1 June 2014

1st of June

It's 1st of June and officially summer!
 
Things are getting into full swing at the alloment and there have been, in particular, a couple of developments which have made all the (hard) work worthwile.

 
The peat pot parsnips seem to be growing.

 
There are no pods on the broad beans yet, but they are flowering. The plants did go in very late as they were a 'spur of the moment' purchase from a garden centre.
 
 
There are some flowers forming on the second early potatoes.
 
 
 
The corn is gaining height.
 
 
It looks like the apple tree may not face the chop after all, but of course, it's not certain these apples will grow to full size.  
 
 
Then there's the flowerhead on the artichoke!

 
Spinach is growing under the cloche.

 

Strawberries turning red must be the official sign of summer.
 

 
Finally, there was this. A tiny little yellow courgette.
 
How is the start of the summer been for you (at your allotment, in your garden or just in general)?
 
Mrs V x

26 May 2014

Instagram snapshots

 
 
Here are some snapshots which we have recently posted to our Intagram profile.
 
You may spot Sherlock Gnome in the middle of the collage. He has been busy working on the allotment and I have a feeling he may be sharing few stories of his adventures on the blog soon. Rhubarb features on more than one photo and I've recently come to the conclusion that it really is one of my favourites from the allotment. Rhubarb is, of course, brilliant  to grow as it is ready to be picked during a time when there is a lack of harvestable produce, but I absolutely love it's taste too. I have not been brave enough to have rhubarb as a savoury accompaniment on a dinner plate, but instead have turned it in to many gorgeous sweet treats: syrup, jam, yoghurt ice cream and a new experiment this year, rhubarb curd.
 
Everything is coming along quite nicely, even though I was quite worried the heavy rain at the weekend would destroy some of our little seedlings. They seem to be fine, but in need of some weeding. And that's what I'll be doing next.
 
If you have an Instagram profile, but we don't follow you yet, we'd love to hear from you, you can find us @allotmenteersmrandmrsv.
 
Hope you are enjoying your Monday!
 
Mrs V x

24 May 2014

It's an artichoke!

 
Just a quick note; this is what Mr V noticed growing on our allotment on Wednesday! So exciting x
 
 

19 May 2014

Spring update

This is the time when everything grows so quickly in the allotment. Even a day or two seems to make a difference. Therefore a few of these photos, which were taken two weeks ago, may be a little bit of out of date now, but below is evidence of the spring from the allotment this year.

 










Mrs V x

15 May 2014

Parsnips and Pumpkins

 
This whole allotment stuff has been bit of a seed(y) business recently; romanesco cauliflower, carrots, peas, spinach, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, cucamelons, and, of course, my darling pumpkins have all been sown within the last couple of weeks.

 
This year we are trying a different approach with the parsnips. Last year most of ours failed, which may (or may not) have been due to the variety: Albions which we had less of did brilliantly, but Countesses failed miserably. Last year, I also got enough of the somewhat annoying 'are you a weed or are you a parsnip seedling' game. Maybe this is the reason for the failed parsnips- I weeded them all, hehe, but I'm not admitting to anything... So this year, we decided to start the parsnips off in peat pots in a propagator. The seeds have germinated well and the little seedlings have now been planted outside. So far they have all survived in the cold and rainy environment.  We cut the bottoms of the peat pots off so that the tap roots don't get stuck. We didn't want to put all our eggs in to one basket, or seeds in a pot in this case, and have sown some directly into the ground too, so I will get to play my weed or seed game again, hehe.  I'll keep you posted.

 
 


Then to my favourite subject; pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. I'm sure it's come across that I love growing, cooking and eating pumpkins. And just looking at them. Last year I wrote a little more about my obsession with pumpkins which can be found here.
 
 
 

We are growing 5 different varieties this year; traditional Charmants, tasty Crown Princes, little Hooligans and fascinating Turk's Turbans. The fifth one? Atlantic Giant. I know, crazy. From time to time I've played with the idea of growing a giant pumpkin, but often thought it doesn't really make sense. The pumpkin with it's vine will take a lot of growing space, it will require a substantial amount of feeding, I can't really bring it home (although it would make an interesting feature in the living room..) and will a pumpkin of 100 to 200 pounds even taste good? Aided by a conversation at work, I thought why not and got a packet of Atlantic Giant seeds so the experiment has started!
 
 
 

This year we have trialled with a small plastic greenhouse and so far our experience has been good- our seedlings seem to have enjoyed their time in it and the seedlings are reaching quite heights- have a look at the seedlings our Instagram account here (we finally managed to create an account and I'm now seriously addicted, of course).  Well, I guess this means only one thing: ladies and gentlemen, this is the official start of the 2014 Pumpkin Watch!

Oh yes, there were few gourd seeds sown too.
 
How do you start your parsnips off? Are you growing any pumpkins this year? Have you ever grown a giant pumpkin? Any tips on how to make them grow giant?

Mr and Mrs V x
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