Monday, April 11

A weekend on the plot

For reasons explained in Martyn's blog, it's been a while since we have managed a good weekend on the plot and things are moving on a pace - in some cases without a great deal of intervention from us.

Some fruit bushes and trees are kicking winter into touch and producing flower buds and in some cases flowers.
I wonder whether we will have the opportunity to taste honeyberries this year to assess whether they live up to the glowing reports that I have read.

Fruit beds have been spruced up although weeding in the still sticky wet soil is not ideal and takes much longer than when tidying the beds covered by weed control fabric and a mulch
Although we use weed control fabric on potato beds we have decided to leave the earliest producers uncovered so that we can access the early crop more readily. Unlike beds containing later crops that tend to be harvested at the same time, the early roots are dug as we need them for the kitchen.

The first lot of seed potatoes - Casablanca were planted at the weekend.
Other beds have been prepared so they are ready for our next lot of planting.

They early rhubarb - Timperley Early has grown well and is nearly ready to pull.
The later varieties are at the knobbly/crinkly stage.
We are still harvesting a few leeks and parsnips but a welcome surprise was a lovely big cauliflower.
The cauliflower may not be whiter than white but it will still go down a treat.

The parsnips are beginning to regrow and so the quality of the roots may be disappointing but there is only one way to find out.

The garden greenhouse is producing a ready supply of salad leaves and mint with more on the way.





33 comments:

  1. I see you have a Honeyberry. One of our daughters gave me one as a Father's Day present last year. Allegedly they need a pollinator, but some people say they do OK without. What's your experience in this respect? And do they produce a heavy crop?

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    1. We have four plants and so far have had hardly any fruit. The bushes are still small and were planted in December 2013. I read that a bit of hand pollinating can increase the yield so I guess I'll have to take my bee kit to the plot.

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  2. There is serious Cauliflower envy right now---how nice of a surprise that must have been. Roasted? Soup?

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    1. Sort of steamed with grated cheese sprinkled on top, Sue

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  3. The cauliflower is impressive! I can see that my blueberries are in the same stage of growth then yours, Sue.
    Isn't it nice-again-to be outdoors?!!! :)

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    1. It is Aga, we have four blueberry bushes all at slightly differing stages

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  4. Impressive, your blueberries are much further on than mine.

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    1. This bush is the earliest, Jayne - one of the others has no signs of buds. I wish I know which varieties they were but they were planted pre record keeping!

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  5. Fruit blosson can be very pretty - and bushes hanging with ripe fruit are beautiful.

    First time I've seen a honey berry flower. They look a little like honeysuckle. Could they be related?

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    1. Honeyberry's latin name is Lonicera caerulea, Patsy so yes it is related to honeysuckle. It is also sometimes called edible honeysuckle.

      Fruit blossom is beautiful and fruit trees are well worth growing as an ornamental tree with benefits.

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    2. Oops missed the capital L in Latin. A shocker for on ex-school teacher.

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  6. We planted a couple of honeyberry bushes last year (we call them Haskaps around here). They are still leafless twigs at the moment (as is most everything else) but my fingers are crossed they made it through their first winter. And WOW to that cauliflower!

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    1. Let's hope for some berries this year, Margaret.

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  7. Impressive cauli Sue. The one I harvested was served as a cauliflower cheese. A softer texture than shop bought ones xx

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  8. Wow, that cauliflower is fantastic! Never heard of Honeyberry before, I'll have to do some research.

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    1. I'm hoping to actually taste some honeyberries this tear, Michelle.

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  9. Looks like you are doing well down your plot already. Still being caught out with April showers here and much to do in the garden still.

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    1. It is certainly a case of dodging the rain showers and downpours, Rooko

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  10. Looking good Sue, wonderful blossom on your plum, no sign of any on any of mine, should I be worried? I was hoping for at least a little blossom this year, I planted them the winter before last. My potatoes are in and I am happily picking my own Timperley Early, I still get a huge kick out of being able to pick my own whenever I want.

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    1. The blossom comes before the leaves, Janet so it depends if your plum leaves are opening then it is too late.

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  11. Things are sure looking good there! That early rhubarb is really amazing. Our berries are blooming here too, at least the blueberries and gooseberries. I gave up on the honeyberries last year. We did get a few to set on, but the deer would always eat them before we managed to pick them. So we dug them up and I have another currant bush to replace them. Your head of cauliflower is pretty amazing too. I would be tickled pink to have one like that!

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    1. At least we don't have deer to contend with, Dave. I am hoping to give the pollinators a helping hand.

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  12. Oh my gosh, that rhubarb is crazy huge! I don't think mine have ever gotten that large at any time in the season.

    I'm glad you explained the weed fabric on potato beds. It makes sense to use it on the late harvests so you can pull them all at once, but not on the early harvest. I'm just starting to use weed fabric here and there so good to understand the best approach.

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    1. The rhubarb leaves Mir good umbrellas, Susie. We have found weed control fabric to be invaluable and it features in lots of m posts as a search would reveal. It has certainly cut down in our workload.

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  13. Good for you all out working in the Spring cold. Your weeded beds look fantastic and you should feel great about that. Amazing cauliflower for this time of the year too! The cherries and apple trees are in full bloom here in Oregon- such a beautiful sight and such promise of things to come. Have a great gardening week!

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    1. Must admit it was quite pleasant at the weekend, Lexa.mour pears, cherries and apples are just in bud but I look forward to seeing the blooms.

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  14. I need to follow your example Sue and spend some quality time at the allotment. It's always amazing just how quickly things take off at this time of year.

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    1. It is amazing how a transformation takes place, Anna.

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  15. The plants are really growing fast now! Very promising year ahead in your plot! ;)

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    1. I hope that they live up to the promise, Malar

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  16. Your bushes are way ahead of mine! Oh...I hope you get lots of honeyberries this year, I've never tried those. Your greenhouse salad crops are also coming on a treat.xxx

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    1. We've never tried honeyberries yet either, Dina so it would be good to have the chance.

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