Wednesday 22 February 2017

OUR ALLOTMENT Life on the Weald - February 2017 (2)

February 2017  (2)

In the middle of February we had a few bright spring-like days which enabled us to do a bit more weed clearing - the biggest problems being couch grass, bindweed and brambles.  Much of the bindweed and bramble is deep rooted so it will be a recurring problem and just a question of constant vigilance and control.

The few days of sunshine really seem to have encouraged growth and the shallots planted in December are just sprouting

Shallots - Griselle

The garlic is also looking very healthy


And the Luz de Otono broad beans are showing through. 

Luz de Otono Broad Beans

I haven't tried Luz de Otono before but they are a variety of aquadulce which is cold resistant and suitable, therefore, for November/December sowing, but they are supposedly good for late spring sowing to produce autumn crops, hence the name.  So if  I have space, I will sow some more in the spring.

Although the soil is still fairly wet and heavy, we did manage to do some clearing and preparation to plant 4 gooseberry bushes acquired from neighbours and we have a further two which need transferring from our old plot at Mile Oak.

We have also cleared a space to transplant 9 blackcurrant bushes from Mile Oak.   Our biggest challenge will be to try to transfer two red currant bushes which I fear will be too deep-rooted to move.  It was a struggle transferring them from Belvedere to Mile Oak some years ago when they broke the garden fork!  Another challenge will be moving a plum tree which was newly planted at Mile Oak about 18 months ago but now looks well established.

It's too early to think about most sowing yet but I will try some aubergines in the conservatory at home and try to bring them on in pots before transplanting outdoors in July.

I have started chitting the potatoes too.  I started off some  Charlotte, second earlies at the beginning of the month but have now bought some Nicola, also second earlies, which did so well at Mile Oak last year.  If the weather improves, I will start planting in March but just as we thought spring was on its way, the weather has turned and Storm Doris has arrived!

John Austin

Hove, February 2017

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