Allotment update Jan-2012

Here's a pictorial round up of the allotment plot at the end of January 2012.

Won't be doing broccoli again this season. Long time coming for very little return. The parsnips in the next row had a bit of a chequered history as well... dug most of them up in September trying to get three equal straight examples for the Flower & Produce Show and ended up with a huge pile of invalids.

Although they don't look up to much the cabbage have been a great success. Bit worried about their attraction to various bugs but the Winter cold saw these off and they're sweet and delicious. Lots more of them for 2012!

The swiss chard has been as reliable as ever and decorative. Might help if I thinned them out a bit when seedlings. Don't eat these myself, they're used as greens for the chickens.

The brussel sprouts have been a bit of a let down for the second year in row... none of the buds tightened. Won't bother again since they also take a long time to harvest.

First time tried spring greens and were fine. Have yet to pick any for cooking, waiting for them to bulk up a bit more.

Spinach been productive throughout the winter and the chickens love some almost as much as me.

The odd remaining lettuce is looking pretty sorry. Maybe a bit of weeding would help. More food for the chickens.

Can't get enough leeks, and this year twigged they grow much more strongly if you start from seed straight in the ground rather than raise in a pot first. Going to grow lots more in 2012.

One of the great successes of 2011 has been the swedes. First time I've grown them and they've turned out trouble free, sweet and delicious. Again, lots more of these for 2012.

It's not just about vegetables. After struggling for years to grow sweet peas in toilet roll tubes it's been a great success to plant the peas straight in the ground in Autumn. Come up really tough and strong. The row next door also has peas coming up too... roast dinner style peas.

Some more flowers, this time wallflowers. So easy to grow from seed.

2012 is going to be a big year for peas. Here's Douce Provence stored in a propagator in the greenhouse after being raised at home on the windowsill, where there are even more starting to appear.

The rhubarb patch is looking a bit sad after being given a seeing to by one of the chickens before I noticed she'd jumped the fence, but the buds are beginning to appear.

Given the polytunnel a bit of a sorting. Early and late rapsberries now have a double row wire frame to be tied to on the right, the fruit bushes are almost all move to the left and strawberries further on down the left.

Plenty of onions growing. The nearest two rows were grown from seed and need separating. Furthest two rows are garlic.

The herb bank was a great success in 2011, though the only productive plant at present is the rosemary.

Even though the days are only slightly longer the chickens can tell Spring is on its way and have started laying again.

The pond was another great 2011 success, with memories of sitting in the sunshine having a snack whilst the frogs, pondskaters, waterboatmen and dragon flies entertained us. Astounding how quickly all the flowers established themselves.

The greenhouse is tidied, shelves back up and all ready to go!

Well on with the Winter digging too.

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