The rocket starts

Nice family trip to the plot today — a low impact way to spend the bank holiday Monday.

The rhubarb’s still going strong and now the rocket and spinach are ready for harvesting. It’s nerve-wracking, really, ensuring that the food’s not wasted. And I can see the blackcurrants swelling but still green, the garlic strong, the beans in flower; more picking and preserving needed throughout the Summer.

Today’s work: weeding, weeding, weeding; planted a row of peas with the girl; planted 25 French beans around the tepee.

Planting peas with gusto

Planting peas with gusto

Today’s haul: 1.8 kg of rhubarb that’s gone straight into the freezer in 300 gramme bags; 125 grammes of spinach that’s maturing in a dahl sag for tomorrow night’s tea; 250 grammes of rocket that she who knits made into a jar of pesto.

Picking rocket with the girl

Picking rocket with the girl

Rocket pesto - we put it through the hand blender next

Rocket pesto - we put it through the hand blender next

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Progress

It’s quiet … there are 2 French Bean plants still to crop and a row of turnips have just germinated, but here’s not much else on the plot. I guess the knack of managing and allotment is ensuring that it’s not boom and bust. I spent an evening last week planning and now have a rough scheme for the Winter and into the next season. It’s quite a guddle, trying to get the rotation and timings in sync. Maybe I’ll be able to do catch crops if I keep an eye on the plot, but that seems a bit advanced.

Yesterday:

  • planted 6 small lavender bushes I got from B&Q for a fiver. This is part of the plan to replacethe ugly chick-wire fence on the South side of the plot with a row of herbs, and it’s coming along OK. There’s chives and mint and huge amount of oregano already, and I’ve still to transplant a rosemary from the garden to the allotment. Just gotta think of something to plant in between a couple of the lavenders and it’s done; leave the lavender to bed in, remove the chicken wire, tidy up (and remove a bramble and comfrey), then put own a bit of brick and block edging that I’ve reclaimed from the plot. Simple!
  • Planted half a bed of Winter Spinach. Had to dig down through the leafmould to get to the soil. The soil is moist and weed-free, which is good news since the water has been off on the site for a fortnight…
  • Weeded the nascent turnips

2 hours this morning. Felt dejected at first because all the plants I’ve tried this year have got problems: beans all eaten, courgettes with mildew, spinach bolted, etc. Also the weeds and grasses are all grown up. But when I got stuck in to pulling up fireweed I perked up. Comfrey cut back and put on the compost heap.

Brought a small punnet of raspberries back. Will head out later today (after the Tour) and pick up rhubarb. Would have liked to make jam today, but I need to buy enough jars/waxed paper circles/etc.

Mostly weeding and mulching

Been to the allotment twice today. Got there at noon and has a mooch around, planted a second row of spinach, attended to the French beans, and got a barrowful of leafmould, but it was too hot and I had forgotten to bring any water. So at 1pm I headed home, had some lunch and headed out to Redhall walled garden, met A+J at the Water of Leith visitor centre and then pottered around the allotment again, mainly to plant a tiny lavender that I bought from Redhall.
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