New year – new neighbour

2024 has (still) not given us flying cars but it has given us lots of rain and high winds so far, making today the first visit for nearly a month when I saw the sun was out and the morning looking quite nice. My plan would be to tidy up and to harvest some turnips, sprouts, kale. I also met our new plot neighbour taking over the plot directly in front of us which has not had a lot happening to it for a couple of years. People took it over last year but only managed to plant some strawberries and never came back. It was good to see the new tenant had cleared most of the plot and covered it in polythene. In the end I spent most of my brief visit chatting to him.

Sometimes it’s nice to not have neighbours so you can have a peaceful time without having to interact with others. Sometimes it’s nice to have neighbours so that you don’t feel like your plot is in the middle of a wilderness, especially in the summer when the grass and weeds all around are nearly head height and you have to hack your way to the plot. Maybe then it is nice to have a choice. I always used to arrive super early in the morning and be on my way home after other plot holders had arrived and been pottering for a bit. A chat with people as I finished off and they all start. The best of both worlds.

For tidying I mostly weeded and hoed. I tied up the broad beans of which some had fallen over from the wind. They are quite spindly at the moment but come the end of March they should be starting to look a bit more meaty and I can get rid of the individual sticks and support them all in a single bunch of plants.

The swedes never really got fat and I think that was because I left them too long before I planted them out, next time I will plant them out as soon as the first two leaves are showing, getting into their final place before the roots have had too long to develop. Previous years it has not been too much of a problem, but this year they were not only quite thin but having been in the ground for so long seemed to have been eaten by slugs/bugs resulting in lots of holes.

I dug our first lot of parsnips. These are a problem to get to germinate and they never did seem to thrive like previous good years. The first three dug up were more round than parsnip shape. All worth eating but maybe the fat parsnips needed to talk tot the long swede plants at some point. This year, with new seed, I will germinate them at home and plant out straight away.

The leeks seem to no longer be suffering from allium leaf minor, I think it’s too cold for them at the moment. It’s also too cold for the leeks to be growing much more so I’ll leave them and dig them as needed. The plan for this year is onions and leeks at home, maybe I’ll try covering the existing over wintering onions with netting.

The plot never looks that good in January, it’s wet and dark and cold. A quick tidy up improved things, but I’m really looking forward to March and the “growing” new year for 2024.

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