Idiosyncratic veg growing in the vicar's garden AND in an allotment in the village. A "how not to" guide...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lovely weather for...

...mostly bindweed, which seems to be all that's sprouting in the Vic's garden right now. There's no sign of peas or broad beans, and the potatoes are still hiding under the soil, and it's all quite depressing on the annual plant front. The fruit is looking far more promising: there are flowers (and micro fruit) on the gooseberry; the blackcurrants are starting to flower; and the raspberries are suddenly more than just a pair of leaves on a bare stalk.

This lack of foliage has made it quite easy to spot the nasty, pernicious bindweed as it starts to pop its head above the ground. We spent quite some time today de-bindweed-ing the currants and rasps, and we're trying to work out how to tackle the next wave that's lurking just below the soil's surface. At the moment, the most promising strategy is the "let it grow up a stick and then caress it with a glove covered in weedkiller" technique. All we needs are some pea sticks and some gentle caressing action, and I'm sure we can manage to find those.

Up at Plot 9, the soil is still damn hard - probably something to do with the lack of precipitation - but Rob won't let me hire a rotavator to break it up. Not even when the young couple from two plots down offered us use of theirs. In fact, not even when I did my best pleading face. Instead, he has bought a mattock. He's spent the Easter weekend doing digging and mattocking, and there are now two trenches full of asparagus, some turnips and some beetroot. We'll let you know if the former grows in, oh, three years' time; this is one long-term project!


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