Thursday, 19 May 2011

Down at the allotment, it's all drying up

The Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 today featured a debate about the weather, Love it or Hate it? Apparently this spring we have seen the lightest rainfall since records began with some parts of the UK, Clacton, for instance, getting less rain than the Sahara Desert.

Down on the allotment we are all feeling it, especially those of us who has been too busy to water as much as we should have done. I've lost my first planting of tomatoes and so have gone in again with a more drought-resistant variety, Alicante, although they will need lots of sun. So here's hoping.

I am mentioning varieties as my friends Cliff Prior and Sir Stephen Bubb have both said that they like the allotment blogs but are looking for more detail or specificity, as Cliff described it. I'll do my best, but I am nothing more than an enthusiastic amateur so apologies to all the real gardeners out there.

The broad beans are nearly ready but like everything else they are slow to bulk up due to lack of water. I have to say I can't remember a year when I was eating my asparagus and strawberries at the same time as my asparagus is an early variety. But as the strawberries are turning a good colour, I think this weekend we will have our first good crop of the ever-faithful Marshmallow, sweeter than anything you can buy in the shops. I think I'll make a Pavlova for lunch on Sunday, with an asparagus salad to start and Hubbie can burn his usual meat fest on the BBQ. That is, of course, if it doesn't rain!

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