Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Another 6 hours and lots done again!

We arrived around 9:30 on Sunday, because we had lots to do, first job cutting the grass path!
But before I started up my petrol strimmer, I pulled up all the Nettles & Mares Tails as any that I chop up, each tiny piece, can grow again, adding to our weed problem ! 
But after a quick cut it looks a lot better, I carried on until lunchtime and managed to trim all the paths. 

I cleared around all the raised beds too & infront of the greenhouse so we could put some outdoor Tomatoes there.
I also earthed up all the Potatoes again, Pentland Javelin, Foremost, Charlotte & Picasso, even the Cara I put in a few weeks ago have come through.
Jo planted Borecole, Kale & Pak-Choi here, so we protected the young plants with an extra wide netting tunnel. 
I made another cane wig-wam (without netting) for some Borlotti Beans that Jo planted, 1 per cane.
Jo also planted more Squashes, 1 Butternut & 2 Patti-Pan (yellow scallop).
As most of the Strawberries are in flower we made sure they were netted as birds will scoff any ripe fruit before we get to them!
After lunch, using the strimmer again, I tidied up the fruit cage, at least its a lot neater and we can get around more easily.
So now the path is finished, but will need another cut soon, as all the sun we have had has caused everything to grow fast, including the weeds!

We left around 3pm, shattered but happy we got so much done.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo 

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Just a quick visit

Built another Pea wig-wam, the cardboard disc, helps get the structure even & stops weeds growing as the centre is difficult to reach when the Peas are fully grown and full of pods to pick.
The rain & sun has helped the Potatoes they are looking good & luckily no frost damage.
So while I was busy, Jo dug a bit more of this patch and planted 2 more Courgettes
The greenhouse: 
The Tomatoes & Cucumbers are doing well, Jo planted another Tomato in the corner.
The Pond: 
Can you see the Tadpoles in the shallow end warming in the sun ? There are 2 frogs keeping guard too, you cant see much of them except the tip of a nose now and again, breaking the surface of the water.
Its difficult getting a photo due to reflections etc. 
More Rhubarb, its getting to be a regular crop at the moment. 
6.5lb this time, 12lb so far this year! Plus about 10lb we donated to a local spring fair, it all sold, 4 stalks for £1.
Anyway, yes just a quick visit, had to leave at 2pm. Shame as its been a lovely sunny day today, long may it last.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Another 6 hours done on our plot

No we didn't start with a tea break and home made cake.  

Thought this would make a good title page, in fact we had this break later in the afternoon, after we had done all the hard work, read on........
The last of the chitted spuds, 'Cara' main crop, ready to go in.
Not the straightest trench, but it will do, I planted 36 spuds, 4 rows, 9 in each. Each row 30" apart, each spud 15" between in the bottom of trench then back filled with the soil dug out.
Yes another bonfire, but we have so many weeds that we have dug up & some rotten wood, so better to burn it and return the ash to the soil.
In this patch that Jo cleared, she planted some more Beetroot in a block, behind that 2 wigwams covered in netting and about 20 Peas planted around each.
Jo planted 2 Cougettes & a Squash in this patch, we both cleared this earlier and it was full of ground elder, nettles and horsetail, so it all went on the bonfire!
With all the rain & sun we have had, everything is growing fast, the Broad Beans have almost doubled in size !
So yes, another 6 hours, but a very satisfying 6 hours, we got lots done, even cleared a patch we though we might not get to use this year.
And finally, the 4 rows of Cara spuds planted, I realised its about 3 weeks earlier this year as I found one of my laminated labels from last year with the date on.

Thanks for reading/retrurning. Ian & Jo 

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Last Sunday in April, more spuds planted and lots done again.

More Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb picked, 4lb this time, 1st lot picked (with much shorter stalks) was only 1lb 10oz.

We had some of this, a rhubarb crumble, after dinner, yummy it was too.
 As the title states, got the Picasso main crop spuds in, 4 rows with 8 in each 15" apart. 
Just need to put Cara mains in soon too, planted the same way.
We've had 2-3 days of rain & 2 days of storm Hannah, luckily little damage, but the early spuds have grown more, due to the rain, so had to earth up both lots, Pentland Javelin & Foremost.
So while I was busy doing the spuds and earthing up, Jo got busy in the greenhouse and planted 3 Tomatoes....
....and 2 Cucumbers.

The upturned bottles has a drip feeder attached so we just fill them with water and it trickles into the soil, close to the roots.
Jo also planted more Beetroot alongside the Peas we put in last week. 

The Peas survived the storm and are looking good.
Jo planted a row of Runner Beans as the ground had been prepared earlier, with plenty of well rotted manure.
A triple row of Cosmos was planted, alongside the fruit cage. 
In the fruit cage both Red & Blackcurrants are showing signs of a good crop, the 
Raspberries now need tying up, as they prefer it that way.

Both The Apple & Damson also showing signs of fruit, although not in the cage. 
Today was better after the storm, even the sun came out around mid-day, so I did a bit of digging at the lane end. 
Last time I said 'see soon whats going here' and its taking shape, all I will say is, it will need a lot of soil shifted, needs 27 paving slabs, a new fence and gate too!
Also while leaving we saw a few Gooseberries forming on the bush, we saw a smallish Frog in the pond too, probably one from last year, nowhere near the size of the Frog who guarded the frog spawn earlier in the year.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Monday, 22 April 2019

Easter Monday's 6 hours on the plot!

First the Rhubarb: 
'Stockbridge Arrow' it's growing well, all the Sun we have had doing its good, we pulled a few stalks earlier in the week and stewed them.
Quite a few of the spuds have broken through, so I earthed them up, Foremost, Pentland Javelin & even Charlotte. 

The far end of this patch was covered in tarpaulin, so we removed the cover & Jo dug it over ready for the Main crop Potatoes.
Jo planted some more Beetroot in this raised bed. 

Alongside Garlic, Spinach, Spring Onions & more Beetroot.
Most of my time was taken up clearing this area, ready for a new fence and...but check back to see what else appears here. 

I managed to fill 2 wheelbarrows with Nettle,  Ground Elder and many other roots, to burn.
I also set up a pea frame, with bamboo canes & netting, I put cardboad down the middle as its hard to weed when the Peas are fully grown. 
Jo planted the Peas, 3 types, that were started off at home in toilet roll tubes and cell trays. 
We put some netting over the Peas to stop the birds, especially Pigeons pecking them out!
So yes, 6 hours! 
But we got lots done, luckily where I was busy most it was in the shade.

On such a hot day, we had a bonfire! But had lots of weeds and rotten wood to burn.

We packed a pic-nic with a flask of coffee for lunch again, a good time for a sit down too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Planting time today

 Yes planting time. 
Jo started off a tray of Cauliflowers & some more Broad Beans at home. I have an egg tray full of 'chitted' spuds ready to go in.
Charlotte 2nd early potatoes, 'chitted' in a light but cool room by the window, this produces 1" (2.5cm) dark stubby shoots, which are perfect and ready for planting. 
I dug a trench about 8" (20cm) deep, added some well rotted manure and watered well, I then placed the chitted spuds along the bottom of the trench 12" (30cm) apart, then raked back the soil dug out and ridged up. 
While I was busy, Jo prepared this bed by adding some lime and digging it in well then she planted the Califlowers about 12" (30cm) apart and covered with netting so the birds cant peck them out!
Jo also added some more Broad Beans to this patch where there are some that we planted last winter.
So thats 3 rows of Charlotte potatoes, 10 in each, lets see how many we get in mid June ?
While I was clearing some wood I found this Moth, its wings have a wood pattern, isn't nature clever and wonderful.
It was a lovely day, still a bit chilly, but lovely when the sun came out from behind the clouds.
We spent 5 hours on our plot today, had a coffee break & lunch there, but got loads done. Even had a bonfire to burn all the weeds and rotten wood, the ash will be dug back into the soil.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo