Sunday, 23 April 2017

More digging and weeding

First job to do today was to earth up the potatoes, some have broken through & we are expecting some cold temps, so better protect the emerging shoots with a layer of soil. 
I used a draw hoe that cuts the weeds & does the earthing up too.
Been extending this patch where I will plant the Cara potatoes soon. 
It had a lot of surface weeds, Ground Elder, Nettles and Sweetcorn roots, from last summers crops, to dig out. Hard work but worth it.
The grass on the path was getting a bit long at the sides, so I got my trusty petrol strimmer out to give the grass a trim, the first cut this year. 

Looks a lot better for it.
The Shallots we put in a few weeks ago are putting on more growth. 

So we put a row of Radish seed in between the Shallots & the Garlic.

Using a push/pull hoe, I managed to weed in between the Onions that we put in last autumn, for over wintering. 
I pulled out some of the more persistent weeds! 
Such a lovely sunny day, we spent a good 4½ hours today, so satisfying too

Hard to believe that Monday/Tuesday will be cold & wet!

Thanks for reading/returning. Jo & Ian

Monday, 17 April 2017

Easter weekend on the plot

Well were do I start. 
In the raised bed we cleared and topped with mushroom compost we added 22 more Garlic and 20 Onion Shallots that we started off at home in cells.
This patch is where the Cara potatoes are going, so rather than using the rotavator I started digging it over.
More Asparagus are poking through the manure, we counted 10 spears!
Lots going on in the greenhouse now, waiting for the warm weather.
More & more trays of seedlings in the greenhouse, awaiting planting out. 
We need this space for Tomatoes!
I finished the potato patch on bank holiday Monday. 
As I said, I'm glad I dug it over, because of all the Ground Elder roots, Nettles and surface weeds that I removed instead of being chopped up by the rotavator !
We are expecting a bumper fruit harvest this year. Here are the apple blossoms.
There are loads of Gooseberries coming.
And plenty of Strawberries in flower. 

In the fruit cage there are loads of Raspberries, Black & Red Currants and Blueberries too.
I set up a wild bird feeding station, with peanuts, sunflower seed, fat balls & suet pellets, so far its been refilled 3 times over the weekend. 

So obviously popular with the local birds.
So despite working Friday & Saturday, we did manage to get lots done between the showers this Easter weekend.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Lovely weekend for digging, weeding, planting & some chicken news too

This raised bed needed totally weeding, so we forked it over and dug deep to get all the ground elder out (I hope).
Lots of surface weeds too.

Then I put a bag of mushroom compost on as a top dressing.
Dug up a few Leeks for a lunch treat, Leek & Potato soup. 

We also planted some Parsnip and Spring Onion seed.

We have plenty starting off in the greenhouse at home & on the plot so will report on the planting soon. 
On Saturday I continued digging over the end of this patch, where the early spuds are I planted last weekend.
On Sunday I did a bit more, so I can plant the Picasso main crop Spuds here.
While weeding the Asparagus bed we noticed a few early spears showing, this Stewarts Purple is an early one.
As the title says 'Lovely weekend' well it was until about 4pm Sunday, when it went chilly & felt like rain.
As you can see our egg cabinet is full, we had 57 eggs in March and 25 so far this month!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Potato planting time

Yes today's the day, as you can see these early seed potatoes are ready to go in. 
They have short stubby shoots that are dark in colour so perfect for planting.
I dug a trench, put a few fork fulls of well rotted manure in the bottom and placed each potato, shoots upwards, about 12" (30cm) apart. I also added a few handfulls of chicken manure pellets to the soil that I raked back over the trench.
So that's 2 rows of  'Winston', 1st early and 3 rows of 'Charlotte', 2nd early planted. 
Hopefully in about 10-12 weeks we will be digging some up. 
Next month I'll be planting the main crops, I have Picasso & Cara this year.
The Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb is getting bigger, won't be long now for first harvest.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Super sunny weekend on the plot

Carried on clearing this patch, as we want to put Peas & Beans in here. 

Removed lots of weeds, ground elder & grass.
With all those weeds removed I had to have a bonfire, I started it on Saturday and when I returned today (Sunday) it was still smouldering so I put some more dried stuff on and it flared up! So I carried on piling weeds on :) 
The Cauliflower & Cabbage seedlings in the Greenhouse coming on fine and a tray of Tagetes flowers, on the right.
Some Peas started off in toilet roll tubes and a few trays of Sweetpeas too. 
Finished digging over this patch today (Sunday) plenty of space for Peas & Beans, that we have started off already.
As the title says: 'Supper sunny weekend' & it certainly was. With the clock going forward an hour, the growing season has really started. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 19 March 2017

It's all happening on the plot

First job, to extend the early potato patch, I now have enough room for 5 rows of spuds. 

All dug over, weeded & a row of root damaged Carrots removed.

As I dug over this patch I found a few Charlotte spuds that were left behind after digging up, they looked fine so will have them with dinner. 

Not sure yet what we will plant here, probably Beans & Peas as a good follow on crop after potatoes.
If you remember I started off some 'Vigour' garlic in cells, well they have put on a good start, so after clearing this raised bed I planted the garlic at 6" intervals. I bought another 2 bulbs & will start them off the same for a succession crop.
The Cauliflower & Cabbage seed I sowed 12 days ago in the greenhouse have sprouted, we will plant out when a bit bigger and the soil is warmer.
Just a small part of our Stockbridge Arrow rhubarb and it's started growing, won't be long now before the first harvest.
A bit of an overcast showery day, but at least my little and often policy is paying off, our Allotment will be ready in no time.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Growing & planting update for March

Been a busy week, preparing and weeding. 

In these two seed trays are Cauliflower 'All the Year Round' & Cabbage 'Attraction' seed sown. I will report on the progress.
The Garlic 'Vigour' I started off a few weeks ago have sprouted and I will be planting them out soon.
The seed potatoes, that are just on a shelf in the spare room, are 'chitting' well. 
I will be planting them out in a few weeks, I usually do this Easter weekend.
This is where the potatoes will go, I've been weeding & turning the soil over, we will leave the Kale growing as we give it to our Chickens and they love it & dig it up at spud planting time.  
Fantastic news today, there are 4 large lumps of Frog Spawn in our little pond, we did expect this to happen as we had seen some rather fat frogs, but never expected so much spawn!
In the patch I dug over (see above) there were still some Parsnips, so I pulled them all up, they have been in a while now so might be a bit 'woody' but others, if OK, we will make soup from.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo