Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Matron's Flower Show

The only flowers you will see this week in my garden are those which precede tasty vegetables! I've just finished watching the opening day of the RHS Chelsea flower show on TV.. not a veggie in sight.. shame on them. Regard my crimson flowered broad beans, flowering their little hearts out at the moment. Small beanlets are starting to appear at the base of each plant.
Looks like it will be a bumper year for strawberries too. This is the third year I have found a permanent home for about a dozen plants. I just peg down the runners each year and try to remember which plants are past their best and whip them out. This week I will give them a feed and lay down some straw for the berries to rest on.. er.. that's why they call them straw-berries!
I took some cuttings from my beefsteak tomato plant Country Taste. These seeds were £3.99 for a packet of four seeds so I was keen to attempt to make a few extra plants from the side shoots which emerge from the 'armpits' of the plant. These are sitting up nicely, I checked this morning and cannot see roots yet but the little hairs on the stems appear to be thickening. I will just have to find space for an extra dozen plants now!!
These purple podded peas are romping away as well. Here you can see the fantastic purple pods as well as the stunning flowers. The plants are about 5ft tall now and still climbing!
My shallots 'Pikant' are doing nicely as well. The bases are just starting to thicken slightly and you can see where the bulb has divided into about a dozen little ones. When the days start to get shorter next month, the bulbs will really start to swell when the plant senses a change in day length and starts to store food for Winter.
I couldn't resist getting down on my hands and knees today to take a peek at my rhubarb jungle! This is going from strength to strength this year - fantastic! I will be careful not to stress the plant by taking too many stalks, but there are still plenty of small leaves emerging from the crown. I am picking about 4 or 5 stalks every week, they are so tender and sweet!


At 8:50 AM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

I watched the Chelsea Flower Show too on the telly last night and as you say no veggie in sight. Such a pity as they can be so very beautiful too as is proved by your gorgeous crimson flowered broad beans. The strawberries are doing great here too and so is the rhubarb. Good luck with the cutting of your very expensive tomato plant Country Taste. Have you grown this tomato before and are they errr tasty? ;-)

At 3:24 PM, Blogger gintoino said...

Those crimson flowered broad beans would sure look nice in any garden. I got some purple podded peas I will try next Fall (Fall is the best time to sow peas around here)

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

I hadn't realised you could take tomato cuttings. I'll bear that in mind for the future - in case I should lose some tomato plants early on, or some don't germinate.Let us know how they get on.
I envy you your rhubarb - mine is very feeble this year.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Mrs Be said...

Your garden always looks so productive and prolific....please tell me your secret!

At 11:03 PM, Blogger Wild Mood Swings said...

Shorter days , please stop wishing the year away it's only just started

At 11:51 AM, Blogger tina said...

That rhubarb looks delicious!

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I've got serious garden envy looking at your photos - you're making me hungry! If I can have a veggie plot half as successful as this I'll be a happy woman this summer :)

At 12:34 PM, Blogger marigold said...

Does your recycled tea go everywhere in the garden, Matron? I gave some to my sweet corn plants one day and it was like they were smiling at me the next.

Lovely pictures. What type of camera do you use?

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Marigold - the re-cycled tea is usually diluted and added to the compost heap as a nitrogen feed. As for the camera, I use a standard Sony cyber-shot.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger marigold said...

Matron, thanks for your response. How do you know that the nitrogen isn't drained away into the soil under the compost heap? Re-cycled tea is sterile. Does using it undiluted pose a threat to my sweetcorn?

At 9:16 PM, Blogger craig_08 said...

well i am only 14 and i wanted to use come kind of blog and ask for advice from some exsperts because i have only been growing my own veg for only 1 year, well lets get to the point. well i have had quite a lot of rubarb this year and i would like to grow my own rubarb plants from my own seeds because i have noticed a small stem like the rubard sticks emerging from the crown with white things on it and i think they might been seeds or flowers? plz give me any advice on keeping my own seeds

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Libbys Blog said...

Just found your blog! I had no idea you could grow tomato plants from the side shoots, I will definately have to give that a go!!!
I only have a small garden and would love an allotment, but sadly they are along way away and I would need a car to get to it with all the equipment, sadly I don't thing this will happen anytime soon!
Lovely blog by the way!


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