Sunday, 16 May 2010

First radishes and other tales from my balcony

My radishes were getting a little overcrowded, so I decided to thin some out - I was surprised to see how big some of them had grown!

The problem with balcony gardening, is that I do not have the capacity to sow successionally - I need to wait until my radishes and carrots are completely ready and out of the ground before I can sow anything else in that pot, because there just isn't room.

I'm considering applying for an allotment, but the things that worry me about it are: how much work it will be initially, especially if it's covered in brambles or something. I work full time and weekends are pretty much the only decent amount of time I get to do any housework. My flat is already a mess as it is! How would I balance trying to keep an allotment in order as well? I've also been reading Norfolk Kitchen's blog about some of the trouble she's been having with "allotment politics". Anyway, it's just something to have a think about at the moment, but if anyone's got any tips or advice, it would be most gratefully received!

Back to my balcony garden... I have an infestation! Of dandelion seeds! This time of year, the area I live in turns into a floating sea of dandelion seeds. It looks quite pretty - bits of fluff gracefully floating around... However, they are a menace! They land in my pots and then five minutes later, there's a seedling. And there are millions of them. I have to keep raking the soil (being careful to avoid the plants I actually want) because they are too tiny and too numerous to deal with by hand. On the whole, we are pretty lucky being on a first floor balcony with walls on either side, though: I've never seen a slug up here and we've got very little chance of any ground frost this time of year up here because it's fairly warm and sheltered. Dandelion seeds, however, are my enemy.

4 comments:

  1. Great looking radishes! Radishes are fast becoming my favourite thing as they are pretty much the only thing my kitchen garden is actually producing right now apart from some very small cut and come again lettuce.

    Yesterday my wild rocket and lemon coriander both reached the point where I was actually able to take a few leaves and taste them and I discovered, to my horror, that I apparently hate the taste of both. Doh!

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  2. If you could find someone that wanted part of an allotment, you could share, with one or more people. (Unofficially of course).
    I know some councils provide half plots, that might be more manageable.

    Radishes look lovely, we are awash with cherry belles at the moment, amazing how quickly they grow.

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  3. Hello,

    I am an Assistant Producer at ITV Productions and we are currently searching for potential contestants for Britain’s Best Dish. In case you haven’t seen the show before Britain's Best Dish is an annual competition hosted by ITV for amateur cooks. In it we look for Britain's best starter, main course and dessert. The winner of the competition receives the accolade of Britain's Best Dish and takes home a £10,000 cash prize. We're starting another series in the coming weeks and will be holding our regional auditions in Nottingham on 29th May. As you are clearly a keen foodie you are just the sort of person we are looking for so if you are at all interested in taking part or know anyone who may be interested and haven't already featured in the Best Dish studio finals, please email ASAP with your name, contact number, and where you're from to bestdish@itv.com or directly to me at jude.eccles@itv.com and we’ll be in touch soon.

    Thanks,

    Jude

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  4. Can you cover your plants with a plastic sheet, or somehow block the dandelion seeds from getting on your balcony? We have a terrible weed problem in our yard. I spent two hours yesterday just weeding and barely made a dent. The thing is, you have to attack the weeds before they go to seed, and without disturbing the seedlings you want there - that pretty much means constant vigilance. Ug. At least you can eat dandelion greens! And your radishes are lovely. I think I need to fertilize more; my radishes are small and not very good this year.

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