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

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The rain stopped today...

...for the first time in AGES, or at least, that's how it felt. OK, so I had to wear my thermals to fight off the cold, but at least it was dry enough to do some decent digging. I spent the morning at Plot 9, earthing up the potatoes and digging out some more of the weeds. I've done most of the lower half of one side, and Rob promptly planted some carrots in it when he returned from work. That's just about half the plot under control now - Rob planted out some purple sprouting broccoli, globe artichokes, red cabbages and pea asparagus last week - so the whinging old boy will have less to whinge about now! (If only!)

This afternoon was spent at the Vicar's with Julia. We weeded various bits, caressed the legumes (all growing beautifully), planted a couple of courgettes, and then escaped to the local garden centre. Once we'd been mistaken for staff (it must have been the wellies and dirty hands that did it!) we pottered around the cafe, poked George the Giant Fish, and bought more seeds. After all, when there's no earth to be seen through the weeds, and there's a lot of preparation work to be done, the best thing to do is to sow more plants as a displacement activity. We're so organised!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tempus fugit...

These last few weeks have been very work busy and, more importantly, wet. Let's face it, digging is a bind at any time, and digging in the rain is one of the most unappealing pastimes I can imagine. Except perhaps wet-paint observing. Or poo tasting. Anyway, I digress...

Things are growing well at the vicar's garden: the potatoes look very happy; the broad beans are in flower; the second planting of peas are creeping up the netting; and there are lots and lots of blackcurrants on the bushes. The goosegogs are a disappointment, as once again they've been covered in mildew, in spite of our radical pruning. Rob's sprayed them with some stuff, but it doesn't seem to have made much difference so far. We'll keep trying. On Sunday, we planted out the spaghetti squash and the tomatoes, so the only major things left to plant are the sweetcorn and the squashes/courgettes. Julia's in charge of germination, so hopefully they're growing gently as we speak.

Plot 9, however, has been quite neglected in the post-rain fight to get the Vic's back on track. However, we spent a reasonable amount of time up there on Sunday and planted out globe artichokes and did some weeding. We also got accosted by one of the old boys who has the allotment opposite ours. The conversation went something like this:

Old Boy: There's something that's puzzling me
Me: Oh yes?
OB: Why have you put two trenches here, right in the middle of the allotment?
Me: That's for asparagus
OB: Well, yes, but you'll have to wait two years for that.
Me: We know that
OB: Why haven't you put it at the ends of the allotment? There's no sense putting it in the middle.
Me: Eurm, because we wanted to?
OB: But it doesn't make sense.
Me: All of this top bit is going to be permanent - fruit bushes and the like - so it doesn't matter that we won't get an asparagus harvest for a couple of years.
OB: Oh.

....and on, and on, and on. We apologise now for not posting a notice explaining exactly what we are planning to do, and justifying our reasons for putting the plants where we've chosen to put them. Had we realised quite the level of interrogation we'd have to endure, we'd have personally spoken to you, Mr Old Boy, before putting spade to earth. As it is, you'll just have to lump it.

Talking of spades, earth and lumps, the soil at the allotment seems beautiful - Rob's done most of the digging up there (planted so far: cabbages, purple sprouting, beetroots, turnips, asparagus pea) - but the spits I've turned over have been good crumbly stuff, with far fewer stones than the vicar's, so there's even chance for the carrots!