I’ve not had much time for the allotment or garden in the last coupla-weeks. But we’re off for a short break from Wednesday, and there are a few urgent jobs to get done.
My lovely healthy Hispi seedlings have been shouting “Plant me out, plant me out!” for a week or so.
Tonight I took pity on them and got them in the ground.
Brassicas like to be planted firmly – they don’t enjoy their roots rocking about in the wind. So when planting my cabbages I pop them in a hole, backfill with soil and then stand carefully with a boot either side of the seedlings – close to the plants – and do a little half-jump. This firms them in securely, and creates a bonus dip that holds water – reducing run-off and wastage during the summer evening rounds of watering.
Once planted and watered well I covered my cabbages with butterfly netting, slung over the fancy U-shaped supports my Dad bought me. I have high hopes for my Hispis – the plot tends to ‘do’ brassicas quite well, and homegrown cabbage is yummy.
I had loads of seedlings left, so my favourite neighbour got those.
After the cabbages, I moved up the plot to break open my pea sticks and put them up around the up-coming peas and mangetout. I quickly spotted the telltale signs that something’s been enjoying the tender young shoots already.
Pigeons are always under suspicion, but I’ve seen these notches around the edges of the leaves before. Last year, in fact. I’m pretty sure it’s pea weevils again – the little blighters.
The RHS says that chemical control is usually unnecessary because the plants can withstand the damage, but that’s not my experience from last year – so tomorrow I’ll be taking my spray to them I’m afraid.
It’s tempting to shove the sweet peas and climbing beans in the ground before we go away – avoiding the problem of working out how to keep them watered while we’re gone.
Maybe I’ll hedge my bets and plant half tomorrow and keep the rest under cover just in case of a last frost.