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Posts Tagged ‘sowing direct’

This is the third year of having an allotment, and I have to say that the initial burst of energy has eased to a slower pace.  So it is really nice when something genuinely captures new enthusiasm.  One of these was the sweetcorn that I sowed direct in the soil a couple of weeks ago.  Horrendously late, it needed a soil temperature of 18 degrees C according to the packet.  I wasn’t sure whether UK soil ever reaches this temperature, but it really was my last chance to get them in before June began.

Here is the patch on the 29th May:

Sweetcorn seeds went in just before the warm spell

Sweetcorn seeds went in just before the warm spell

And again on the 12th June:

18 degrees and counting......

Sweetcorn shoots in just two weeks

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw them!  They will even need thinning at some point because I was so pessimistic about their chances of success that I have crammed them in, expecting the odd seed to germinate.  I have got two varieties – Ashworth Early and Hopi Blue.  Another way of looking at ‘early’ crops is ‘faster growing’, so I am hoping this means I will still have time to get sweetcorn cobs before Autumn.

The other surprise this week was that the dark blue lavender bush is ready to crop:

Lavender ready to pick

Lavender ready to pick

It is a darker blue than the Carshalton Lavender plants which we  inherited.  I thought it would be good to dry out the heads for decoration rather than scent:

Lavender heads drying on the patio

Lavender heads drying on the patio

The later crop will be in July, when we will pick some of the silvery heads for lavender bags etc.

Finally, we got our first crop from the blackcurrant bushes given to us by Jamie’s Gramps and Mum.  The recipe of this week is a glorious blackcurrant frangipane tart, from Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook.  A bit like bakewell tart studded with blackcurrants, it is one of those recipes where the tartness of the fruits is perfect with the rich pudding.  Lovely with an afternoon coffee on the patio after work:

Frangipane and blackcurrant tart

Frangipane and blackcurrant tart

I will put the recipe on to follow:

Following the loss of almost all our Dahlias in the frosts this year, I bought a two at 70p at Chipstead fete this weekend.  Not even knowing what colour or type they are will add a frisson of excitement later this summer.

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