Well it feels like a month since I got some quality time on the plot, but today I made a flask of coffee and leaving the phone behind headed off. The weekend was spent working mainly, so I might as well grab what time I can whilst the weather is reasonable.
I did get an hour out on Saturday to pop down to the garden supply store and lay in some supplies, A 25Kg bag of fish, blood and bone as a general fertiliser and a 10Kg tub of pelleted chicken manure. They’re high in nitrogen and reasonably fast to release although I also got a 2Kg bag of prilled urea. I don’t use a lot of that but it is very useful when something needs a quick burst of nitrogen, A sort of pep pill for ailing plants.
A couple of times a watering with urea has saved my sweetcorn. If a plant has yellowish leaves and doesn’t seem to be doing well, try giving it some nitrogen in liquid form. Nitrogen makes leaves and is the one item in the NPK trilogy that tends to wash out of the ground quickly.
The reason I get urea rather than sulphate of ammonia is quite simple, it’s slightly easier to dissolve and costs less. Although pound for pound it is more expensive, since it contains 40% nitrogen, double sulphate of ammonia’s 20%, one kilo of urea is worth two of sulphate of ammonia.
Anyway, back to today on the plot. I’d been ordered to return with some leeks and I always follow my instructions (shhh!) The leeks on plot 29 are on the edge, a couple were actually past it so I dug the lot up.
What we don’t use tonight and donate to the father in law, will be converted to soup for the freezer. We usually make soup to freeze double thick so they take less room and add water or milk when re-heated.
You can blanch and freeze leeks but they don’t tend to freeze too well. Besides, we’re trying to avoid to much in the freezers. I reckon we have enough in our freezers to live for year as it is, barring a power cut.
Talking of late, I’m getting really frustrated that my book isn’t here. I’ve lots of people wanting a copy off the forums and expected to be posting them out last week but still no sign of the delivery man.
Apparently there was some mix up at the publishers and they’ve only been dispatched today. Of course, it’s going to take a few days to get here and Friday is Good Friday so if they don’t get here on Thursday then I won’t see them until Tuesday next week.
Mind you, it’s not just me – Amazon are out of stock as well. Weirdly you can buy a copy from America for £38.13 plus delivery. Must be a mix up somewhere, I think
So, back to the leeks. I always trim them on the plot. Seems easier than taking them home, trimming them and carting the trimmings back to the compost heap. Val popped onto the plot on her way home to show off her new hairstyle, I’d been chatting her up for five minutes before I recognised her. So I sent her back with the large carrier bag full of leeks, Romantic or what?
Next job was a bit more digging over. Only 4 months behind schedule. Still, once roughly broken up, the Merry Tiller will mix it up and turn it into a reasonable tilth.
Considering how I’ve had the plot for 5 years and it’s been double dug two or three times as well as having had masses of leafmould, municipal and home made compost added, some portions are pretty hard and heavy to dig over still. I know the late and great Geoff Hamilton said clay soils were the best when you’d got them into shape but I wish it was a little lighter.
Larry came on late and I spotted him with a new plotholder, Ken who’s knocking his plot into shape quite well. He’s got a real wet problem so we discussed extending ditches and running land drains for a bit. I heard the met office are predicting another wet summer, so probably a good idea. Hope they’re wrong.