Sunday, 15 April 2018

Potato planting time

Only 2 weeks later than normal, but today, as its warmer, it's time to plant the early potatoes for 2018. 

This year I'm trying Pentland Javelin as a 1st early & Kestrel for 2nd early, as you can see they are ready with short stubby shoots.
I dug a trench, a spade deep, added a few spade fulls of well rotted manure and forked it in.

I then put each tuber 12" (30cm) apart in the base of the trench and back filled with the soil I dug out with a rake, leaving a mound. 
Each trench is 24" (60cm) apart.

So here are the three rows of Pentland Javelin all planted and ridged up. 

We will stagger the planting so all the potatoes arent ready at the same time, Charlotte 2nd early next.
I carried on digging over this patch behind the Garlic that I started last week, so we have have plenty of space ready for planting, 
While I planted spuds, Jo sowed some seeds: Spring Onions, Beetroot & Spinach. 

Under the fleece are some Peas that were in the greenhouse and now need hardening off ready for planting out.
Both the Cox's Orange Pippin apple trees have hundreds of blossom buds, a good sign for a good crop.
Rhubarb update: Getting bigger by the day, in fact we split this one over winter and its growing faster than the rest.
Pond update: We have Tadpoles! Although you cant see them, there are thousands as well as other pondlife, we spotted Beetles, pond skaters & caddisfly too.
So despite a few showers we got lots done, including helping our friend & neighbour Steve fix his shed roof. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 8 April 2018

One week later (after Easter)

One week after Easter and the Rhubarb is getting bigger, not ready yet as it needs to be a lot taller with umbrella like leaves. 
But after a wet miserable week it was lovely and sunny today, feels much more like summer is on its way.
So I finished digging over this patch, where the Spuds will go. 
I took the photo before I dug over that small square bottom left. It certainly caused a massive pile of weeds to burn, mostly Ground Elder and Dock!
I also started digging over this patch next to the fruit cage, I didn't go all the way to the fence, because we have a rather large Horseradish root there and didn't want to disturb it! 

In the foreground is the Garlic we put in recently, now its matured and taller, I removed the netting that was protecting the young shoots from birds etc.

Then I did a spot of weeding/digging on another patch & dug up some Picasso spuds from ones we planted last May, had them for dinner roasted with garlic & rosemary seasoning and were lovely.
So as I said the sun came out and I spent 5 hours digging today and it was worth it. Only stopped a few times for a cuppa & snack.

The forecast looks favourable, so next time we might have put some crops in especially early Potatoes!

No Jo today she's away for a few days visiting family.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian


Sunday, 1 April 2018

Easter weekend on the plot

Good Friday:
Can you see the cheeky Robin? 
It was searching for bugs & worms as I dug over this patch.
A bit more of the patch now dug over and enough done today. 
I will be planting main crop Potatoes here once they have been chitted.
So while I was busy, Jo cleared this raised bed of weeds & topped it off with a barrow full of horse muck!
Easter Sunday:
We returned and did an hour more digging over the poatato patch before lunch and 2 hours after, not much left to do now. But I could tell the soil is still too cold to plant anything, so we will have to wait.
Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb growing daily now, wont be long before the 1st harvest & a crumble or two.
All those weeds caused quite a pile to burn, but all the rain has made the pile quite damp, so it didnt burn long.
Anyway as it was April 1st, I was no fool and got plenty done and despite an overcast sky it didn't rain. But more rain is forecast for tomorrow.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Felt like Summer, the day we had 1 less hour too!

Love these Daffodills growing on the corner of the Rhubarb patch, they come up every spring and today was no exeption.
Lovely blue sky all day & the Sun was out all day, hard to believe the forecast for the week to follow is cold & wet!
Jo worked hard clearing the Strawberry & Asparagus beds of grass and weeds, I topped the Asparagus off with a barrow full of horse muck.
So while Jo cleared the Aparagus & Strawberry beds, I got started on this patch where the main crop Potatoes will go. 
I'm only digging out the clumps of grass & some perenial weeds, then I'll spread some muck & rotovate it in.
So despite an hour less, due to British Summer Time (clocks go forward) we managed a good 4 hours of work in the sun with just one tea break!

Thanks for reading/returning, Ian & Jo.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

March Allotment up-date

 I had to get a patch ready for 1st early Potatoes to go in, yesterday I started on this area where we had Brassicas last year. 
Today it was a sunny afternoon so I returned to finish off this patch, with enough room for 4 rows of spuds.
We usually start planting Potatoes around Easter but after the last frost.


But we need to clear this patch next.....
...... and this patch....
...... and this patch!
Got lots of seeds started at home, some in the greenhouse, some in propagators & some just in cells.

Yesterday I spotted a huge Frog in our pond, today as you can see, a huge lump of Frog Spawn, we will have Tadpoles again and eventually more Frogs.

Here are all the Potatoes 'chitting' this year I'm growing:
Pentland Javelin (1st early)
Charlotte & Kestrel (2nd early)
and Picasso (main crop).

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sunny February Sunday

 Sunny and cold, so I dug over this patch that we left fallow for a year or two & you guessed it weeds & Nettles moved in! 
After a few hours with the fork & spade I filled 2 wheelbarrows with roots & weeds!
Our plan is to pave this area and put a bench here as it gets the sun all day.


So, as you must NOT put nettle roots on the compost heap, I burnt them straight away. 
Signs of growth on the Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb, this one we split over winter, so glad it has buds poking through already.


In Winter Olympic style, here is Gnomeo doing a spot of Ice Skating on the pond!

Well as I said, Sunny & Cold, but at least all that digging kept me warm and a couple of tea break stops too!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Sunday, 18 February 2018

February 2018 update 2

The pond we cleared of tall grasses and overgrown lily pads in January now has lovely clear water, but no sign of Frogs yet, hopefully next month we will see frog spawn.
 Jo dug over this raised bed and I added some used mushroom compost. We will use this bed for some salad crops. 

We will need to re-do the Asparagus bed aswell as its full of Ground Elder & other persistant weeds! 
So that horse manure I collected will be useful


If you remember last time this patch was full of dried weeds etc. Ready to burn......
......Well I managed to burn the lot today, on a clear patch of ground so there was no chance of harming any sleeping Hedgehogs, I didn't find any though.
So not a bad 3 hours of work done today, it was almost warm too.
We did stop for a cuppa & cake at lunchtime.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo