There hasn’t been an awful lot of activity on Plot #59 this month. Rain has stopped play most days. Admittedly we haven’t been anywhere near as badly-hit as some folks have and my sympathies and best wishes really do go out to anyone whose plot has been water-logged or flooded. But still, apart from a bit of a tidy-up in the greenhouse and a few digging and weeding sessions in-between the downpours there hasn’t been much that we can usefully do to move things forward.
We did have a hard frost earlier in the month at one point, which I though might herald a proper slice of winter, but it failed to materialise. Hopefully it was enough to kick-start the strawberries and garlic for the year ahead.
Just the one batch of seeds sown this month: four varieties of chillis (Capsicum annuum ‘pot black’, ‘prairie fire’, ‘cayenne’ and C. chinense ‘Habanero’ and/or ‘Scotch Bonnet’).
Our fruit bush and strawberry sections were established last year, so we haven’t had anything new to plant out just yet.
This month was mainly about the roots, with a couple of batches of parsnips (Pastinaca sativa, var. unknown) and salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius ‘Mammoth’) harvested, both of which have definitely been improved by that frost. I also pulled up a few leeks (Allium ampeloprasum ‘Autumn Mammoth 2’ and ‘Musselburgh’) and had a couple of small pickings of kale (Brassica oleracea ‘green curled’, the standard stuff but still very tasty).
About the only other crop we have in the ground at the moment is some purple sprouting broccoli, which hasn’t really sprouted yet, and some half-hearted, limp celery, which is probably destined for the compost when I get around to digging it out. Last year’s house move meant there was hardly any sowing and planting for winter veg, but this year into next will be very different.
Projects / Maintenance
As well as doing as much weeding of last year’s veg beds as possible, I have made a start on digging the ground in what will become our long-term asparagus patch. Progress was slow, but I’ve managed an initial dig of around three-quarters of the allotted space. Once the weather clears a bit, I need to incorporate plenty of organic matter and grit for fertility and drainage, then form the ridges for the crowns to be planted on. I have until the end of March / early April when the crowns I’ve ordered are due to be shipped, so hopefully plenty of time yet. As always, with one eye on the local forecast and another on my list of odd jobs that I can fit in around the rain showers.