The Allotment Wife


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Rhubarb City and Magical Asparagus

Goodness me but the asparagus has grown like a gazelle on speed this week. We’ve harvested a couple of the larger stalks and eaten them for starters tonight. One of them was utterly perfect, but the other was rather woody – so it looks as if we’ll have to harvest them more often to gain the benefit. We’ll have to stop harvesting by the end of May/beginning of June to allow them to set seed for next year though.

Asparagus

The spinach is also doing very well so I’ve picked some for eating during this week as well. But our crowning(!) glory is the rhubarb – we pulled out some of the stems today as you apparently have to pull them rather than cutting them, and I’m planning rhubarb crumble and custard tomorrow – bliss! Here are photos of the rhubarb and of our harvest today, together with one lone tulip:

Rhubarb Spinach, rhubarb, tulip and asparagus

Speaking of tulips, they’ve been pretty good so I’ve picked more for the house. They last about a week, which is fine really.

Tulips 1 Tulips 2

And the freesias are beginning to come up next to the lilies, which is very exciting.

Freesia and lilies

I’ve sprayed the lilies to avoid the dreaded lily beetle – arrgghh!! – a subject I’m used to as we have loads of lilies at home. K also did a hoe round and we trimmed the paths around the plot, so it looks a lot neater. We’re preparing ourselves for the Allotment Inspection on 7 May as we certainly don’t want to let the side down on Election Day! Ooh, and I’ve also planted some sunflower seeds – Russian Giants – in the runner bean bed and in one of the other spare beds, so I hope they come up.

Have a great weekend!

Anne Brooke Books

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An asparagus miracle

Great excitement on the allotment this week as finally (finally!!) the asparagus is starting to grow!

Asparagus

You can just about see the little stems poking their heads above the ground – honestly, I got really choked up when I saw them. I love asparagus, so maybe there’ll be a crop after all. Anyway, the allotment itself is looking grand in the sunshine:

Allotment

And the astilbe, lilies, sweet williams and tulips are looking gorgeous:

Astilbe Lilies Sweet Williams Tulips 6

The tulips have now been harvested and put in vases at home. I do so love having flowers in the house, and it’s even more special when I’ve grown them myself:

Tulips in vase 1 Tulips in vase 2

On the veggie front, K has put up some bean poles, and planted some carrots and lettuce (as well as more potatoes):

Bean poles Carrots Lettuce

Meanwhile, the onions, rhubarb and spinach are looking good:

Onions Rhubarb 2 Spinach

As usual, I did a hoe round, and hand-weeded the soft fruit area, while K watered everything as the soil is rather dry at the moment. I also planted some dahlias I discovered when I was clearing out the kitchen – we’d completely forgotten we had them so that was a nice surprise!

Anne Brooke Books


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Tulips Galore

It’s the turn of the first tulips on the allotment this week to shine: here they are from bed to vase:

Tulips 2 TulipsTulips 3

I will have to get a shallower round-bottomed vase at some point fairly soon, as these tulips are quite short, but the ones coming up next to them look as if they will be even shorter – and I don’t want to drown them! The vase above actually came with an Interflora delivery a while back – we didn’t much like it so put the flowers in question in another vase. Now, however, it’s come into its own as it’s perfect for tulips, even though it’s an odd colour.

The Asiatic lilies are coming up well too, and I’ve sprayed Ultimate Bug Killer on them and the tulips too, plus K put slug pellets down, so we can try to avoid the nasties … Last week, I had to throw away three daffodils as they’d been chewed so badly, which was a shame.

Asiatic lilies

Meanwhile, in terms of veggies, the autumn raspberries and especially the rhubarb are coming on well:

Autumn raspberriesRhubarb

Some of the rhubarb we planted last year is also coming up, though we won’t be able to harvest it until next year. I’m rather worried about the asparagus bed though – not a single sign of life there at all, and surely the season for asparagus is May. What have I done to the poor things??? I really don’t know, but it’s a worry, as I love asparagus and was really looking forward to having a crop, sob! Oh well.

Anyway, in better news, the spinach and the winter lettuce look good:

SpinachWinter lettuce

K harvested some lettuce for the week’s meals, and we also did a hoe round, though we hand-weeded the autumn raspberries as best we could. Plans for the week are potting up the runner beans and seeing what might need planting from our stock.

Anne Brooke Books


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The onset of Spring

Earlier in the week, I harvested quite a few daffodils from the allotment, plus three or four more this weekend. Here they are from allotment to vase!

Daffodils at allotment 1 Daffodils at allotment 2

Daffodils at home

Such happy flowers, I always think. Meanwhile, the tulips and astilbe are on their way, with the tulips now having buds, which is great:

Astilbe Tulips

Anyway, today, while I hoed round, K added chicken pellet manure to the bed where we plan to plant the beans, as they’re hungry critters, we’re told. We also have plans to trail some sweet peas up the side of the shed, but we need taller poles than were in the garden centre this morning, so will need to get them later.

Meanwhile, the rhubarb, spinach and winter lettuce are doing well:

Rhubarb Spinach Winter lettuce

And in the fruit area, the autumn raspberries and blackcurrant are coming along. Yesterday, my stepfather told me that he never cuts back his autumn raspberries but just gets rid of the dead wood and leaves them. So next year we might experiment with half cut back and half not, and see how things go.

Autumn raspberries Blackcurrant

Happy Easter to you all!

Anne Brooke Books