The first shoots have appeared at the allotment, pictured are our broad beans, finally coming up. I was beginning to think I'd never see them again....
Rainbow Chard, carrot and broccoli seeds have gone in but it's early days so no seedlings yet. Our fruit trees and red currants are doing well, raspberries showing tentative signs of life but the courgettes are ailing. I think it's a combination of sunny days, no rain and a strong, cold wind as the leaves haven't wilted in the conventional way but gone all crispy. I've ordered some shelter netting as protection against the wind which I hope will also slow down water loss from the ground but until it arrives I've put cloches over the courgettes and am hoping they pull through. After last year's mosaic virus debacle, my confidence in my courgette growing abilities has taken a knock, I thought they were supposed to be easy?!
Things are mostly looking good at home. The salad potatoes are doing well, they're shooting up and seem to need earthing up every 5 minutes. I'm still waiting for signs of life from the Runner beans, peas, pumpkins and rainbow chard seeds. The radishes are like the curate's egg - good in parts. The lower row look fine but the top row are small and some are wilting, no idea why. I'm wondering if a cat has somehow managed to perch on the fence and pee on them (which, if true, is a trick that would do well on Britain's Got Talent) The courgettes in pots at home, in contrast to their allotment brethren, are doing well when not subjected to the attentions of neighbourhood cats trying to sit in the pot (despite it being festooned in netting and whirling windmills (the pot, not the cat))
Now that there isn't so much pressure on the space at home I'm finding myself considering (gasp) ornamental plants. The bean frame I grew borlotti beans on last year is home to sweet peas, at Willow's request, this year. The Jerusalem artichoke patch is being turned into a herb garden to allow me to indulge my interest in collecting obscurish herbs. The other day I raided an honesty table and brought home Sorrel, Winter Savoury, Loveage (to go with the Lettuce) and Salad Burnet which together with my pea shoots, mizuna and lollo rosso should make interesting salads this year.
I'm surprisingly nervous about the success of the allotment crops, I feel all exposed and wonder if my fellow allotmenteers are judging my efforts, so I'm anxiously waiting for further signs of green amongst the huge expanse of bare soil as a badge of success. Come on seeds, don't let me down!
NB* Apologies for the internal links not working properly, I've no idea why, Blogger seems to have repeated problems with them.