So far February has been a cold and very blustery month with some crisp sunny days here and there. On the allotment broad beans are growing well and I noticed a couple of late bloomers pushing through, if you look closely you might be able to make them out.
Broad beans are tough little plants but mine are being completely pampered from the gales with cloche protection, just because I love them.
The garlic has been a little slow to get going this year but clearly doing well and gaining height. The leaves of this particular variety (Red Duke) start off quite short and stumpy, ending up very tall and thick by summer.
Early rhubarb Timperley Early glows in the winter sunshine, it won’t be long until the first crumble of the year. I also have a late unknown variety on the allotment which is still dormant, my guess is Victoria due to the stalks not being stringy.
Some changes are coming to Plot 11w and the first stage has already been completed. During the week I dismantled and moved the pallet compost bins to make way for a shed at some point soon. I reused some of the pallets to make a new compost bin on Plot 5 and the rest were stacked for future use.
The next job was to collect the precious compost bin contents and barrow it over to the newly installed bin on my other plot, a few more months of breaking down and it should be ready to use.
After removing the compost material the ground needed levelling in preparation for a paved shed base. This took quite some time and involved pushing back lots of woodchip on the paths and rolling back weed membrane to expose the area fully. The ground wasn’t too wet and sticky so I was able to rake it over level to a point I was happy with, but the shed base area will need to be more precise. That’s for another day. I managed to source some free paving slabs which is great, I just need a dry day over a weekend to get them in place.
Lucky for me I was given a preformed pond liner recently and I plan to put this to good use on Plot 11w. It will be a lovely addition the allotment, I really enjoy the wildlife ponds at home in the garden and find them fascinating. Encouraging frogs to the allotment will be fantastic for organic slug control and with this in mind I have decided to change the paths from woodchip to grass at some point this year. I will keep the woodchip path near my neighbours plot to maintain the shared fence area and make it more manageable for both of us, the rest of the woodchip I will use as a mulch for the fruit beds. I’m looking forward to the new changes for Plot 11w this year.
At the beginning of the month I started the first seeds of the year at home, two types of onion which are Bedfordshire Champion and Red Baron. They are through and doing well and will be planted out some time in March, weather permitting. Chillies have germinated with help from a heat mat, the variety is Kristian which is new to me and I chose it because of the beautiful yellow peppers with a decent amount of heat.
I’ve decided to grow my own asparagus from seed rather than crowns, the seeds have been sown on heat and today I spotted the first tiny spears just beginning to push through. Very exciting! This will be a long term project and because I’ve chosen to grow from seed I will have longer to wait before the very first harvest, but I rather like the challenge. On the windowsills I have two varieties of potatoes chitting which are my favourite second early Charlotte and maincrop Carolus, a new variety to me. That will be it for seed sowing this month.