New Cold Frame!

Woodchips for the paths.

As the sun was shining on Saturday we decided to make the most of it and spend a couple of hours down on the plot. Having spent so little time there in the past month because of the snow and rain, it was good to check on how our veggies were faring and catch up with some of our fellow allotmenters.

Most things are doing well and have survived the snow, which was good to see, although we have lost most of our purple sprouting broccoli to some sort of pest. I can’t fathom out what it could be, the early sprouts of broccoli have been all but devoured and lots of the leaves in the centre of the plant have been stripped to the stem. It looks like the sort of damage that slugs could have done, but isn’t it too cold for them this time of year?!

But our broad beans, swiss chard (‘Bright Lights’) and garlic seem to be doing well, despite the cold. The same can’t be said of our pak choi, mizuna, kotsuma and mibuna which were all looking a bit past it, so over to the pigs. All this means we now have tons more space to plant new seeds and seedlings so that’s pretty exciting!

Steve also built our last remaining raised bed, which means we now have five, ready to go come the start of the new season. It all went smoothly, apart from his inevitable crisis in confidence halfway through construction which meant he and Chris (another fellow allotmenter) had to disassemble it, shorten the stakes and put it all back together before hammering into the ground. The language started to deteriorate at this point, so I retreated to the clubhouse! My Dad has also built us a cold frame for the plot, so we painted that all ready for our plants too! I Hope this will make a real difference in be able to bring plants on and harden them off before planting out.

Back at home, we’ve been bringing things on outside in a cold frame. We’ve planted another batch of ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ broad beans which are doing well and we’ve also just sown some ‘Douce Provence’ peas in some empty cardboard toilet roll holders following Helen’s advice here on the Blog.

See also  Feeding and Watering.

I really want to sow some flowers on the plot this year too and I’m a big fan of sweet peas, so we’ve just planted some. Our varieties include ‘Beaujolais’, ‘Black Knight’ ‘Parfumiere Mix’ and ‘Stylish’ so I’m looking forward to see how they turn out.

We’ve also planted some chillis indoors, which have included ‘Bulgarian Carrot’, ‘Californian Wonder’, Habanero Orange’, ‘Jalapeno’ and ‘Tepin.’ They’re yet to germinate, maybe we should just turn the heating up and give them a blast to get them started!

 

Helene Coleman
Along with my partner Steve, I am a complete novice vegetable gardener. We took on an allotment for the first time this year and apart from our courgettes, most things were a bit of a disaster... We've decided to up our game and try and learn a thing or two about growing veg by blogging about our growing anxieties, triumphs and failures, supplemented with a few ideas on what we will cook with our allotment produce.

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