This week, I have noticed that it has been slightly warmer in the afternoons and the weather forecasters are promising that it is going to warm up over the weekend. I really hope it does, as up to now it feels like ‘Spring’ has been on hold.
The only positive thing about the colder weather, is the weeds haven’t started to grow vigorously yet, so I’m not using my hoe every week, as I did this time last year.
The daffodils are flowering beautifully now. This inspired me to do a bit of work on my flower patch. Up until a few weeks ago, there was a swing next to my flower patch. As my daughters don’t use the swing anymore, I moved it. This week, I dug the grass up where it stood, so my flowers patch is now an ‘L’ shape and will look much better when I have finished planting it up. I will be looking out for some cheap plants to buy now.
This week I put my two fruit cages up, over my fruit bushes. I love my ‘cheap’ fruit cages, as this is the third year I have used them and they work a treat. They are made out of canes and old hand wash bottles. I find hand wash bottles are ideal to use, as they are made out of a softer plastic that doesn’t become brittle over time. I bought the nets from ebay three years ago, for approximately £40 for both cages, but this is far cheaper than buying a ready made fruit cage and I can easily take my cages down when the plants have stopped fruiting. You can see my fruit cage below:
This week I have also planted my second early potatoes. The variety I like is ‘Marfona’, which produce a high yield of large potatoes, suitable for boiling, mashing and baking. I love the first potatoes of the year, boiled and dressed with lots of butter. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now.
I struggle to dig trenches and line it with manure, before I plant my potatoes, as it’s such hard work. I have tried different ways to plant my potatoes, but the best way for me is to fork manure into the ground over the autumn / winter and then plant the potatoes with a bulb planter, dropping them in the hole and then covering them up with soil again. I then earth them up as normal when they are about 10cm high:
Afterwards I used my bulb planter again to plant some galdioli’s that I had bought form Wilkinson’s:
In my polytunnel, the weeds are starting to grow now and so I gave it a good hoe. I then planted out some lettuce that I had grown from seed in March. The variety is ‘Webbs wonderful’ which my family really like. I also sowed two rows of carrots and a row of radish. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be warm enough at night, for the seeds to germinate.
Another job I managed to do was dig over my wildflower patch ready to sow my wildflower seeds next month. Just in case you haven’t seen the photo’s from my wildflower patch last year, you can see them here.
Finally, I planted my shallots (over a month later than I normally plant them out due to the cold weather). My shallots were growing in newspaper pots and they had all rooted well. I planted the shallots together with the newspaper pots, making sure that none of the newspaper pots were showing above the ground. If a newspaper pot is above the soil level, it acts like a wick and the plant dries out.
I am really pleased they are finally in the ground now.
It has been another busy week at the allotment and I still have loads to do, but that’s what’s so wonderful about gardening, your work is never finished.
Thank you for reading my blog today.
I’ll be back on Monday at 4pm. Have a good weekend.