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. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Matron Doesn't Do Flowers!

I picked my first sticks of rhubarb this afternoon.  This time of year the sticks are sweet and tender and take much less sugar than later on in the year.  Just a few minutes in the microwave and it was heavenly!
Now Matron's mantra has always been "I don't do flowers because you can't eat flowers..." (no witty remarks about nasturtium leaves in salads please..) but needs must when bees and other pollinating insects must be encouraged into my allotment in order to pollinate my vegetables!  So just a couple this year.  These are a sunflower variety called Giraffe... very tall I hope!
 I re-potted my chilli seedlings today as well.  I am growing Joe's Long cayenne, and a variety called Spaghetti.   I am taking part in a Guinness World Record attempt at growing the world's longest chilli.  This is being organized by Sea Spring Seeds - apparently no current record exists so whoever wins this year will hold the record.
 Tomato seedlings are looking good in the greenhouse as well.  Lovely warm days recently have meant that I take them outside during the day to start hardening off... then back in the greenhouse at night when it can get below freezing at the moment.  Still much too early to put anything outside.
 Apple blossom has been sensational this year.  Trees are just loaded with blossom, and the perfume from this apple tree today was heavenly!
 Another flower that I am growing to encourage pollinating insects is Borage.  I grew this for the first time last year, and these flowers bloom from April right the way through to the first frosts of Autumn.  Apparently these flowers are edible and they are supposed to taste of cucumber - I tried some last year.. and could taste nothing at all.  Quite decorative in a cool drink on a hot day!
 And finally...
MY POTATOES ARE UP!  hooray!  Will be sure to earth them up soon because frost is still a real danger at night. This little shoot is from my Red Duke of York seed potato.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

A Week in the Life of a Tomato

When you look at your tomato seedlings it sometimes feels like a case of 'a watched pot never boils'. So what happens if you take just one photo at the same time every day for a week?
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
 Day 5
 Day 6
 Day 7

and the sun comes out!