Sunday, 21 May 2017

Beans, Sunflowers and Pheasants!

So as the title says: 

Beans and we planted the Borlotti Beans started off in the greenhouse. 
I placed a circle of cardboard, under the cane wigwams, weighted down with a brick to suppress the weeds.
A row of Sunflowers, these are 'Pikes Peak' and are supposed to grow up to 15ft tall. 
I put plenty of compost & growmore in the soil before planting and loads of crushed egg shells on the surface as tender sunflowers are a favourite of Slugs & Snails! 
Look, almost Strawberry harvest time, its usually end of May early June so well on time.
The Brassicas we planted last w/e have taken and doing well, the netting doing its job well.
And this is what we are protecting our Brassicas from! 

This handsome chap and his Mrs were walking around our plot as I arrived today. 
They have been scratching around my spuds too. Damn Pheasants!
Well another 5 hours on the plot, got loads done again, including more digging/weeding to get yet another bed ready for planting. 
We still have more Beans, Sweetcorn, Peas, Courgettes, Squashes & Sunflowers to plant out.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Brassica planting!

First I cleared this patch of last years spuds, weeds and roots, dug it over, raked it and added lime. 
I then planted 10 rows of assorted Brassicas: Sprouts, Cauliflowers, Calabrise & Broccoli. 
We covered the hoops with netting before we left.
Been earthing up the early spuds again, almost daily now. 
I noticed a bit of frost/wind damage on the leaves, but they will recover.
So while I planted Brassicas (see above) Jo hoed between the Onions, looks a lot better and the Onions are swelling after the recent rain.
 So today it was our 31st Wedding Anniversary and a lovely day to celebrate it on the Allotment.
Lovely Apple Blossom. 
We have Gooseberries already!
So it was a lovely sunny day & we spent a good 5 hours, planting, weeding & general allotment maintenance. 
More Rhubarb & Asparagus was harvested today too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Monday, 8 May 2017

More Potatoes planted, other jobs too.

On Tuesday I planted more spuds, so this patch is full now. 

2 rows of 1st early Winson, 3 rows of 2nd early Charlotte & now 5 rows of Picasso mains. 
This 'chitted' Cara potato is ready to go in, it has short, stubby, dark green shoots, if yours have long thin pale shoots, rub them off and start again by placing in a light cool place, or try planting without 'chitting' the jury is out on this debate whether to 'chit' or not.
So on Sunday, after digging over this patch & removing as much of the weeds as I could, I planted out the Cara, 5 rows with 7 in each. 
We also planted out some Broad Beans that we started at home. 
In the fleece dome at the back are some Brassicas (sprouts, cabbage, cauliflowers etc) protected from the birds & waiting to go in.
Gave the shed a much needed new coat of preservative, will need to do again to build up the colour and protection of 'Red Cedar'
Another harvest of Rhubarb & Asparagus, the first of the season.
So plenty done including a bonfire to burn all those weeds that have been drying and bit more ground preparation for all those crops waiting to go in.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo 

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