Posts Tagged ‘chillis’

Posts, paving and planting progress

Well, it’s been a highly productive Easter weekend on the plot and in the garden. We set ourselves two major tasks that had to be completed before the holiday was over: putting in all the posts for the fruit trees at the allotment; and laying some slabs in the garden to rehouse the wheelie bins. Both jobs required some DIY skills so the weekend was doomed to have a certain level of grumpiness and disagreement attached to it! However, it was only the weather that turned out gloomy, the mood around the allotment and in the garden was all quite ok and all jobs have been completed. We’re now feeling quite smug with ourselves.

The 8ft posts have all been concreted in (thank goodness for Postcrete), wires attached and the fruit trees (two apples and a pear) are now nicely tied in and starting to look like proper espaliers.

Apple tree tied to its very sturdy wires!

A windbreak has also been erected around the currant bushes to protect them. Although the posts aren’t particularly straight, hopefully the whole thing will do the job.

The new windbreak

Down in the garden, a few slabs have been laid so that the wheelie bins can be taken out of the shed. This frees up a bit more space for the more untidy members of the household to dump more crap! Although you can see floor space at the moment, in a week’s time it will again be littered with pots, recycling bottles and anything else that doesn’t have a proper home.

On the growing front, everything is coming along nicely. The spuds are all in, the onion seeds are growing well and some of the chillis are showing the first signs of flowers. Space in the greenhouse is now at a premium and is about to get worse once I’ve potted on some of the seedlings. It’s all going to be a juggling act from here on in until everything can be planted in it’s final resting place.

There is also huge excitement as we have just found out that the village are going to hold a garden and allotment Open Day on 5th July over the Jubilee weekend. That’s sent us into a complete panic about all sorts of things – will the plot be tidy enough? Will we have managed to get everything planted out in time? Whose going to provide the tea? Should we make cakes? What about bunting? You can’t have a Jubilee without bunting!

Amidst the excitement, work is now in progress on a seating area – this involves the use of the old polytunnel frame. It’s in the design stages at the moment but it won’t be long before saws and hammers are back out…watch this space!


Chilli Monday – from shoots to toes

It was a bit of a chilly start this morning and according to the weatherman it’s set for the rest of the week. Not good news for our onions seeds which are still showing no signs whatsoever of sprouting – they need to get a move on. However, the chillis are romping away, so much so that they are in grave danger of going leggy very early on.

Chillis are up!

We’ve planted two types this year: Cayenne and Numex Twilight.  The Numex are a new variety on us – I was attracted to their colour. We did the Cayenne last year along with Ring of Fire and Apache – all were good and ended up producing a bumper harvest. Not good news for the recipients of our Christmas presents who all ended up with a variety of things made from chillis whether they liked chilli or not – chilli oil, chilli flakes, chilli jam, chilli jelly, chilli chocolate bark, chilli and lime chocolates, chilli vodka…the list went on. The rest were tied into ristras and left to dry so that they can be used throughout the year.

Chilli Ristras from the 2011 harvest

The chilli jam was a huge success and is the perfect thing with baked camembert and a chunk of bread – just what you need to warm you up on these chilly days. Have a look on the recipe pages (on the right) for the Chilli Jam and Chilli Jelly – well worth a go.

Chilli Jam & Chilli Jelly

Another thing that’s also worth a go, and is also along the chilli theme, are these:

Chilli feet

These are excellent if you’re the sort of people, like us, who are forever wandering off down the garden in your slippers and then paddling mud back through the kitchen (or worse still, leaving big clods of mud right through the house – yes, you have been caught in those wellies!). They’re called Backdoorshoes – simples. You stick them by the back door and slip them on every time you go outside. They’re brilliant, and come in all patterns – garlic, nuts and bolts, roses…to name but a few. I think they’ll made excellent allotment shoes come the summer.

Not convinced…have a look at this other pair.

Sprouting vegetable feet