I have not been the most efficient alloment holder this year. I dug over 2/3 of it and then lost the energy to complete the rest. This time last year I had it all cleared and dug over and rested for the winter – then again I have taken over the other half giving myself twice the work, and there are plots that are in a far worse state then mine so I am not too downhearted about it. Each weekend for the past two months its either been too wet or too frozen to dig and with the moon appearing when I finish work getting any work done has been a challenge.
Today, however although it is freezing cold and frosty, the sun is out and I am in the mood for something allotment related. So I grabbed my pencil and drew out the plan for this year then sorted through the seeds to see what I needed. I decided that where possible I will use up whatever seeds I have rather than buying new just for the sake of satisfying my obsession with buying seeds. I will buy new carrots seeds as they are so fickle you really should use new each year and I could do with some more runner and french beans. I want to grow a globe artichoke or two as well this year to both fill up some space and create something of a natural barrier between mine and the next plot.
I bought the first seed potatoes the other day which are chitting away on the windowsill. The only problem is I threw away the label and cannot remember which type they are – I want to say Desiree but might just be imagining that. So I need to get some more spuds and am looking for Charlotte and International Kidney, aaaand maybe some Sarpo mira if I happen across any.
I haven’t yet put the garlic out – next weekend I will plant it up at the allotment. I know most people plant it in autumn but its so wet up here that on our heavy clay I find the cloves just rot, so January/February when its still cold but dryer then I put the cloves out and just harvest them a month or so later and they always work fine. The downside is running the risk of the bulbs not splitting into cloves and ending up with 1 fat bulb of garlic – this happend to 2 of my elephant garlic last year but it didnt matter as it was still useable chopped and preseved in butter, oils or just chopped up in jars with a bit of oil.