Plot #59

Plot #59 Update, 04.04.20

Jo and I invested our State Authorised Exercise Hour in a work session down on the plot today.

Jo and I invested our State Authorised Exercise Hour in a work session down on the plot today. It was the first time I’d visited for a couple of weeks or so – since I planted out nine or ten rows of seed spuds – as we’ve been taking long walks around our estate by way of exercise.

I immediately felt a huge sense of relief to be back there, so I think there are going to be many more official exercise sessions involving planting, weeding and watering over the next few weeks.

Today the focus was on watering the carrot bins, strawberry troughs and rhubarb patch, and then planting out this year’s broad beans. I didn’t over-winter any this year, just sowed them on Feb 6th in peat free compost soil blocks, side-by-side in a gravel tray to allow watering from below:

Broad beans germinating in soil blocks made from peat free compost.

The majority germinated within a couple of weeks and were potted up once they were robust enough to handle – the soil blocks made separating them out really easy – on March 18th. They grew on strongly and today looked plenty large enough to go into the ground. Here’s a plant showing plenty of top-growth and a nice, strong root system:

A healthy root system and plenty of leafy growth on this peat-free potted broad bean

We planted out two rows out eight and tied them in to canes – our plot is very windy so they’d be battered tomorrow if we didn’t. With any luck we’ll have fresh broad beans to eat by June and they should keep going into July as well.

I also cut out a few flower stems from the rhubarb patch. I don’t know if you’ve seen rhubarb in full flower – it’s certainly an impressive spray – but it means the plant is diverting energy from producing edible stems, and so I always try to remove the flower bud clusters before they get any bigger than this:

The shocking pink buds of a rhubarb inflorescence

Elsewhere on the plot – and particularly on the Plot #79 orchard over the way, it’s the start of blossom season:

Plum blossom
Pear blossom
Jostaberry blossom

That last photo confirms that Jostaberries blossom best on long, vertical stems. There are far more buds on those than there are on any of the more horizontal or cut-back stems that I pruned last year. Lovely little flowers they have, too.

Speaking of flowers, there are a fair few spring blooms out on the plot at the moment. Here’s a selection to finish with, along with a few from our back garden. Enjoy!

2 replies on “Plot #59 Update, 04.04.20”

Great stuff Darren. A question please: removing flowering stems from rhubarb; do you cut the stem at the base?
Thank you, Andrew

Yes, as close to the base as you can reach, if only because I’ve found that the leaf stems that grow along a flowering stem seem to be more bitter-tasting than the leaf stems that grow directly from the base. Maybe because the flower bud is taking up more of the carbohydrates that are drawn up that particular stem?

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