Sunday, 20 February 2011

February ... still flippin freezing

How about this then for a water butt - actually there are 69 of them in total. Thankfully not all at my plot - they are part of one of the grants that our super fundraiser secured for our site. Our original plan was to give them to new tenants, but they are taking up so much space we are selling them for £5 each - they're flying out of the shop grounds. Rumour has it that the Allotment Office are hoping to remove water from the site eventually - not a bad thing in my opinion, as it makes up over half of our £45 rent (which reminds me, I MUST find my invoice and pay it!!) I think I shall get a couple for my plot.



We've also commenced manure drops on the site - again, this is part of one of our grants - it is like gold dust - within hours of being dropped there is absolutely no evidence of it LOL. Hope I manage to get some eventually !

I've sown my first seeds of the year today - 56 Broad Beans (Aquadulce) and about 40 globe artichokes - purple & green. The broad beans are for the society plant sale - although who even knows if there will even be a society after our AGM (April for interested parties), still, gotta be organised right, just in case. My globe artichokes don't appear to have survived the winter, so I'll keep 2 of each and give a couple of friends some too, then the rest will go to the plant sale (if it's on !)



So many people have got seeds on the go - wonder if any can beat our friends though who have just got their first allotment. They are bursting with enthusiasm and excitement - they've sown 100 cauliflowers (20 purple & 80 white), 70 (I think) cape gooseberries !! OMG ... and best for last - they are waiting for £60.00 worth of seed potatoes to arrive LOL. They have a standard sized allotment and have another 99-thousand varieties of seeds and various fruit canes to plant. I'll be going to get my £6.00 of seed potatoes next week from our local pet shop :) I guess we're all that excited when we first start. Can't wait to see the seed potato mountain tho - still makes me laugh out loud when I think about it :)

My garlic is looking great - it has come through the winter weather extremely well the bigger plants (the first couple and some at the back) are bulbs that I missed in March, so it will be interesting to see just how big they are when they are finally harvested.



Here are my red onions. Not looking quite as good as the garlic, but considering the weather I'm pretty pleased :)



I didn't know if my rhubarb would survive the winter, but all three crowns are springing into life. I may put a bucket over one of them to force it. In the meantime I'm enjoying their alien qualities and gorgeous colouring:





This is one of my comfrey plants - looks like I really need to get my ass into gear if things are starting to green up so quickly.



it's not all my fault though - we are really having variable weather - look here is the remains of the latest snowfall from Saturday. Yes that's right - SNOW !! again. We've also had really strong winds and my greenhouse roof has suffered a broken pane - it seems like the wind tried to blow the door off too. I'll have to persuade OH to come and do some spring repairs.



Thankfully my strawberries appear to be making it through the winter - despite me rather than because of me as I have left them in various trays with NO drainage ! Consequently they've been in about 3" of standing water for months on end. Oh dear. LOL.



The greenhouse area is slowing taking shape - I've now piled most of the bricks into the void at the back of the shot below - just didn't know what to do with them. I'm thinking of leaving the two bits of wall that you can see in the shot and then I'll have to extend the concrete base to accommodate the new greenhouse - hey maybe I'll use some bricks :)

I think I've just got the bottom row of bricks left to remove now. I scraped up the rubbish and broken glass and took it into the new skip (more fundraising !!) that is in the car park.



At least I could move the bricks today - last visit they were all frozen together !


The 99-thousand daffodils that I planted in October / November are pushing through the ground already - are they early ? Some already have flower buds on:



We are munching our way through my last butternut squash this week - it is vibrantly orange, sweet and delicious. I'm very pleased with how the squashes & pumpkins have stored this winter. Still got loads to chomp our way through. Half of it went into a rogan josh curry last night - heavenly !

I'm off to google Green Zebra tomatoes now - apparently they are like Tigrellas, but they stay green - one of my lottie friends got me some seeds from a seed swap event.