Archive for May, 2008

April at Lady Road Allotments

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Spring has still not quite arrived. Yesterday I had to shelter in my hut from hail and torrential rain, the roof leaks so that is another job. Get rid of the panes of glass, fit tongue and grooved boards and cover with roofing felt. The potato’s are in at last. I have long rows of Rocket, first early; Charlotte, a good tasty salad hot or cold and Desiree red skinned main crop. The surplus seeds were given away to relatives and other plot holders. We are eating the last of last years Desiree crop so it does keep well. I take a trench out, fill the bottom with compost, carefully put the chitted seeds in the compost, chits up and cover level. I ridge up as they grow. In the same section I planted out my Kelsae onions. They are supposed to a giant variety, the seeds were planted just after the New Year indoors and as soon as possible I took them outdoors to harden off. The garlic in the same section is doing well, the cloves were planted in October. The Red Baron sets have gone in, I just hope that the pigeons do not take a fancy.

Chopped off the tops of the field beans and raked the surface soil. It was very crumbly, ideal for seeds, a by-product of the groundcover the field beans provide. The tops went in the compost heap. Two rows of onion seedlings went in on top of the bean roots then two rows of carrot “Flyaway” supposed to have resistance to carrot fly, we shall see!!. Two more rows of onions on the other side of the carrots should help to disguise the smell of the carrots. The vine I planted last year on the “shelf” has started to sprout, it is being trained along the wall which will form the heat sink of the greenhouse when I get round to building it.

First radish and lettuce are in under glass, as are seeds for sprouts (red and white) and summer cabbage. The sweet corn has been sown, I use “golden nugget” a hardy late maturing plant ideal for Edinburgh, we had about 30 cobs last year. Courgettes, zucchini, are in under glass, most of the plants I will give away. 3 should be enough as long as you crop regularly and do not allow the fruits to get too big.

All the fruit bushes have been mulched with compost and fed with bone meal. The black currants have big bud, the disease the mites carry, “reversion” is endemic on the site. There is no complete cure, you can spray with sulphur powder and pick the buds off as a stopgap, but unless every plot holder is doing the same the mites will invade your plants again. The only cure is to dig up, burn, and start again with a disease free plant.