Sunday, 28 March 2010

The signs of Spring, things are growing

Ooh I love this time of year when things start growing.

These are the Red Onions only put out last week (but started in modules in greenhouse first) and as you can see they are showing signs of growth already.

The Shallots, also only in since last w/e are growing well too.

But in the 'Fruit Cage' everything is showing signs for a good crop this year.

These Blackcurrants are budding well and we look forward to another bumper crop this year. All the manure placed around the base of each bush had paid off I think.

The Strawberries are growing well too. These new plants 'Alice' only planted a few weeks ago have taken well and should give us a good crop, watch this space.

Last but by no means least, our Rhubarb, split earlier in the year, is showing signs of life. These young shoots will grow miraculously into large thick stems with umbrella like leaves.
Already looking for new recipes because like previous years we will have lots to make things from.

Thanks for reading/returning, I look forward to your messages & any Rhubarb recipes you might have, thanks :)

Sunday, 21 March 2010

First early Potatoes now in

It was a lovely sunny day today, I think Spring has finally arrived:)

While I was busy (see below) my Wife planted out some more Onions (red this time) & Shallots.

So I got busy planting out the first early Potatoes 'Charlotte' a very tasty salad type new potato.
I have 70 to plant out (about 6kg). They have been 'chitting' since end of Jan (see earlier Blog 31.1.10) and are ready to go in.
First I measured out the patch of soil, previously manured and cultivated.

I dug trenches about 6" deep and 24" between each trench, then I place each spud 12" apart, for early types, in the bottom of the trench.
I also sprinkle a handful of Organic Chicken Pellets in each trench to give them an extra boost.
Then back fill to cover the tubers.

7 rows/trenches, each with 10 tubers in.

I have been asked how deep they should be. As we have 'light sandy soil' they finish up about 10" (25cm) deep, but if you have 'heavy clay like soil' 8" (20cm) should be deep enough.

When I have finished I rake up the soil over each line of spuds into a small mound, mainly as a visual aid, so I can easily see where they are.
In about 2-3 weeks they will need earthing up, as each plant 'halum' grow.

Watch this space for news on how they are doing.

Thanks for reading/returning.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Another lovely day today and lots done.

Welcome to my 2nd mid week Blog.
A super sunny day today, much warmer too and what do I do?

Have a bonfire.

A neighbor asked if I could cut back the Laylandii tree a bit more as it was casting a shadow over their plot.

So I managed to remove some of the larger branches that were causing the shadow, but in less than 2 weeks the clocks go forward and the sun will be higher in the sky, hopefully casting less of a shadow.

So while burning the Laylandii cuttings I thought I would burn some more weeds & roots. Because we will be needing this patch soon and might be the last bonfire until Autumn.

But burning all that green matter did make a lot of smoke, but at least its all done now.

Thanks for reading/returning, I look forward to your comments or Tweets.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Lovely day on plot today, lots done too.

It was a super sunny day today got loads done.

Planted approx 70 Onion sets.

Did some weeding too.

And planned another flower bed.

Biggest job was to finish Fruit cage paths, first I dug out the soil to about 5" depth between the beds.

Then I put weed suppressing fabric down, double thick, the bricks hold it in place whilst I finish putting all the fabric down.

The large wooden box (on left) is actually the well, I renovated it a few years ago & made the wooden top so nobody could fall in, as its top was originally at ground level.

Next I top up with wood chippings to a depth of 2" to 3", when the chippings flatten down I will top up as needed.

Also managed to plant up 2nd Strawberry bed, we now have about 48 Strawberry plants on our Allotment. Hope to make loads of Jam again this year.

Thanks for reading/returning, I look forward to reading your comments or Tweets.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rotavator in use today

This patch is where I will be planting Main Crop 'CARA' Potatoes.
It has a top dressing of Manure, which I will incorporate with the:
JCB Rotavator/Cultivator

My 'Pride & Joy'
JCB Rotavator/Cultivator

Certainly speeds up turning over the soil, or incorporating manure etc.

Me using the JCB Rotavator/Cultivator

The finished job. Ready for Potato planting.

Thanks for looking/returning, to this, my first mid-week Blog.
I look forward to your comments or Tweets.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Lovely sunny day, time to get working.

Sorry I haven updated my blog as promised, but been busy on another project. But over the last 2 weeks I have been busy making raised beds for Strawberries in the fruit cage.

First I marked out the area and dug it over to remove roots & weeds. As Rhubarb had been growing there some rather large roots had to be removed.

I made the sides from 6" x 1" rough cut timber & the corner posts from 2" x 2" rough cut timber cut into 12" lengths. Treated with wood preserver (2 coats) for a long life. 'Rough Cut' timber is best because wood preserver soaks in better than 'planed' timber.
In between the be
ds I plan to dig out the soil to 5" deep and line with mulch fabric & fill with woodchips to make a path system. This will keep the weeds at bay.

Strawberries planted through 2 layers of weed suppressing fabric.

This raised bed only measures 30" x 48" and as you see contains 8 plants. You can even grow Strawberries in hanging baskets if short of space, try 'Tumbler' variety.

It was a lovely sunny day today after a frosty start and the birds were tweeting. It felt like spring was here already. Despite shady areas still a bit frozen on the surface.

Lots of c
rops have been started in the
greenhouse at home, so just waiting for the soil to warm up and threat of frost gone,
then all systems go for planting :)

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your comments or tweets.