This Sunday at the allotment…
What to sow and plant this week
|If you are wondering what to do when the broad beans and early peas are finished and you have an empty patch on your plot, there are plenty of seeds to sow now. Try some Florence fennel that, if kept watered, should produce bulbs to enjoy by the end of summer. It’s not too late for a row of French beans, sugar-snap or mange-tout peas. Or turnips. Or mooli radishes, the ones with long white roots that are mild and sweet in salads. Thinking ahead to the winter, sow some Swiss chard or Nepali spinach. These will keep you in cut-and-come-again greens in all but the harshest weather. And, if you pull a lettuce, plant another one straight away, to keep up the supply.
|Take a look at your herbs, replacing those that are going to seed. (Though, if you allow coriander and rocket to flower and set seed, you’ll never be short of either.) There are basil and parsley plants ready to go out. And herbs that don’t like being transplanted, such as coriander, chervil and rocket, can be sown directly in one of those empty spaces.
Many people in GO2 take on the communal tasks needed to keep the project going; but not everyone does. So, if you haven’t done your stint during the year, now is the time. Here are some ways you can fulfil your obligation to do communal work; any of the tasks can be done whenever you are visiting and have half an hour or so to spare.
- Cut the grass on communal paths as well as that between your plot and the next.
- When you return your tools to the shed, and it’s all a bit of a mess, do a quick tidy up.
- Find a broom in the blue shed and sweep the paved areas, the main paths and around the raised beds.
- Weed under the tables in the picnic area.
- Cut down nettles and add to nettle soup in the composting area.
- If the plants in containers look dry, water them.
- Look at the watering rota on the door of the Big Shed. If there’s no-one down to water in the greenhouse or polytunnel while you are there, check the plants and water if it’s needed.
- Weed or cut grass around the polytunnel and greenhouse.
(Quite a list! – ed.)
Jane’s Heritage seeds
|Prew’s Special peas have grown much bigger than I expected (I should have read the packet notes!) and are doing very well. With luck we’ll all be able to try peas descended from the originals found in a Pharaoh’s tomb!
|Sutton’s Purple Podded pea is so pretty that it’s worth growing for its decorative qualities alone. Like Prew’s Special, it’s much bigger than I was bargaining for. I’d forgotten that most of the old peas are much bigger than our modern ones. I’m growing Alderman on my own plot, which grows at least 6ft high. The downside to these old peas is that you need to give them support; the upside is that they are very easy to pick.
|Mr Jones broad bean (which Peter has grown before) has a terrific crop of excellent quality (I sampled a pod raw, just to find out – delicious). This is a first rate broad bean.