Friday 6 June 2008

They're making hay

At last the Meteo has changed its mind about the forecast and given us five days of dry to come. Why we should believe this any more than the previous expectations of doom which they've discarded I'm not sure. They could easily have changed their opinion again by tomorrow, but regardless, hay must be made and the current conditions, dry, breezy and not overly warm are just about as good as one can get, excluding the dead dry temperatures of a summer heatwave.

daisy daisy

I had some good fortune yesterday, from the serendipity of bounteous nature and the rather untidy and slapdash gardener that I am. As I was weeding between the shallots I found a tiny shoot of oca, obviously a volunteer from the row that was in that position last year, which had survived the winter wet, the cultivation with a rotavator and managed to avoid my hoe on the couple of times I'd waved it around the general area in the last month. I decided to leave it where it was as the shallots don't root deeply and will be dried and out of the way in a couple of months leaving plenty of room for the oca to mature and hopefully produce tubers by the autumn.

Heartened by that I searched along the rows and found another tiny shoot. That pleased me so much that I went and searched through the long grass and weeds where the oca had grown two years ago and to my exceedingly great joy found a number of shoots. These had to be moved, the grass and weeds were swamping them and the patch, which has got completely out of control, is destined for severe treatment and a covering of plastic to kill the existing growth before it is put back into cultivation.

I carefully dug down and managed to extract two plants, stem and tubers, several tubers which I hope will now sprout again and some shoots, mostly with roots that should be able to support themselves. In all, enough for six more plants. All of these tubers appear to be of the crimson sort, the sort I had decided was less hardy than the pink. They seem to be robust enough! I'm hoping the two plants on the onion patch will be the pink sort but whatever, I am so pleased!

The flower on a Shetland Black potato, really pretty and a rather attractive subtle perfume.

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