,000ltr tank.  Needless to say the water pressure isn’t great on the William Fowler allotments in Chipping Norton!

Parsnip seedlings

Few & far betwen parsnips

We learned a lot from last year’s drought.  Having spent weeks gazing at empty beds hoping seedlings would magically appear, we decided to hedge our bets this year.  Once the weedlings were separated from the seedlings, we found very little evidence of our parsnip crop.  While I can live with a lack of carrots, a parsnip famine is a major catastrophe.

So … belt and braces it was!  I set to and planted new rows of parsnip seeds between the existing rows.  Of course, if they all germinate it will be the root vegetable equivalent of the Black Hole of Calcutta, but you can never have  too many parsnips.

And the Chantenay carrots’ time was up!  After weeks of waiting there was not a carrot to be seen.  So in line with our new ruthless attitude … it was off with their heads!  The carrot pen has gone, the bed hoed, and the carrot seeds replaced with beetroot.  Well … they can’t say they weren’t warned!  Of course having gone to such an extreme, I fully expect to find a tangle of carrot and beets as they pop up merrily in tandem.

You might recall our 2011 onion experiment.  Back in April we planted onion seedlings, which resembled little more than blades of grass.  Two months on only half have survived, and they still look like little blades of grass!  Meanwhile back at the ranch, the remaining onions are still in the modules.  Even though they have reached a reasonable size and are soon destined for the ground, I can’t believe they will ever reach onion-proportions!  The onion sets, on the other hand, are the best we’ve ever grown.

Growing onions

Left to right: onion sets, onion seedlings planted early April, growing onions in modules

This weekend was a rare treat … two whole days spent either on the allotment or in the garden.  The allotment is looking good, the garden is looking splendid … just a shame we never got round to doing any housework!

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