Tuesday 12th April 2011 – At Allotment Plot 326, digging of an area of ground was completed. Seeds were then planted as follows: Leeks Almera, Kale Red Russian Curled, Beetroot Bolivar, Carrot Amsterdam Forcing, and Carrot Rothild. Ella Montt noted that both a Carrot fly deterrent barrier and also a Heavy Metal collection of CD’s to deter hungry birds needs to be deployed.
Weeding of the overwintered planted area that contains the Garlic, Onions, Spinach, Broad Beans and newly planted Shallots Red Sun commenced.
Thursday 14th April 2011 – Ella Montt had acquired a small Comfrey plant donated by ImL. At Allotment Plot At MERL, Ella Montt selected a place in the Plot and planted the Comfrey in the corner of the Brick Composter. A tiny Stinging Nettle plant was observed establishing itself where it had been situated a few weeks ago in the opposite corner of the Composter. Both Comfrey and Stinging Nettle can be harvested as they grow to act as activators to the compost. Comfrey is a good plant food for Tomatoes and Potatoes. Stinging Nettles are loved by Ladybirds and can also be used for human consumption when cooked (much like Spinach). Both plants have their own particular medicinal qualities.
The net fence that had been installed around the Peas seemed to have so far prevented bird assault on the young plants. Perhaps the Peas could not be seen through the netting? To try to prevent an aerial offensive green plastic string was tied between the Bamboo tripods.
It had rained very lightly the previous evening, but the soil was still exceptionally dry and it was necessary to water the Plot. Ella Montt fetched the watering can from the shed to assist in the watering process.
At the fixed up greenhouse some seeds had germinated, but growth of Tomato and Pepper plants remained fairly slow. Sunflower and Globe Artichoke had germinated with ease, however the act of planting outside was on hold, because although frost seemed unlikely in the current weather forecast, sudden and unexpected frosty temperatures can still arrive in May. Therefore the waiting game continued. A newspaper report was read that indicated rainfall for the time of year was below average and drought was already looming. Meanwhile more seeds were selected and planted in pots in the fixed up greenhouse. The seeds were as follows:
08/04/2011, Sweetcorn True Gold; French Bean (Dwarf) Royalty; French Bean (Climbing) Barlotto Lingua di Fuoco, Blauhide, Blue Lake, and Neckarqueen, and Runner Bean Enorma.
16/04/2011, Melon Sivan F1; Cucumber Marketmore and Tanja, Courgette Cocozelle, Patriot F1 and Soliel F1; Squash Big Max, Black Futsu, Blue Ballet, Buttercup, Butternut, (Pumpkin) Cinderella, Fictor F1, Green Hokkaido, (Pumpkin) Jack O’Lantern, Marina Di Chioggia, Musquee de Provence, Red Turban and Uchiki Kuri.
Last years Beans at the Allotment produced a good harvest, but last years Squashes were slow to grow on the Plot and did not produce a good harvest. This year Ella Montt is taking action to try to improve the fertility of the soil for the Squashes, because the plants like a compost rich soil, but the management of weather conditions to enhance growth development is still under observation and reflection. If drought continues more water will need to be applied.