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May 16 2009

Posted By: paul 16/05/2009 08:23:00

This week I will start off with a progress report on the Raised Salad Bed.

As you can see from these pictures the Rocket (left)and Spinach (right) are doing very well, there are five rows of each with the more mature rows on the left and the recently planted on the right.

Salad

I have been picking the larger leaves from the left hand side for eating for almost two weeks now, and that's for a single person for lunch and then a salad bowl for three people in the evening. There seems to be no reduction in the leaves produced and as I am careful to only take the largest leaf from each plant they seem to recover quite well. I was expecting the left hand rows to have started to slow down by now and need re-sowing but it looks like I might get another week or so out of them yet.

The Spring Onions are doing well but they are not ready for eating yet, maybe another couple of weeks before they will be ready. The Kohl Rabi is almost golf ball sized so again another couple of weeks before they are ready. The Lettuce is doing well, one of the plants started forming a heart and I have been picking leaves from it for a few days. Mixing the Lettuce, Rocket, Spinach, and young Beetroot leaves makes a lovely salad, and hopefully it will continue for several months to come.

In the Greenhouse everything is shooting up, the Sweet corn, Beans, Squashes, Courgette's and Tomatoes are all looking great and most will need planting out soon. As usual I have sown far too many Courgette's but I have a plan this year. There is a small plot of land between our house and the School next door, half of which is ours, and the other half, theirs. As it sits about seven feet higher than the playground it hasn't been easy for them to keep the bindweed down on their bit so we have taken over looking after it for them. After covering it with a weed proof membrane and then a thick layer of compost I am now ready to plant out all the Courgette's The variety I have chosen is Zucchini which is a bush Courgette, rather than a large trailing variety and it produces a nice crop of small Courgette's though the summer.

The allotment is ticking along nicely, and a daily visit to pull weeds is the only management required. Weekly I have to trim the paths to keep the grass down. This is not just to keep it looking tidy, as the grass also provides the only hiding place for snails, and every time I trim the grass I find at least five of the little vermin. Last week I thinned a row of Turnips and used the thinning's as salad leaves, although you can use them like Cabbage leaves and have them lightly steamed.

The Potatoes are growing well and are being earthed up as the grow, this keeps the top tubers away from the sunlight and prevents them from turning green, and it also encourages more Potatoes to form. Actually, while I am talking about Potatoes, I noticed an allotment not too far away from mine had been planted with Potatoes in the same spot as last year. I thought this was odd, and it may have been a mistake, but the tops of all the plants are now showing signs of Blight. If it is Blight then it is very early as you would normally expect it later in the year. Luckily the plot is downwind from mine so with any luck I won't get infected. I will keep an eye on it to see how it progresses.

Anyway enough rambling on for this week. Next week is the Chelsea Flower Show, and I have heard rumours there is a lot of focus on vertical gardening this year. So there!

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