Monday, 16 May 2011

It's Raining It's Pouring

Well, it isn't now, but it was yesterday. The rain was in for the day so I didn't make it down to the allotment, but I did get my beans and sweetcorn sown. I've started them all off in plantpots to be planted out later. Sown yesterday were climbing bean - Blue Lake, dwarf beans - Safari and Sonesta and sweetcorn - Applause. I also sowed some radish - French Breakfast and lettuce - Salad Bowl. The runner beans will be sown some time this week. Incidentally, the photo is of my Aquilegia which I planted in my border. This year I have a self sown variety which has popped up in the front garden which is pink in colour. I don't like it as much as this rich purple one.

I mentioned previously that I've sown some parsnip seeds direct at the allotment. I'm not totally sure they'll germinate, so to hedge my bets I have chitted some seed and planted them in to plantpots to be planted out later. This involves laying the seeds on damp kitchen paper and waiting for them to sprout. It's important not to let the paper dry out, this can be achieved by placing clingfilm over the tray you're using, or do as I do and use a plastic container which has a lid. Once the seeds have sprouted I plant them in to plantpots and once they have a couple of leaves I plant them out. It's important not to keep them in the plantpot too long otherwise the tap root will hit the bottom of the plantpot which will cause the parsnip to fork.

I'm looking forward to my lunch today. I'm going to have a cheese sandwich with some salad leaves included. This will be the first of my harvests this year, the salad leaves that is, not the cheese.


  1. Oh you lucky thing having rain - we've still not had any, and there's none forecast either. Hope the parsnips are successful.

  2. Rain? what's rain, can we have some please? But only overnight so it doesn't spoil any daytime fun outdoors.

    Enjoy your lunch, lovely to pick fresh from garden to plate in minutes and only a few footsteps isn't it. We've been picking salads a while here down South. Enjoying the Broad Bean harvest at the moment too.

    Good luck with the parsnips - we find that a great way to ensure a crop with their erratic germination.

    (Hope your Dad is recuperating well x)

  3. No pouring rain for us yesterday just a few spits and spots - you'd think we were miles away from each other!

  4. OOOOh I love cheese - any kind it doesn't matter! Wouldn't it be just fab if you could grow it and just pick off a piece when you wanted some?! :)

  5. We had rain a couple of days back too but only a spit this morning.

    I have loads of self seeded aquilegias and they come in many different colours. I'm not keen on the pale pink either but I also have deep blue and a sort of dark wine colour which is very dramatic. They seem to go in cycles. Some years I get more blue and some more of the dark red. No idea why!

  6. Oh you are lucky your rain has stopped, we've had it for over a week now and it's still going strong, fed up of it now!
    I love most aquilegia but some rather dirty looking white ones have arrived this time which I am not too keen on.
    Hope you enjoyed your lunch, it sounds delicious. I live on cheese being a vegetarian.

  7. We're having fresh cut leaves this week to Jo...and they taste wonderful!!!

    My sweetcorn has been in the ground a while now so I don't know if I was early but I was very impressed that they survived the last frost we had. I sometimes think I start things off to early...I think it's just the eagerness to get going after a long winter...i really need to try and wait for a while!!

    We still haven't had much rain...but the little we've had is better than none at all!!

  8. Rained here all day yesterday and most of today so rain certainly stopped play Jo. Hope that you enjoyed your home grown lunch :)

  9. It poured here too whilst I was watching OS playing football but when I got to the plot it hadn't made any difference at all. Come on rain!
    Love the aquilegias they appear all over my garden too.

  10. I really need to get my beans sown this week too, it's the one job I just don't seem to get round to doing and it's been on the 'to do' list for a couple of weeks now... eeek!

    I'm having a homegrown salad leaves and cheese sarnie for lunch too today. Yum! :)

  11. We had rain most days last week, Su, though not enough to give the ground a good soaking. It was only Sunday's rain which did this.

    Thanks for remembering my dad, Dawn. His recuperation has been slowed down by gout, but he's getting over than now. It would be great to have lovely sunny days and rainy nights, the best of both worlds.

    I can't believe the rain didn't reach you, Sue. We were stuck indoors all day. It just shows how the weather can differ so much even when there's just a few miles between us.

    That would be great, Ruth. We're big cheese fans in our house, love the stuff.

    The dark wine aquilegia sounds lovely, Kath. I expect the cycles are something to do with the colours which are crossed each year.

    There's many who would be only too glad to take some of that rain off you, Bluebell. A week is a bit too much though, I hope it subsides soon. I quite like white flowers but dirty white doesn't sound too pretty.

    It's great to be picking fresh salad again, Tanya. I find I'm a little too cautious where frost is concerned, but if you can get away with planting your sweetcorn out early that's great. You'll be eating home grown sweetcorn in no time.

    It's great to have a good downpour, Anna, though once every so often is quite enough, I don't want rain every day. Lunch was lovely, thank you.

    That's the problem, Allot Of Veg. It can seem that we're getting lots of rain, but the ground is so hard from all the sunshine we had in April that it doesn't seem to make much difference. Hope OS did well in his football match.

    There's always something on the to do list, Paul. If you'd got your beans sown there'd always be something else that you hadn't got round to doing, it's the same with all us gardeners I think. Hope you enjoy your lunch, mine was lovely.

  12. I'm rather envious that you've had rain as there's been virtually none here in London for three months now!
    Few of my sown direct seeds have germinated and I'm debating if I should sow some more or not bother!
    I see that you enjoyed your sandwich! Flighty xx

  13. We are having superb weather here at the moment. Rain overnight and sun during the day! The vegetable plants are booming!

    Have a great day!

    Martin :0)

  14. Bloomin' 'eck! You've reminded me about my seeds that have been overlooked and are crying out to be sown :)
    Hope you enjoyed your first harvest.

  15. Our weather for the last few days has also been cool and rainy. Reminded me of our days in King's Sutton, Oxon. Nice break before it gets hot.
    Lovely flowers, I still enjoy reading about your gardening.

  16. Rain? What's that:-)!!! Here in the East of England it is parched - although we did have some very sporadic rain overnight a few days ago - but nothing that could be of any use really!

    I've caught up with your last couple of posts Jo and am as inspired as ever. Soon I will be planting out the Tangella toms that I raised from the seeds you gave me. I will update you as to their progress.

    My veggies are growing like mad. I'm harvesting mixed salad leaves which we have most days together with delicate pea-shoots - lovely with just a dressing of oil and lemon.

    Hope your Dad is doing OK.


  17. Not much rain here Jo, everything is so dry. I've never tried pre-chitting parsnips but thinking of growing some in toilet roll inners next year and planting them straight out once they've germinated. It's great to have fresh salad, we're a bit overrun with lettuce but it's good to have healthy greens on the table!

  18. What a shame about your seeds, Flighty. I must admit that I've been going up to the allotment and watering mine just to keep them moist.

    You couldn't ask for better weather, Martin. No wonder your veggies are thriving.

    I'm always finding seeds which I've overlooked, Mo. I buy far too many anyway, I just can't resist them.

    Cool and rainy does sound like England, Kat. I'm hoping that we get a decent summer this year, we're due one.

    My dad's much better, thank you for asking, Jeanne. I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on with the Tangella's this year, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did last year.

    Better to have too much of something than too little, Damo. I've had mixed success with toilet roll inners, some years everything was fine, yet last year things didn't do too well in them. It could have been coincidence but I'm not chancing it this year.


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