Onions are sprouting

The six rows of onions that I put in around 3 weeks ago are all coming up… approximately 90% have already sprouted a beautiful light green shoot. There are no surface weeds which means there will be no competition for the little onion seedlings.

Although we had quite a severe frost last week it has not affected the onions in the slightest. I must promise myself to keep on top of the weeds to ensure the onions get a good start for the growing season. 

It’s been nearly two weeks

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve been to the allotment: it’s been nice weather. Easter holidays away.  It looks like the hard work I had put in before going seems to have paid off because the allotment is doing really well without me. 

This is exactly what I really wanted to happen. To get to a point where minimal work is required and just let the plants do they still do their stuff.

The potatoes are all doing really well, my early are all coming up already and my main crop is pushing through really well. The last three lines of potatoes are a little bit behind, however that’s exactly what I wanted and the onion lines I put in a couple of weeks ago have started to sprout. 

Tonight was only a 10 minute trip to see what needed to be done during the evenings this week, and apart from some very minor weeding the only major task is to do some watering.  This seems to be the most urgent task because it looks as though it hasn’t rained in the past two weeks. 

So the jobs for after work this week (possibly Friday evening if I can’t manage it during the working week) is to turn up with a small rake for pulling up the weeds and a hose pipe sprinkle connection for watering my patch. 

The three onions sets have been planted today

The main task for today, Sunday was to plant my onion sets in the patch of land previously taken up by the grass compost heap. That patch had been cleared a few weeks earlier and all I needed to do was rake over that patch, flatten it out, remove the weeds and create three lines for 6 lots of onions.

The weather is dry but the soil underneath is still quite damp so I spent three hours today digging over and planting three lots of onions sets: two lines each. 

Potatoes are coming up already

Today is Sunday and a most beautiful day… the village is packed with people and quite a few of them walking through the allotments. It is by far the nicest weather we have had this year. Blue sky and scorching temperatures, it has been like this for at least a week. 

Weather just right for the potatoes: they think that summer has arrived and so they have put a spirt on.  The first three rows of potatoes that I dug in a few weeks ago are now all coming through. I promised myself I would not kill them this year and so I have not bothered to cover them up.  I think they will do quite well without me stressing them. 

Although I will not be available for the next couple of weekends because I am busy — I will hope that the warm weather continues and we don’t get a sudden cold snap that kills them with frostbite. 

Two years ago this kind of weather did happen and it snowed a little in April. This may slightly have damaged the crop at that time, although it didn’t affect the potatoes that much really. 

Today I have managed around three hours at the plot,  from about 9:30 to 12:30 and that was enough to cut the border grass area and plant my onion sets. But it didn’t give me enough time to weed around the potatoes which have started to show a few grass seeds and flowery patches. Doing the wedding would have been the best if I could have managed it, but time ran out unfortunately. I will see what effect this slight negligence in a couple of weeks. 

Planting the Désirée potatoes

Another beautiful day. Sunshine all weekend and rainy in the run up during the working week! Perfect!!

Yesterday we did a day trip out to visit a village we had not been to before. The usual, hill climbing and tea rooms, trinket shops and cathedral ruins. Spent all day in the sunshine. It was really nice.

This morning I spent two and a half hours at the allotment in the morning. I dug in more potatoes. Désirée potato type. Good for mashing and cooking everybody’s favourite: dauphinoise potatoes.

At last! Grass free!

That’s it! I am officially grass free down at the allotment plot! It has taken 2 years of digging and clearing, composting and covering. Turf has been turned over and pulled up, piled up, tarpaulined, watered, garotted, left for 2 years… 

Finally I removed the last patch of grass (leaving just a small patch for a picnic rug) on Saturday.

Here is the before and after photograph for the last area. 

I can now spend my time on planting and removing the odd weed here and there. And I have a much larger area to grow my food in now. No grass and no grass compost heap. 

King Edward potatoes are in the ground

I have finished digging over the central part of the allotment plot. It is ready for the King Edward main crop, so I put down my potato feed and dug it in. Properly following the instructions now. Hopefully I will not be killing most of my potatoes this year. 

The King Edward potatoes have been sat on the window sill for about 2 weeks. They have chitted quite a bit too much. I left them in the dark too long really, so the chits are quite white and long. Never mind.

Four lines of densely packed King Edward potatoes have gone into the centre of the plot. The first two rows were dug in around 3 inches down and the second two rows are deeper slightly, 6 inches. Maybe they will be growing at a slight offset so they don’t all need to be dug up at the same time.

I am undecided whether I will thin these out later (so they do not complete too much)…  I will see how they get on. Probably I will leave them, I am curious already to find out how they will do.