Well, it kinda shames me to say it but, for today's posting, you may as well read the last one on 6 January. It's far too cold and wet to get out to do serious allotmenteering (at least as far as I'm concerned it is). So The Husband and I just popped down there today to check that everything was in one piece and hanging on in there.
First thing I noticed was the berludy pigeons have been ransacking my purple sprouting broccoli big seedlings/ small plantlets that have been overwintering. Now, I suppose I really do only have myself to blame but, for some unknown reason, perhaps I thought the flying rats might just overlook my bountiful juicy brassicas during the coldest, hungriest depths of winter and leave them alone. 'Well, duh...' I hear you all scorn in unison. So, yes, they've been hammered but, to be honest, I'm not really that bothered. I planted these new seedlings before I'd started harvesting the previous crop of PSB and, you know what, I wasn't exactly bowled over by it. I mean, it's nice enough, sure, but I think I really do prefer the big, old-fashioned single-headed green Calabrese (the stuff labelled 'Broccoli' in the supermarkets). The pigeons are welcome to it. Actually, I'll just dig the lot up when I come to clear the plot of the remaining crops in the next few weeks. And at least know that I won't bother with PSB again. Another lesson learned.
What else? All the onions and garlic are fine and look much the same as they did earlier in the month. The Chard has now gone over so will come out of the ground. The broad beans are about an inch high and a couple of inches wide so it looks like they may come good this spring. There are still squid-like carrots and parsnips in the ground which I will excavate and see if anything can be used. The long plastic cloche (it looks like a miniature polytunnel) covering my winter salad leaves had blown over again leaving the plants exposed but they seemed to be fine. The leeks don't look to have grown any bigger, so I think it's time to stop waiting for them to actually do something and start eating them. The red cabbage is looking distinctly sad. All the outer leaves appear to have vanished (probably down some pigeon's gullet) and the burgundy globes of the tightly packed inner leaves definitely look as if they've been hit by frost. I've decided that I'll harvest them this week, salvage what I can of them and turn them into Red Cabbage Ragout (about the only thing you can make with red cabbage - it's yummy and has onions, cinnamon and cooking apples in it too). They look pretty small in the picture, next to the (also pigeon pecked) brussel sprouts and, in all honesty, they are a bit but never mind, although they were small, they did actually grow and I grew them from seed so I'm pretty chuffed all round.
The fruit garden is exactly as it was on 6 January, so we just have to wait until spring really hits us before seeing any changes there I expect.
So, this week I need to actively start thinking about what I'm going to grow this year and where I'm going to put it, rotation-wise. L8rs....