Apparently, it’s the coldest March for fifty years and it definately feels like it.
We have been quite lucky here in Leicester as we haven’t had too much snow, but it’s still impossible to work my allotment. My potatoes and onion sets will just have to wait.
One day I will get my shallots into the ground!
Before it began snowing, I did manage to transplant some ‘Forget-me-nots’ that had ‘self-seeded’ around my allotment. I love ‘Forget-me-nots’ for this exact reason, as they self seed like mad and look so natural around my plot.
I transplanted the ‘Forget-me-nots’ around my newly planted Snowdrops, that will remind me of my dear friend who sadly passed away in February.
You can read about the snowdrops I planted in my woodland area and why I planted them here.
‘Forget-me-nots’ are lovely, especially in between spring bulbs, so hopefully they will look beautiful in a few years when they have had time to self seed further in this area.
The RHS give details of how to grow ‘Forget-me-nots’ here.
Another job I did manage to do before the snow, was to prune the Buddlia’s and the Lavatera bushes at the back of my plot, behind my ‘hazel’, which incidently I planted a few years ago so I can grow my own pea sticks and bean poles.
I left the Buddlia’s and the Lavatera bushes quite tall, as they have to compete with the hazel for light. I planted them there for two reasons. The flowers are great for the bees and butterflies and when I cut the hazel down, I will have something pretty to show through.
At home, I sowed my first set of peas. I am a little late sowing them this month but I suppose I’m late doing everything in the garden this year due to the wet weather.
I have tried different ways of sowing my peas, but I find it best to start them off in my greenhouse at home, in small lengths of guttering.
I use small pieces of guttering as I find the compost slides out easier from the smaller pieces than the long lengths of guttering. I seal each end of the guttering with a piece of ‘Duct tape’, to stop the compost falling out:
I fill the guttering with compost and sow my peas into it:
The peas I sowed are a hardy variety called ‘Meteor’ which you can actually sow in Autumn and they will stand over winter under the protection of a cloche. I find it better to sow them this month.
Incidentally round, smooth peas are hardier than the wrinkled varieties that are usually sweeter. I took a photo of the two types of peas, so you can see the difference.
The pea on the left is ‘Meteor’, which is the hardier round, smooth pea that I sowed and the pea on the right is a wrinkled variety:
My guttering will sit in my heated greenhouse until I just see them poking throught the compost and then I will move them into my coldframe.
You can read how I plant my peas here.
Due to the weather I managed to do a few ‘catch up’ jobs at home this weekend.
I made some ‘Pea Pod’ soup for my eldest daughter as she loves this and I found a bag of pea pods lurking at the bottom of my freezer.
You can read how to make the soup here. This soup is an old wartime recipe that is extremely cheap to make, though it is a bit like ‘marmite’….you love it or hate it!
I finally got round to making some soup with my ‘Jamaican Pumpkins’. These pumpkins are smaller than the halloween pumpkins I grow, but they are usually bigger than the ones in the photo below (I think this was due to the wet weather over the summer). These pumpkins are also great for roasting as they hold their shape better during cooking.
I made a spicy pumpkin soup. You can find the recipe here. I managed to get four portions out of one of the pumpkins, which I will freeze ready to take to my allotment for lunch, another day:
I also topped up my ‘vinegar spray’ which I use in my kitchen as a mulitipurpose anti-bacterial cleaner.
I use white vinegar (which cuts through grease and grime) and a few drops of teatree oil (which is antibacterial).
You can read all about the old fashion cleaning methods that I use here.
I then blanched and froze my allotment cauliflowers, that I picked this week. I am very proud of them.
I cut them into florets and blanched them for 2 minutes.
You can reading about freezing vegetables here.
Finally, I thought I would experiment and make a ‘Healthier Ice cream’. Technically, I can’t call this an ‘ice cream’ as it’s under 4% fat, but it tastes really nice.
A Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt Ice cream Recipe:
230 grams Strawberries
250 ml Natural Yoghurt
100 grams Caster Sugar
Squash the fruit with the back of a fork
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together
Pour into your ice cream maker
(refer to your ice cream maker for timings and how much to fill the bowl).
If you haven’t got an ice cream maker, just put the blended ingrediants into a container and freeze. Remove from the freezer every 1-2 hours and mash vigourously with a fork to break up the ice crystals.
Transfer the ice cream to a suitable container and freeze for a few hours until completely solid and then enjoy.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
As it’s Easter I’ll be taking a break to spend time with my family, so I will be back on Friday 5th April.
I hope you all have a lovely Easter.