A very cold allotment experience!

Our spell on the allotment this weekend wasn’t exactly pleasurable.   It was a typical bank holiday weekend … damp, very cold and blowing a gale!  However, the adverse conditions meant we got on with the jobs in hand and there was no dawdling.  We were very grateful for a hot drink and the central heating when we got home.

Leek

One of last year's leeks

The downpour last Thursday has made life a lot easier.  On our schedule was leek planting.  Luckily the rain had softened the ground and the soil was just right for dibbing the holes.  There is something very satisfying about nice straight rows of newly planted leeks.  It appeals to my sense of order.  We’ve grown two varieties this year: Musselburgh and Autumn Mammoth.  The Musselburgh leeks are now in, but the Autumn Mammoth were not quite big enough, so they’ve been returned to Allotment Central for another couple of weeks.

I’ve read conflicting advice about growing leeks.  Some say trim the leaves and roots, while others say there is no benefit.  I’ve never trimmed them before, so this year we’ve decided to try it.  Half  the leeks planted this weekend have been trimmed and the others planted as they were.  I’ll keep you posted about the results.

I’m going to mention the C-word again.  You know … those long pointed orange things which have been such a trial and tribulation in the past couple of years. My daughter, who is a whiz at container gardening, offered me some carrot seeds.  It turns out she bought the same Chantenay variety as us. They were even the same brand.  Just a couple of weeks after sowing, she has carrots – while as you know – all we had was an empty bed. In a word … Harrumph!

Onion plants

Onion plants in modules

My other mission this weekend was to plant the remainder of the onions grown from seed.  The first lot were planted out in early April and we’ve lost about 50% of them.  However, they are finally looking a bit more enthusiastic.  The second lot have been growing on in modules and so far, we’ve had a much higher success rate.  Getting them out of the module trays was a real challenge though.  I’m not convinced about them, as I mentioned last week.  They are going to have to do a lot of growing before they  resemble anything more than a spring onion.  Unless they do something dramatic … I’m going to stick to onion sets from now on!

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