At last – allotment not under snow!

We managed to get to the plot on Monday and were half-thrilled, half- horrified at what we found,

First, the broad bean seedlings have held up pretty well under the snow and rain – a couple of them are lying down and I don’t know whether that’s the effect of the weather, and they will perk up, or whether it’s the result of depredations by our unwelcome visitors.

Second, those unwelcome visitors – pigeons! To our great chagrin, most of the purple-sprouting broccoli that we planted in the open air has been denuded, not just of florets, but of top leaves. We had anticipated that this might happen, as this was our ‘overflow’ broccoli, and it’s sort of a sacrifice crop, but we didn’t expect to sacrifice all of it! On the other hand, the broccoli in the brassica cage is fine, but seems to be a bit behind its outdoor cousins. I’ve been trying to work it out and the only conclusion I can come to is that because the cage roof was supporting a layer of snow for a week or so, the plants inside it got that much less light than the plants outside, so they’ve developed slower. Can anybody tell me if that sounds even slightly logical?

So we came home with: kilos of parsnip to make delicious parsnip curry as well as spicy soup; heeled in leeks; red Brussels sprouts tops; fresh sage and NO broccoli.

And the soil is too wet to plant shallots so we thought we’d try and get them in at the weekend, although as it’s been pelting down with snow/rain/snow all day today, that too may end up being a forlorn hope.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, January 20, 2010


OpenID said...

well it sounds like you came home with a good lot...I really should plant more for next year!!

And yes your broccoli being at different stages is probably due to the light situation...(photosynthesis and all that!)...but don't worry about it they will soon catch up

January 20, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Your supposition for the broccoli in the brassica cage makes perfect sense.

January 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger HappyPlotter said...

I know just how you feel, i'd popped over to the allotment the weekend before last only to see what I can describe as stalks left where my PSB used to be. I've never tried PSB before and it looks like i'm going to have to wait another year, at least if I want to sample my own. Those pesky pigeons!

January 21, 2010 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Your broad beans look good. It's surprising what they can withstand.

January 21, 2010 at 5:58 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Broccoli does seem very light-sensitive. Ours is in the shade of trees this year, and although they're bare, and the soil richer than where our broccoli was last year, the plants are weaker.

You have my sympathy about the pigeons. We lost our crop last year - although it was netted, we didn't do it too well and the blighters just perched on top and ate the broccoli through the netting.

January 31, 2010 at 3:02 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Linda, that's very interesting - none of the books I've got talk about broccoli being light-sensitive but all kinds of people I've spoken to in the last few weeks have said the same thing. I shall have to think about where to situate them next year, as we do really love our winter broccoli!

February 1, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

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