Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Things are hotting up!

It was 62 degrees in the shade today in London. I have noticed that since we have had sunny, warm weather over the last week, most of the veggies have at least doubled in size.. in a week! They really have responded to the change in temperature! I took the opportunity to plant some okra seeds in a pot in the greenhouse. These are Clemson Spineless and I bought them in the USA. I tried them a few years ago with no success, a bit of a long shot I know, has anyone tried growing okra in the UK? I would be interested to find out.
Meanwhile in the greenhouse, my dwarf bean experiment looks good so far. I had heard that you can force an early crop in the greenhouse, so here are 3 plants in a large pot. Awaits.
A few days ago I made one of my regular trips to the model vegetable garden at the RHS Wisley. They had grown a wide selection of Winter salad leaves inside their greenhouses, including this lovely lettuce.
I was also interested to see them growing lettuce and cabbages through a white plastic mulch in a tunnel. I wonder if this keeps the slugs away? Looks like it would be hard to water them through the plastic.
My favourite place at Wisley is their compost corner. Looks like they are doing a trial of compost bins this year. Here is one of the revolving bins. So what's wrong with putting your back into turning your heap with a spade. Stuff and nonsense, for the feeble, hmmm quite a good idea actually, but I bet it's expensive!

17 Comments:

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

Those fancy compost bins are small as well as expensive. Only suitable for a tiny garden I would have thought. I can just picture an average allotment plot with 10 of them on the go :-)

 
At 10:02 PM, Blogger LOUISE @ HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS said...

My back always kills me after I have turned my heaps. If I had a lot of money I would definitely have revolving bins. x

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Soilman said...

I'm trying okra as well, but I'm not optimistic. Will report any success/failure.

 
At 7:55 PM, Blogger Katie said...

I've had a heck of a time trying to get my Okra seeds to germinate, and I'm on my third round of seeds...so don't feel so bad. And I live in the US!

I have compost tumbler envy. But yes, I imagine those are far more expensive than I'd like to afford as well...

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger Patty said...

We have a large compost pile but we let the chickens do the turning for us. They peck away at it, doing a great job of it without any work from us.
Here in Texas, Okra is grown so easy its almost like a weed. It is a favorite food item on most southern U.S. tables. Last year our okra plants hit an all time record height, about 7 ft tall.

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Matron .. what do people do with ocra anyways ? I hear of it being grown .. but no recipe is ever mentioned .. hum .. ocra is a mystery to me !
Thanks for dropping by my spot .. I have compost envy .. no room so those fancy ones look good to me .. but again .. the pricey part stops that ideal from .. sprouting ? LOL
Joy
PS .. yes .. we can always use more tools for the garden !

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Crafty Gardener said...

I was just looking at some of those revolving compost bins today ... ranged in price from $250 to $500 Canadian dollars ... nice to look at, nice to dream, back to the fork for digging for me.

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Kate said...

We grow okra - in fact that same variety - here in Adelaide, Australia but it needs VERY hot weather. In our recent record heatwave of 15 days near 40C (about 105F or more) the okra burst into flower and set more fruits than in the rest of the summer altogether!It is delicious eaten raw - sliced into a salad or just eaten like an apple.I don't like it cooked.

 
At 3:00 AM, Blogger Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Hi, Even here in North Texas I don't even try to start my okra until Mother's day. They really like it hot and rather dry. You can fry okra with corn meal. It is also an ingredient for gumbo.

Debbi.

 
At 8:30 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Hotting up? IT'S SNOWING!!!!!!!

Celia

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Hedgewitch said...

It was a gorgeous day, wasn't it? I'm in London, too, and was out gardening and loving it.

Can't believe the SNOW today (even though it was forecast)!!!!

wonderful to see all your goings on at the allotment!

So impressed you're growing Okra ...

Gardenjoy4me, okra is a fab vegetable and if you like curries, it especially lends itself? I will look out a recipe to post sometime soon :-)

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger clairesgarden said...

snow here too!
you need to pop in to my blog to collect an 'award'

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger lilymarlene said...

I fancied one of those rotating compost bins, but didn't want to shell out £70 for something that didn't work. So I borrowed one from my Aunt, who said I could buy hers if I liked it as she had found it useless!!! So...I tried it...and it didn't work! So I took it back to her. It still sits in a corner of her garden taking up space....useless!
(BTW Matron. Re your post on my blog, I tried the search for String of Pearls and it produced nothing....)

 
At 5:52 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Lilymarlene - very interesting! BTW try wordsearch 'jewels' there are some pics from August 2006 of my Gardeners Delight

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

I haven't grown okra since I moved to mild western Washington from the hot summers of northern Alabama. I miss it and have a tomato & okra recipe when you are ready. We hope to assemble a small greenhouse this summer and I plan to include in it a small garden bed for growing things like okra. I'll be looking to your experience due to our similiar climates. - Paula

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger Hx said...

"Things are hotting up" you are obviously in the posher part of London . . . !

 
At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Jane Morrow said...

Hello, I'm in western Australia and googled Okra and got your blog. I'm doing a weed replacement strategy. Because I have lots of mallow plants as weeds I'm looking for something from the Malvaceae family to replace them with. I was trying to find out if it will grow in my area of the world. If it grows in Adelaide I'm hopeful. Good luck with your seeds I'll be back to see how you're going.

 

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