Wednesday, May 2

April ended on a high!

Well we waited for long enough didn't we? The last day of April was just the sort of day for putting in another afternoon on the plot!

It would have been improved if the soil hadn't been quite as soggy as it was in parts but I don't suppose we can have everything! The grass paths had certainly loved the cool moist conditions and grown very long and the dandelions that decorate them had also relished the recent weather. So whilst Martyn set to with the strimmer, I managed at last to plant up our second strawberry bed. We couldn't really spare as much space for this second unplanned bed so, although this second bed has as many plants as the one planted last year, the plants have been planted closer together. This year I really must, must, must refrain from rooting any runners, otherwise we will look like one of those pick your own growers!
You can see how lumpy the soil is now. Unfortunately I had to stand on the soil to plant which didn't help matters. I added fish blood and bonemeal to give the plants a good start but they definitely didn't need to be watered in!

Down the right and left edges of the bed are borders of alpine strawberries that were already planted there.

The early Marshmarvel strawberries planted last year already have flowers but I'm not holding my breath and expecting any fruit. The frosts predicted for this week will no doubt blackened the centres of the flowers and put paid to any possible early fruit. If the plants were in the garden I could give them some overnight protection but on the plot they really have to fend for themselves.
I might have known that the frosts would descend as the kiwis are leafing up and so far for as long as we have grown them the leaves have been knocked back by frost.
I wonder whether this year the male plant will make an effort to produce some pollen laden flowers so that we have a small chance of fruit!

Whilst I was busy planting and weeding, besides being on grass cutting duty, Martyn also managed to sow parsnip seeds. This was well overdue and now all we need is a bit of warmth to germinate them. 

We even managed to sit outside the shed and enjoy a coffee and a chat with one of our plot neighbours.

There's still lots more to catch up with so come on May - give us a break!

I've a completed April diary entry with lots of photos on my website here

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like you got some good work done...I'm hoping for an improvement in the weather so that I can stop feeling so neglectful of my allotment!!

    Fingers crossed that you get some kiwis this year!!

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    1. It would be good to get some kiwis Tanya. Issai has buds so maybe our best bet is mini kiwis

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  2. It was a lovely break from the rain on Monday, though short lived. I've got some strawberry plants potted up in containers in the garden from runners I took last year. You can never have too many strawberries.

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    1. It's just as well that we love strawberries, Jo. Any we can't eat makes a compote which goes into the freezer to have on yoghurt, porridge eyc through winter.

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  3. Rooting strawberry runners is strangely addictive, isn't it?
    Your plot does look spring-like. We continue to have miserable temperatures - oh for some warmth.

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    1. We get the odd warm day Linda but then the temperatures drop again and the rain comes. The primroses and spring flowers are enjoying it though and lasting well.

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  4. I think the thing about strawberry runners is the thought of all those free plants. At least you have managed to make some headway planting and sowing seed - you have to make the most of the weather whilst you can don't you.

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    1. You really do Elaine, the rain stops, it warms up a bit and then it's all systems go!

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  5. Your April diary website looks really good, lots of good photos. I don't know how you manage to get so much done!

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    1. Well Kelli, Not going to work helps and also gardening and playing around on the computer both happen to be hobbies for both of us.

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  6. I'm definately glad to see the back of April!

    Looks like you have been busy. Hopefully there will be more nice days this month... fingers crossed!

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    1. I do so hope so Martin although the predictions don't look promising

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  7. Hi Sue, I'm with Kelli..how do you manage it all?! Hoping you get some blooms on those kiwi's. I've half expected to see another frost here during the past week but we seemed to have escaped it. Cheers, Jenni

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    1. Added to Kellis reply, leaving housework and there only being rubbish on the TV also helps.

      We could have frost this week!!

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  8. A few of my strawbs were in flower and the centres are now black. Like you, I really MUST stop potting up the runners although I tell myself I am growing plants to replace those which will be three years old this year ...

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    1. We have some black centres too, BW. Trouble was I took the runners from plants just planted so I didn't have the excuse of replacing old plants. At first I just chopped them off but the poor things just seemed so determined that I HAD to pot some up.

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