Crikey rain, you took your time to show up!
The lack of rain in April set fear into farmers across the UK, seeing 50% less rainfall than average. Drought put crops at risk, alongside the unseasonably cold snap that recently took us by surprise.
Dear rain, after one of the driest winters in 20 years, it may mean us putting gardening on hold and are feet up but you need to come visit more often, us allotmenteers and farmers need you.
Whilst the wait for rain starts again, I have been busy planting out my Painted Lady runner beans and finally getting round to putting my main crop King Edwards spuds in. The potatoes have gone in much later than I would of liked but they will catch up just like I have done with my To List from April. I always look back at my last To Do list before I begin to write the next and as you will know, I am usually way behind. Shock horror…I have actually achieved everything on the list minus one!
Amongst the activity highlighted in my last post, I have sowed two varieties of Basil; Siam Queen and Sweet Genovese, 8 Marketmore Cucumbers and 6 Floridor Courgettes.
Not forgetting 8 Baby Boo Pumpkin seeds courtesy of Bohemian Raspberry and two special pumpkin seeds from Matthew Oliver’s 791.416lb whopper. Most exciting of all, in the heated propagator these were amongst the very VIP company of two giant seeds from Matt’s 1333.8lb UK Outdoor Grown Record Breaker!!! Grown and adored at RHS Hyde Hall in Essex from the World’s most expensive pumpkin seed.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling the pressure of growing such high potential hopefuls, even if I have entirely put in upon myself.
The one job I missed is direct sowing carrots, beetroot and parsnips, I need to get cracking now! I wouldn’t normally wait until this late in the year to start but am so glad I have otherwise I might have lost seedlings to the dreaded frost.
As well as direct sowing, there is many other tasks I need to get done before I go on holiday on the 31st, such as;
- Plant out my two compact pea varieties, Waverex and Tom Thumb/Half Pint
- Direct sow Dwarf French beans
- Sow Dwarf Green Curled Kale in modules on the windowsill.
- Pinch out the tops of my flowering Super Aquadulce Broad Beans
- Earth up first early Annabelle potatoes
- Keep giving words of encouragement to my sprouting broccoli, sunflowers and Pied Piper Red Cosmos so I can plant them out in June.
- Continue harvesting damn tasty radishes for salads and snacking
- Finally, if you missed my monthly allotment radio chat at the beginning of the month, discussing the latest on the plot, upcoming events and jobs for the month, catch up here and zoom to 1:57:00.
As always I have added a few extras which may help you or are purely a cheeky plug for myself.
Right time to get back off my butt and back to it, whoever said that Sunday was the day of rest never had an allotment, dinner to cook and a huge pile of washing.
Thank you as always for joining me on my journey and I will be back very soon sharing a recent very exciting interview with TV Chef Marcus Bean ahead of Gardeners World Live and the BBC Good Food Show.
Ps. Don’t forget…I have an exclusive 20% discount code on tickets!
Just head to the BBC Gardeners World Live website and quote BL20 to save 20%* on tickets, including general admission to BBC Good Food Show Birmingham Summer. So that’s tickets from £18.80, saving £4.70.