This time of
year is all about planning what we are going to grow this season and working
out what will go where. But it’s also good to go up to the allotment and see
what has overwintered well.
holiday in late February our first visit up to the allotment on our return saw
the Cavelo Nero kale going to seed (see photo) but what I discovered a few
years ago, much to my delight, was these new shoots are a good substitute for
purple sprouting broccoli. I soon returned with a colander and picked enough
for a meal. I will continue picking until the shoots are over then I will pick
the rest of the kale leaves to use in juices, soups and for kale crisps. The
plants can then come up and the land can be prepared for its future crop.
bad weather we covered the chard, land cress and parsley with glass. These have
continued to grow over the winter and are all ready for picking. The mint and
rhubarb are shooting well and it won’t be long before I can pick jugs of mint
to keep near the kettle and use for fresh mint tea.
Before we went away I also planted a few seeds in the back garden. Planted in plastic rings (old water bottles) and covered with glass, there is always a chance that there will be little plants growing when we return. It all depends on the weather, but this year the record breaking temperatures means that we now have little plants of lettuce, rocket, beetroot and coriander to go out in the garden. I will still cover the seedlings with glass as a frosty night would soon kill them off but hopefully we will be eating our first lettuce leaves in another month.
It’s a busy
but exciting time and I’m so grateful that my husband forced himself out in the
cold in January to prepare the ground. It means that apart from a little
weeding and feeding we are ready to go.