Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Good Friday

Easter has come early this year! The date of Easter is supposed to be something like the first Sunday after the full moon after the Spring equinox.. or something like that.... Gardening tradition has it that you must plant your new potatoes on Good Friday. So I did. Three rows of International Kidney. If I grew this same variety on the island of Jersey I would be allowed to call them Jersey Royal. Anyway, my broccoli has been just about ready for the past couple of days so Ipicked my first bunch today and ate them 'still squealing' just steamed for 5 minutes and served with a hint of melted butter. mmmmm
I am looking forward to my first feed of rhubarb this year. A good friend gave me some crowns last January, so I planted them and did not pick any stalks last year even though there was quite a good show. This is to allow them to build up reserves. It looks as if it is going to be a bumper crop this year. You can also just see at the bottom of the picture above that I use old carpets as pathways round the allotment. Today I spotted that a neighbour was throwing out some old carpets into a skip outside her house. As it happens, they are a perfect size for cutting up for pathways. More re-cycling !! grrrreat!
Several weeks ago in the greenhouse I planted some ultra first early Rocket potato in a bag in the greenhouse. I have been protecting them with fleece on cold nights, but you can see they are already doing well. Isn't it so special to get your first new potatoes just a few weeks earlier?
The shallots are doing well in their new bed. A couple of them sadly, have suffered from the effects of a large, black, canine walking across them to get to his favourite corner of the patch. hmmmm.
I'm trying something new this year. I have read that you can force an early crop of dwarf, French beans in the greenhouse. So I will give it a try.


At 6:12 PM, Blogger Secrets said...

enjoyed your blog

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Fantastic Matron - I bet that PSB tasted wonderful!

You're streets ahead of me with your crops, but then we are a little bit further north (my excuse!)
I usually plant potatoes on Good Friday, but we were out yesterday and as Easter is early I thought I'd wait. As Good Friday is right after the full moon it means the traditional date is always at the same phase of the moon – as in bio-dynamic gardening – I wonder if that's why it's a good time to plant?
The bean idea is interesting - do let us know if it's a success.

Happy Easter to you and your Buddy!

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Pepette said...

I'm very interested by your French beans experiment - I always find it quite frustrating having to wait until May/June to start them off !

At 10:51 AM, Blogger RobD said...

Thought I'd get ahead of the game and get my spuds in early (planted the first earlies just over a week ago). Looking at the forecast the other day I did an early morning dash to cover them up yesterday - which was just as well given the snow this morning!

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous looking purple sprouting! Mine is almost ready too. A couple of days should see it ready for picking, can't wait! I find it so sad looking around our local allotment, to see all the hard work people have put in going to waste when they dont harvest their crop, preffering to let them go to seed. There is a beautiful patch of purple sprouting just left and is now well and truly in full bloom!

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Matron!

I found your site through Tiny Farm and I'm so happy! What wonderful photos and descriptions, great information and delightful experiment. Thank you!

Your broccoli is gorgeous! I grow it too, but not the purple variety...and now I am sorely tempted to find a spot for it this year (still not too late to start from seed here in Zone 3).

I've grown many French beans, but never the dwarf ones. Where did you find them? With such a short growing season, I'm definitely up for that. chance of planting potatoes on Good Friday hear in Minnesota. At least not when Easter falls in March. I posted a Good Friday pic yesterday that will show you why not!

Keep up this wonderful work you are doing. I'll be back!


At 8:50 PM, Blogger Matron said...

exuberantlady - thanks for visiting. I think in the USA you name your beans either pole beans (we call them climbing beans) and bush beans (we call them dwarf beans) they are also known as haricot beans or French beans. Available all over the place. In fact I 'liberated' some from the veggie garden at Mount Vernon last year! ssshhhh!

At 3:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clarification. Yes, I plant many beans, both pole (climbing) and bush(dwarf)beans. Here the name French beans or haricot verts is reserved for the very slender ones.

Now that I know I have "dwarf" bean seeds on hand, I can't wait to try your experiment. My husband will be thrilled if we can get beans from the garden a little earlier. They're is favorite veggie! Thanks again!


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Marie said...

Interesting post! You have a very nice blog :)

Thank's for wisiting :)

At 2:26 PM, Blogger this is my patch said...

All of your home-grown produce is coming on in leaps and bounds. I hope you have had a good Easter weekend as well as a good Friday. x

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Dead jealous of that psb!!!!!!!!!!!!
Perhaps I'll have some waiting for me when I go down tomorrow.

At 3:09 AM, Blogger Nicole said...

That broccoli has my mouth watering!

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Lottie Lynn said...

Just googling about and came across your blog. Guess what - we planted our international kidney here in Glasgow on Good Friday without knowing this is the trad date! I also didn't know these are effectively jeresy royals by another name - my other halfs favourite potato. Happy Easter!


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