April, come she will…

Early spring at the monster’s NEW corner

April, come she will, and the overgrown plot of land we signed for at the end of December 2016 is beginning to resemble an allotment at last.
There is still much to do on the monster’s New corner, but, at least we have some onion and shallot sets growing away in terra firma. We have also moved the onion seedlings out of our daughter’s polytunnel and set these in the ground and our cosmos are germinated and putting on an inch or so. The dwarf sunflowers have germinated, and all the fruit bushes we moved from our former plot in January have burst bud and the bees are pollinating the early flowers on the Hinnomaki gooseberry bushes; the summer John and April Queen heritage apple trees are about to bloom, and all six of Mrs. Dirt Diggers rose bushes are topping away with this year’s growth, and to cap it all off we have actually harvested some rhubarb form our new plot. We know it’s a little early as, ideally we should have left it a bit longer before picking some stalks as these stools were only transplanted in early January, but, we just had to, and what a sweet treat…the first produce from the monster’s NEW corner.
We’ve set the structures of our raised beds, marked out our pathways and mulched the whole fruiting area with woodland chippings; and last week saw us take delivery of a new shed: a new bolt-hole for the monster.
With peas, broad-beans and some new strawberry plants being set this weekend we’ll be busy as this year’s sowing season gets under way in earnest, and we are glad to say that we are just about on cue.
Although a little cool and grey for much of the last 5 days at least the weather forecast is for somewhat brighter and milder weather than of late, and remembering that tomorrow is Greenfingers Day, sure what more could any gardener or allotmenteer hope for eh!
Buy some seed…… and sow up a pot or a drill on your plot…

time to really get the hands dirty…Greenfingers Day 2017….

The Potting Shed
The Monster’s new bolt-hole… Our New Potting Shed and Raised beds
The 1st produce from the
Monster’s New Corner…April 5th


greenfingers day2
Greenfingers Day 2017

Greenfingers Day 2017….

Careful Now!!! Tipping Day on The Monster in The Corner.

Tipping Day on the Monster in the Corner
Tipping Day on the Monster in the Corner

July 19th, the 200th day of the year, annual Small Far away day, and if you happen to be a Father Ted fan it’s the day Marathon became Snickers, Galway was liberated from the Indians and everyone packed up and headed to the caravan for the Fr. Noel Furlong jig fest…
July 19th is tipping day as we call it, the day when you undeniably concede that the year is definitely foreshortened, but, if we’re lucky, we get a day like today that is promising to be the hottest day of the year, with expected highs of 28 Celsius under clear skies and light southerly breezes. It will be a bumper day for 99’s and dry cider and disposable barbecues, and every route to any stretch of sand with water will be choc-a-bloc till sunset.

Curing the Shallots
Curing the Shallots July 2016
forecast for today...worth a screen capture!
forecast for today…worth a screen capture!


Of course, it being a leap year means that yesterday was actually the 200th day of the year, and as such yesterday was tipping day on the Monster in the Corner.  We unearthed all our onions and set them to cure on the bed rails. We also harvested a lot of the bunching onions and dug up some good sized beets; we picked about 4lbs of blackcurrants and another 4lbs of Hinnonmaki red gooseberries which we set about jamming once we arrived home; we took some of the last of the rhubarb for this year for once July is out we leave the rhubarb to nature’s devices; the shallots we set to dry 2 weeks ago are curing nicely and the pots of basil are doing well. Not one of the sunflowers has opened its head as yet but they have put on good height with some already over 7 foot and in the next 7-10 days we should see the first of the sunny faces. The Redbor kale is leafing well and the parsnips have plenty of lush top foliage which is an indicator of subterranean developments.

Rhubard, Beets, Gooseberries, Red Scallions, Shallots and onions
Rhubard, Beets, Gooseberries, Red Scallions, Shallots and onions on 18th July 2016

All in all the Monster is looking well, and considering that this day last week was a very challenging day when Mrs. Dirt-digger had a very nasty accident on the allotment site, stepping onto a length of timber with 4” nails protruding from it that someone had mindlessly discarded onto one of the walkways and in the process spiked her foot badly…sometimes all is not as rosy as it first seems on an allotment site, and they can be challenging and dangerous environments. Still, the Monster’s pro’s always out-weigh the larger allotment site con’s, and as steering groups and committees don’t like such dangers being acknowledged and/or pointed out, we are thinking about a couple of simple signs:

Blackcurrants & Longue Shallots
Blackcurrants & Longue Shallots
Snapping the Snapper...
Snapping the Snapper…18th July 2016
Blackcurrant Jam
Blackcurrant Jam making process last evening…


Down with this sort of thing…

Fathers Maguire & Crilly
Fathers Ted & Dougal: Careful Now!!!

More anon everyone…