The Macro Allotment

Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that winter’s woe was past;
So fair the sky was, and so soft the air.
~William Morris, “February: Bellerophon in Lycia,” The Earthly Paradise: A Poem, 1870

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August at Plot 4

July seems to have whizzed by and the children are eagerly anticipating the summer holidays and a month of enjoying the great outdoors in the summer sun (well hopefully).

There continues to be much to harvest, with the last of the broad beans being enjoyed in salads and pasta dishes. The raspberries have been excellent and we have been able to pick a large punnet or so every other day. With so many raspberries in the kitchen, we’ve been using them in loads of dishes and have the prospect of more when the autumn varieties ripen. The yellow French beans have also started to crop in earnest, and the onions and shallots have been pulled and dried ready for use.

I’ve continued to sow salad and radishes and I’ve also been sowing crops for the winter ahead. Included in these has been Cime di Rapa, an Italian version of purple sprouting broccoli which I grew with success last year. The beetroot already growing is doing well, but there’s still time for one last row, and whilst I’m at it I’ll probably put in another row of Swiss chard. You can never have enough chard. With the autumn and winter in mind, some brassicas will also be going in. I think I’ve missed the boat in terms of sowing purple sprouting broccoli, but I think I’ll try and get some plants to plant out.

We, like many families, are going away during the summer holidays, so one of the jobs this month is to create some kind of drip irrigation system which allows the greenhouse tomatoes to stay watered during our break. The plan is to utilise the water butt beside the greenhouse and a piece of old hosepipe to dribble a little water into the plants over the period of our absence. Needless to say, I think we’ll need to still call on the kindness of allotment neighbours to keep an eye on the plot; not least because many of the crops will undoubtedly be ready for harvest whilst we’re enjoying the Sicilian sunshine.

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This post is contributing to The Garden Share Collective; an international group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.