The Winter Wonderveg

Mid February and I have been to the allotment 3 times since Christmas.  Am I a bad plotholder?  Not really.  This is still a time for hibernation for humans and plants alike, so not much happens, nor is it meant to happen.

We had roast beef for lunch yesterday, and naively thought that the persistent weed which plagues our gooseberry bushes might be loitering still for us to dig up and grate into some cream.  No, even the horseradish is dormant at this time of year.

patchy fruit patch

No sign of life here: even the horseradish has made itself scarce over the winter.

Fortunately, there are 2 veggies who are happy bedfellows with the cold and frost.  Brussel sprouts and leeks are still going strong when everything else has been picked, eaten or died a sad and soggy death.  Look at those lovely long leeks!

Standing Proud

Standing Proud

The only other sign of life comes from our long-standing friend, rhubarb, the fruit that isn’t.  I know I really should give this plant more attention, but it really is one of the most low maintenance things on the plot.  I was told  by octogenarians who used to have the neighbouring plot that my rhubarb used to compete nationally.  Imagine that!  I have prize-winning rhubarb here in the Yorkshire triangle.  I should be ashamed of myself, leaving it to do its own thing these past 5 years.  And so, i shall make efforts this year – this month in fact – to give it some TLC.  As I have at least 4 enormous crowns, I’m going to try 2 techniques, to see which one works:

Option 1 – thin the crown down to 5 or so buds.  use a spade to dig into the soil around the crown, and pull the outlying buds away from the main plant.

Option 2 – lift the entire crown out from the soil.  break up into smaller crowns, each with at least 1 strong bud, replant.

For any of the buds which have been removed and are not going back into the ground, i will try and retain some roots for them, then give them away to friends/family/anyone who’ll have them.

Here’s one of the crowns, firing up its buds for the season…

A budding crown, or a crowning bud?

A budding crown, or a crowning bud?

Back soon…. I’ve been planning the plot layout!

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