As a gardener it sometimes feels like we're always moaning about something. Take the weather for example: Not enough rain; too much rain; too dry; too wet; too windy; too cold.
Mostly this relates to how plants are likely to react rather than anything else. If it’s too cold, wet, windy, put on the right coat and get stuck in.
Recent cold means it’s not been quite safe enough to grow many things outside unprotected, but under the cover of plastic cloches veggies can be off to a flying start.
Radish and lettuce may be only a few weeks away from being ready to pick and eat, as well as rainbow chard, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
Not All About The Plants
Allotments help provide us with food, but it’s also a bit of a sanctuary from the world. And it can be a great place to watch birds and look for wildlife!
It won’t be long now, before the weather improves further and the temperatures overnight regularly stay above 5°C, once we get there and the risk of frost subsides, it will truly be all systems go. Other plants, like runner beans can go in, and the plastic can be drawn back and eventually removed completely. This will make the plants easier to water.
Plant Of The Month - Rhubarb
Here’s a recipe for stewed rhubarb:
- Take your rhubarb stalks and remove the leaves (you can’t eat the leaves, as they’re toxic, so throw them on the compost heap or in the bin). Clean the stalks and chop into pieces about 2.5cm long.
- Place these in an oven proof glass dish, add a small amount of water (you don’t want to cover them, so just about halfway to the top of the rhubarb).
- Add ground cinnamon and brown sugar to taste (about a level teaspoon of cinnamon and a level tablespoon of brown sugar to six stalks of rhubarb, add more sugar if you have a sweet tooth).
- Add a generous handful of sultanas.
- Put in the oven at a 160ºC / Gas Mark 4, for about 20 minutes. At this point, remove and stir with a fork to break-up (shred) the rhubarb. Return to the oven for about another 10 minutes, and then repeat the shredding process until the rhubarb is soft and stringy.
- Serve straight from the oven (it will be very hot!) with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or allow to cool and serve. Works great on porridge or muesli for breakfast!