…and they’re off! The first harvest of 2013

After a few weeks of on-and-off rain made getting anything done on the allotment difficult I finally got over there this weekend.  The biggest job was, of course, weeding.  The little blighters pop up with alarming speed and I’m sure they make every gardener wonder the same thing:  “Why can’t the crops grow that well?

The ground was damp which didn’t help but I absolutely had to kick these weeds into touch – using my long-reach Draper, a cheap onion hoe and bare hands (whenever I switched to hand-pulling I seemed to happen across a patch of young nettles).

Believe it or not, this is after most of the weeding

Believe it or not, this is after most of the weeding.

As you can see from the photo above, the volunteer potatoes are coming through thick and fast.  I’m torn between leaving them for a free crop, chopping the haulms and letting them die, or digging them out after the garlic and onions are up.

The weeding had mostly been done when this was taken, which is a little shameful, as it’s still a mess.  I hope to go back this week one evening if it’s nice and dry to hoe the rest of the stragglers out.

Whilst I was pulling amongst the onions it would have been rude not to stock up the larder a little – we were out of onions, after all…

The first onion harvest

The first onion harvest.

…and these were what I pulled!  The largest is around cricket-ball sized, though some were deceptively flat-bottomed (which gave me a “Some Girls are Bigger than Others” earworm as I was pulling them).

Elsewhere on the plot I tied-in the unruly peas, which are just setting their first flowers.  They should grow another few feet, but the temptation is to chop the tops off at about 6′ to enable easy picking – hopefully this will encourage them to put their energy into setting flowers (?).

I also picked some French Breakfast radishes which were passed to my parents.  Hey, it is Fathers’ Day!  The seed was from the wonderful Seed Parade (a whopping pack of 1000 for less than £1) and germinated beautifully – the radishes were half-way poking out of the soil, making harvesting very quick and easy.  I think it’s only been 4 or 5 weeks since they were scattered between the raspberry canes and left to their own devices.

Champion of England peas

Champion of England peas.  Not sure what happened to the exposure in this photo – it wasn’t that sunny!

French Breakfast Radishes, courtesy of Seed Parade

French Breakfast Radishes, courtesy of Seed Parade.


4 thoughts on “…and they’re off! The first harvest of 2013

  1. Wow, it’s all growing really well. Shame the weeds are too. I’ve spent a lot of today weeding, what a pain that is. But it’s looking good, and slowly getting there. Those radish look fab.

    • Thanks! Things are certainly kicking on. Surprising – it all seemed delayed this year, then all at once things have burst into life.

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