Allotment inspection on Monday after the rain was interesting. The soil was so thirsty all obvious signs of dampness had disappeared by 10 am., but the flush of weed growth suggests it has spurred growing. According to VP only 4mm fell on Sunday. Not a lot really.
My principal tasks were to earth up the potatoes again while the soil was crumbly enough after the rain to be workable and to weed the onions. The potatoes-Pentland Javelin and Vivaldi, are leafing up well, having escaped the frost last week. They grew well last year and both varieties produced flavoursome tubers that kept well. They are both earlies-blight always strikes our allotments so main crops seem to be a waste of space on a small allotment.My other variety, Mayan Twilight- new to me this year- is just showing leaf.
Having finished dealing with the spuds, I hoed the onions. I have 3 varieties, and garlic and shallots as well. The onions in the pictures above are on the left Japanese autumn sown Senshyu-already bulbing up well, Hercules from sets in the middle and Dorata di Parma from seed sown in modules on the right. The Japanese onions are appreciably bigger than the others, which is to be expected, as they have been growing for a much longer time. It is interesting that the seed sown Italian variety has almost caught up with the sets I planted. I was expecting them to be a lot smaller at this stage, but they are almost as sturdy.
I had not really considered growing onions from seed until the experiments over the last 3 years demonstrated that autumn sown Japanese onions were very well worth the effort, standing the winter well and growing on as the weather warms. They will be ready for harvest in June. So far the spring sown seeds seem to be putting on a good show too and if they bulb well, I will probably repeat the experiment again next year.
Earthing up and hoeing done, I spent some time just gazing at things-I do a lot of just gazing these days. There is a terrific fruit set on the currants, red, black and white and thanks must be due to the furry visitors. Bless ’em.
Blackcurrant Ben Tirran with pollinator, Bombus pratorum worker