Saturday 26 February 2011

Kent Blue

The generosity of bloggers will never cease to amaze me. Today I received some seeds for Kent Blue mangetout peas from Kath at Vegetable Heaven. Hubby had mentioned recently that he'd like me to have a go at some mangetout this year, and after the description of these on Kath's blog they sounded perfect. The flowers are a bicolour purple which fade to blue, and the pods are produced in abundance. I shall ensure that I save some seeds so that I can grow them again in future years. Many thanks, Kath.

I popped in to Wilkinsons today and noticed that they'd got quite a few dahlia tubers in. I took a fancy to one named Arabian Night, a burgundy colour, so that came home with me. I grew a few dahlias from seed last year and intend to do the same again this year, though I'd like a few more this time.

The sun is out at the moment but the rain through the night and earlier today has meant that getting anything done on the allotment is out of the question. Perhaps I'll do some more seed sowing instead.

Sunday 20 February 2011

It All Begins Here

I've been saying since January that I'm going to start off my pepper seeds, well I've finally got round to it today. They're now all tucked up in the heated propagator, but they'll be taken out of there as soon as they push their heads up otherwise the extra heat will encourage them to grow leggy. I've decided to go for two varieties this year. The first is a bell shaped pepper, California Wonder, which seems to be a popular choice of pepper in the UK. The second variety is Corno di Toro Rosso, which is known as Bulls Horns in Italy due to it's tapered shape. It will be interesting to compare the two.

There's been so much talk of spring arriving just lately that it came as quite a shock yesterday when I got up and looked out the window. Everywhere was white, covered in a layer of snow. It was lunch time before the snow stopped falling, but it had turned to slush by evening. This morning there was no snow to be seen. We should remember that it's still February and this sort of weather isn't unusual.

At the moment I've got a renewed enthusiasm for the allotment after reading several blogs telling just how fast they're progressing with their allotments. I had intended to get cracking with my own allotment this weekend, however, with the snow covering it yesterday and the residual mud today, there was no chance. Fingers crossed for better weather next weekend.

Saturday 12 February 2011

To Bee Or Not To Bee

The spring bulbs have been slow to bloom here, I've only just started to notice snowdrops, but now that I have it seems that everything is blooming at once. Along with the snowdrops there are crocus blooming, and the daffodils and tulips aren't far behind. Honey bees will seek out spring bulbs to forage for the nectar, we saw this one today just leaving a crocus.

I've been very good and have so far resisted planting any seeds. It's always tempting to start things off far too early, in which case they usually grow leggy. I will be starting off my pepper seeds this weekend though. I've held off long enough now and if they do grow leggy there's always time to start off some more.

The high winds from last week returned on Monday, though they weren't quite as bad as they had previously been. The rest of the week was fine and the sun put in an appearance. It's been a glorious day today. The sun has been shining and it's been quite warm. I should have really spent some time at the allotment, but we took advantage of the lovely day and had a day out instead. Rain is forcast for tomorrow so we had to make the most of some fine weather.

Sunday 6 February 2011

Rhubarb Shoots

I noticed today that my rhubarb is starting to shoot. This will be the third year that I've had this particular rhubarb crown and it's been in a container all it's life. Each year I've intended planting it at the allotment, but still haven't got round to it. I'll have to make more of an effort this year.

We had some terrible winds here on Friday, so much so that two of the ridge tiles on the extension roof have come loose, and half of my greenhouse blew away. I've arranged for a roofer to come and sort the tiles out on Wednesday, and the greenhouse is now back in one piece. It's glazed with polycarbonate, so there was no breakages, but I found the door and two side panels in our garden, and one of the roof panels in our next door neighbour's garden.

The everbearing strawberries which I potted up last month are looking very healthy and have started to put on some new growth. I just need some decent weather now to get a new bed prepared for them, though there's none forcast for the next few days, it's supposed to be very wet.
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