Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meanwhile, back at the ranch... (part 4)

I'm almost afraid to write up another post on how well things are growing back at the house, but I feel obligated to share my delight with the world. 


Shoots have developed into bona fide plants. It's got to the stage that I need to finish off the allotment, because some of the veg will be ready to plant out soon. Depending on the type of veg, the strategy will be be to place them into larger flowerpots and "harden" them for a while before transferring them to the plot. Hardening them involves them being placed in our back garden during the day to acclimatise the veg and then bringing them back inside at night time. The theory is that if we planted the veg straight form the window to the allotment, the change in temperature would kill the plants faster than the slugs. Hardening will prevent that. 

Why we need to harden veg - outside it'd rarely reach a lofty 33 degrees!

Having the allotment affords us the opportunity to grow veg that we've never had a chance to before. Courgettes and celery (left) are two examples of this. 
The "old reliable" peas and sugar snaps will require special attention before long - as these veg send out creepers, we'll have to provide string or wire to climb up. With any luck the plot will be ready at that stage. 
Our leeks have finally shown their heads. Lots of them. The more the merrier, as we'll use plenty of them come the winter. 

As I've mentioned previously, we're growing lots of tomatoes this year - in several different varieties. We're hedging or bets this year by growing lots of them - last year a slug decimated our crops overnight, so hopefully this will be insurance against this. (But just look at how well they're growing!).
The cabbages (sigh) are also going from strength to strength. Okay, so they're not my favourite veg, but they are capable of surviving during the "hungry gap" and nutritious to boot, so I'm determined to make an effort to improve my relationship with them.  

We've invested in some veg that are already in some way established. These are in the process of being hardened, and will most likely be the first candidates for being transplanted to the allotment. They include swedes, lettuce ("butterhead" and "gem"), brussels sprouts and onions.

Finally, we're growing marigold flowers. These deter white fly and other pests, such as the dreaded aphid (greenfly) and (strangely enough), rabbits! Oddly enough, these flowers are also edible, so their place in the allotment is assured.

So that's where we stand at the moment - so far so good. Hopefully we can continue as we've started!

No comments: