Sunday, 17 June 2018

Fathers Day on the plot

We have lots of Poppies on our plot, all self seeded. 

But love this white edged one, wonder what it's called?
We have pulled & dug up so many weeds so I had to get a bonfire going, luckily as our site is surrounded by farmland we can have bonfires anytime.
Got the last of the Picasso main crop potatoes in today, another 4 rows of 10 in each, to add to the 3 rows planted a few weeks ago. 
So thats 7 rows (70 seed tubers) in total!
Brought the petrol strimmer down and cut the grass path again, it looks a lot better too. I cut the paths in the fruit cage too and we spotted loads of berries ripening.
Just a few of the Cox's apples now forming due to the warm sunny conditions.
And our goosberry bush is laden, so we thinned it out by removing a few from each stalk, to allow the rest to swell & sweeten.
Look at this handsome caterpiller munching this stalk & leaves. 

Wonder what butterfly it will turn into ?
Another harvest of rhubarb, this one is Stockbridge Arrow, a prolific producer when you feed it well over winter. 

After removing the leaves this lot weighed 6 1/4lb (2.83kg)
And more Victoria rhubarb, again after removing the leaves this lot weighed 8 1/2lb (3.85kg).

The heaviest stalk was 1 3/4lb (800g) another record breaking stalk!
So todays harvest to add to the Rhubarb: 
Red Onions 
Strawberries 1 1/2lb (680g)
Peas just 1/2lb (226g)
And here are the Gooseberry thinnings, just 1 1/2lb (680g).
So another 6 hours work done today, with a break for lunch and a cuppa too. 

Not too sunny so it was easier to get all that done!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Monday, 28 May 2018

All in a days work!

So as I said yesterday, we need to get the main crop Potatoes in. 
These are Picasso and have been 'chitting' for ages now and as you can see are ready to go in.
Jo & I got busy and finished digging over this patch ready for the spuds. 

It was a very hot day too and we needed to stop and get in the shade regularly.
As they are main crop spuds, they need to be in rows 30" (75cm) apart, dug a spade deep and with plenty of well rotted manure in the bottom. 
I then placed the tubers in the trench 15" (38cm) apart, then back filled.
I planted 10 in each trench, 3 rows done so far. 
We will plant another 4 rows in a week or so to stagger the harvest.
While I planted spuds, Jo tidied up the Strawberry beds and added straw as the fruit is now forming, she put netting over them too to stop the birds feasting on them!
Another few Rhubarb sticks pulled, to make jam and a crumble with. We have beaten our previous record of the weight of just one stalk, its now 1lb 6oz (previously 1lb 3oz).
We also planted some Sunflowers along the side of the fruit cage, so moved the Scarecrow as one had already been eaten by the Pheasants we think as just the stalk was left & we put crushed egg shell to stop the slugs!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Dig, Mow & Dig again

Today we had to start digging over this patch where the main crop Potatoes will go, so Jo started while I cut the grass! 

I took the photo after we had finished for today and we will return tomorrow to dig more!
So using my trusty petrol Strimmer, I got started cutting the grass path that was rather overgrown! 


Doesn't it look better ?
I made sure I pulled up all the Nettles as they will spread if chopped up, I also pulled up all the Dock as the stalks are very woody and strimmer line won't cut it down! 
Anyway Dock has very long taper roots and needs to be pulled out.
So after trimming the grass, I got digging again then earthed up the early Potatoes again. 
Tomorrow we hope to finish enough so we can plant 3 rows of main crop Potatoes, a few weeks later than usual but the weather conditions haven't been good. 
The Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb is still producing, even though we have taken over 40lb, it still looks like there is plenty left, it never stops growing! 

We will return tomorrow, Bank Holiday Monday.

Thanks for reading/returning. Jo & Ian

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Another sunny Sunday

 So another sunny Sunday, so we got busy again, 1st job, another earting up of the spuds, as they are getting bigger daily.
I cleared the base of this netting and added lots of manure, then planted some Runner Beans that we started off in cells. 
We always grow Runners here as the netting is very strong wire mesh I put up many years ago.
Another harvest of Rhubarb, this time only 10lb picked. 
I put a 10" ruler in the photo for scale, so you can see how long and thick our Stockbridge Arrow & Victoria Rhubarb is!
But see below for a surprise:
Jo worked hard to weed out lots of Calendulas from this bed, but the Sping Onions, Beetroot & Spinach has survived the take-over by the Calendulas.
There are plenty of flowers on the Strawberries, each one can turn into a juicy fat fruit.
The Broad Beans are doing well and most are in flower, just to the back of this patch Jo planted out a few Courgettes & some more flowers.
Sadly all this good weather has made our path a bit overgrown with grass! 
So I'll have to get the strimmer out very soon. But its good for drying weeds, so a bonfire was had too.
And now for that surprise, the biggest single stalk of Victoria Rhubarb weighed 1lb 3oz (530g)!!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Sunny May Sunday

Finally we got a lovely sunny Sunday. Granted we have had a few, but today was marvelous. 

So I started digging over this patch in the overgrown corner, just a sq mtr done so far!
So while I did digging, Jo weeded all the Strawberry beds again and dont they look good.
There are loads of flowers so we expect a big Strawberry crop again this year, our jam cupboard is looking a bit bare! 

Jo also planted 4 Tomato plants into the Greenhouse.
The Broad Beans are looking good too. 

So to save our eyes, from getting poked, I use those pro-biotic drink bottles to top the canes and in the breeze they make a nice tinkling sound.
Done another earthing up of the Kestrel spuds, the Charlotte I planted last week not showing yet of course.
 Finally the 1st early Pentland Javelin have poked through so I earthed them up too.
Cant get over how lovely the Apple blossom is this year and we can imagine a big crop of Apples.
So as I said a lovely day and we picked 14lb (6.3kg) of Rhubarb, a mix of Stockbridge Arrow & Victoria. 

We had Rhubarb crumble after dinner and with a dollop of vanilla ice cream was lovely.

The pond is teaming with thousands of Tadpoles too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Several days work on one Blog

Last Sunday 29th April:  
We checked our plot and things are growing well and we decided to plan what to do next, as the temperature is set to rise and about time too.


So Jo planted lots of Broad Beans in a block to aid growth and pollination.
The 2nd early Kestrel I planted a few weeks ago are poking through. 
The 1st early Pentland Javelin so far havent & I planted them at the same time.
Sunday 6th May:
As you can see the Charlotte 2nd early spuds are ready to go in.
So I planted all 22 of them in 2 rows, using exactly the same planting method as before.
May Bank Holiday Monday
As we have had some very dry days, lots of weeds piled up had dried so I had a bonfire.
Jo dug over this patch next to the Broad Beans planted last w/e and planted even more!
Peas started off in toilet roll tubes finally planted. 
They will climb up these frames I made a few years ago, they are simple wood frames with chicken wire stapled on.
The Kestrel 2nd early Spuds after earthing up for the 1st time. 

We will be checking on these regularly and earthing up when needed. 
Also the Pentland Javelin have finally broken through, so will earth up soon.
The Rhubarb is flourishing and we have had 3 harvests so far. 
The first of the Asparagus, we will enjoy these in an omlette or Risotto.


Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo