Thursday, 2 May 2019

Mustn't forget the allotment!

Several times in recent days dark clouds have suggested imminent rain but each case was an empty threat. A peck of March dust is worth a king's ransom, according to farming lore. That may be so but when the dryth goes on into April it becomes a problem.

With this in mind I visited the allotment today to give our thirsty plants a drink.

The broad beans were looking strong and healthy but they received a couple of cans of water.

Slightly overcrowded broad bean plants. But they seen to be doing o.k.
Our allotment at Drayton, Daventry. 2 May, 2019

Lettuces seemed happy but they too got a can of dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO) to sustain them.

These lettuces should soon be hearting up.
Last year our onions were rather disappointing so, although they also appeared to be flourishing, a couple of cans went their way too.

The onions are currently small but I'm hopeful of a decent crop in
late summer.
I had originally planned to put our runner beans in today but there is a slight chance of frost over the next two nights, so they'll have to wait. With this chilling threat in mind I put a light covering of soil over the emerging potato leaves. There followed five minutes of weeding and that was it for the day.

On my way out I noticed that some of the redcurrants on an adjacent plot had a problem. Cryptomyzus aphis is an aphid whose activities lead to the development of red, blister like markings on the leaves. I have noticed over the years that even severely affected shrubs may still yield a good crop, so it isn't a big issue.

Redcurrant Blister Aphid. I don't see it as much of a problem. But then it
isn't on my plot!
Once home I checked, for idle curiosity (I can be very idle at times) the NBN (National Biological Network) map for this aphid species. There were only 31 records. Of course it is found the length and breadth of Britain but it seems that few people bother to submit a report. Anyway, from now on there should be 32 records, as I reported this to the Wildlife Trust.

In the late afternoon the dry spell was broken and we received heavy rain.

I wonder how Jeremy Corbyn's allotment is doing.

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