Monday, 25 May 2009

Cardoon, carrots and chives

I spent most of the day at the allotment today. This was my first proper day at the allotment since getting back from Paris. The weather here is not what the weather person predicted, instead it is grey clouds, but at least the rain stayed off.
D spent time in the greenhouses, planting the tomatoes into the ground and getting strings ready to tie them up when they start growing and getting heavy with juicy red, green and yellow tomatoes. So far we have planted 40 tomato plants: Ailsa craig, san manzano, tigerella, gardeners delight and golden sunrise (I think), we have about 20 left. Want some? I am sure we will find someone to take the others off our hands. Recently a number of new families have taken over some of the overgrown plots that had been abandoned for years. It's nice to see them being worked now. One of the worst allotment sites is starting to look good now.
Tomatoes are looking much healthier out of their pots.
After reading about the Drooling Vegetable progress of gooseberries, I decided to take a peek of mine which were under netting. I gently dared to press one, hard as a bullet, but they are coming along very well, not too long to wait now for gooseberry delights.
I tied up the peas that were starting to fall over and tangle with each other.
Look my carrot tub, is doing fantastically, not long before they will need thinning out. The strawberries next to it are doing just as grand with its flowers starting to open up.
Chives are starting to do what I wanted them to do, attract the bees. I actually saw two today on my plot. Buzzing amongst the herbs, but they were too quick for me to capture on camera, maybe next time.
My cardoon (not artichoke) leaves are starting to branch out. I had parted the one plant into four, only three seem to have established, I don't know what happened to the fourth, maybe it was just a bit weak.
I am not one into growing flowers at my allotment plot (other than daffodils - my welsh roots you see), after all the plan was originally to grow things that were edible, not just to look pretty, but after seeing lupins grow on Fitzys plot, I couldn't resist growing my own, which I did from seed last year. These should vary in colour, but this lupin is the first to open up on my plot.
This clematis is by the gate of my plot, the plan is to build an arch at the entrance from some wood, which in time I hope the clematis would twine around creating a more inviting gateway to my plot, but that is a project for later.

Amongst this pottering around, I also managed to transplant the leggy sunflowers, droopy rainbow Swiss chard and fennel into pots. I also managed to transplant the snowball cauliflower into the brassica bed, as well as get some weeding done. I think the next lot of plants to go out wil be the green beans. We will need to build them a frame, but that is a job for next weekend, along with Plot 11 that is also crying out again for another haircut.


  1. Everything looks amazing! You are so talented at growing things.

  2. Lovely pics, Mango. Your goosegogs look about the same size as mine - can't wait for the first crop! Very interested in your cardoons - I've seen them but never grown or eaten them. Hope you'll give a recipe at harvest time.

  3. There's some beautiful looking produce growing there! Glad to see someone else's Toms' are at the same kind of stage as mine, I was thinking I was a bit behind... :)

  4. Thanks Michele,
    Growing comes with experience, nothing to do with talent - honestly.

    Thank you. I did not plant the original cardoon plant, it was already at the plot when I inherited it. I have never tasted cardoon either, so that will be an intresting experience for me too, which I will of course share in due course. But it is a majestic looking plant when it grows.

  5. Hey Paul and Melanie,
    Thanks for the compliments on my growing veg, I am rather proud of them, even the tomatoes that are a little on the small side, but they are growing and looking healthy, which is only a good thing.


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