Monday, 10 May 2021

Sunday 9th May lots to do

All the potatoes are up, so using my draw hoe, I earthed them up again, the hoe also cuts the weeds that pop up due to the sun & rain we have had.
Jo weeded around the broad beans & peas using the draw hoe too.
You can see the Charlotte spud shoots just before earthing up.
The peas are doing well, its lucky we have had rain since planting, it always helps & our rain butts are nice and full again!
One of our strawberry beds, all the plants have flowers now & some strawberries are forming, so wont be long now, as long as the sun keeps shining.
Our new fruit trees have taken well, the pear tree has even a flower, see below.
Jo weeded around the garlic, lettuces & parsnips.

Looks a lot better.

Here is a close-up of the pear blossom. 

Not grown pears before so in a few yrs we hope to have a few to try.

The apple tree blossom is in full bloom, so another bumper crop this year.
So Sunday was a good day, I carried on working in the greenhouse, making better deep beds and it was hot in there! 

Jo weeded all around and planted some marigolds near the tomatoes & spring onions. We harvested peas from the greenhouse and more rhubarb for a crumble too. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo 


Sunday, 2 May 2021

Another busy Sunday on the plot

The King Edward spuds I planted a few weeks ago are breaking though the soil, so I earthed them up, as we are still getting cold nights, the Charlotte spuds are up too, so they have been earthed up twice now.
We had a tray of peas ready to go out, so I made another 50" length of chicken wire for them, Jo planted them both sides and protected them with dried Teasels again. Now we have 150" planted up both sides so 300" of peas. 
Good job we love them.
I finished renovating the planting bed at the end of the greenhouse, its now deeper due to me using reclaimed roof slates, so Jo planted a couple of tomatoes and a cucumber.
There are still lots of things waiting to go out, but each time we visit we are planting more.

We harvested Peas (from the greenhouse) and some more Rhubarb.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Monday, 26 April 2021

Our 1st harvest dinner of 2021

Our peas have survived, I think Jo's great idea of using Teasels to stop birds getting at them worked.
I planted the last of the potatoes Maris Piper, in 3 rows slightly closer together, but each seed spud was 15" apart, so plenty of space to grow. 
Stockbridge Arrow rhubarb, looking ready, short stalks, but that means they will be super sweet.
Bees have been busy visiting the Black Currants, so we netted the cage, now we should get a good harvest, not the birds!
Our 1st harvest of Asparagus, we will have these in a rissoto for dinner tonight.
1st harvest of rhubarb, a crumble to have after that yummy rissoto.

It was so sweet too.

I put in a solar powered waterfall pump, to aerate the pond, watch the video below.

So a great few days and the weather has been dry and sunny, we do need rain though, all the rain barrels are empty and the soil is turning to dust!

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

A month since last Blog and we got lots planted

April has been a better month, chilly nights, mornings too. 

But sunny days and sadly no rain for weeks!

I made a Potato planter/dibber. 

Made from an off cut of timber, I shaped the bottom to be a rounded point, cut grooves at 6",8",10" for depth and 12" & 15" for distance between spuds. I added a handle from an offcut of broom handle.

It works really well.

I planted 4 rows of Charlotte, first I dug a trench, put manure in the bottom then put the soil back in the trench, using my Potato planter/dibber I made a hole 6" deep into the soil/manure and placed a potato in each hole. Watered, then dragged soil over using a rake, to fill the holes and make a shallow ridge.
Jo planted 4 rows of Broad Beans, she started them off at home in the greenhouse.
Jo also planted 2 rows of Peas, to climb up 18" chicken wire, also started off at home, in toilet roll tubes, so the roots aren't disturbed while planting.
We made a wigwam with netting for Sweet Peas. 

We have a obelisk at home with Sweet Peas on too.

Jo planted some Cauliflowers. 

First soil was raked flat, compressed by walking over and some Lime added (brassicas like firm, limed soil) then netting added as we get Pheasants and they will pull them up! 

I carried on planting more Potatoes, now we have 3 rows each of King Edwards & Cara. 

There is just enough space left for a final 3 rows of Maris Piper, will put those in next week, to stagger harvesting.

Its been lovely during lock-down, we have had pic-nic lunches quite a lot. 

Sadly our rain butts are almost empty, so we are getting water from the well. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

A few days of sunshine so we got busy

I got busy finishing the new fruit tree area at the front, the  Apple & Damson trees look great now with a brick area to stop the weeds coming up.
The Pear & Plum tree area at the back is finished, I prefer the woodchip finish here. There is weed suppresant underneath though.
Jo put a few rows of Spring Onion and a row of Spinach here, last time we looked a few onions were coming up. 
Last year we lost most of our Currants, both black & red, to the birds, as the fruit cage had blown down in a storm. 

So I purchased a small fruit cage on-line and will put netting over before the fruit forms.

 We saw 2 Frogs mating about 10 days prior to finding this frogspawn. 

So we will have Tadpoles again and then more Frogs. Happy Days!

Here is one of our Frogs amongst the undergrowth. 

They love living on our Allotment.

On Monday I dusted off my trusty Rotovator,  I bought it years ago and keep it in the garage at home, so in a dry place. All I had to do was clean the spark plug, a few squirts of WD40 into the cylinder and started 1st time again.
I rotovated this patch, where the Potatoes will go...
I did this patch too that was a bit compacted due to walking over it and having bonfires (in the incinerator bin).
I also did this patch between the runner bean frame and new fruit trees at the front.

So all three areas of soil rotovated by lunch time. 

Signs of life:

Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb.

We also spotted about 5 Asparagus spears, this year will be our 1st harvest from this variety we put in last year.

Look at the lovely blue sky, we have been so lucky this March, so many good days.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

March jobs

Can you see this Harvest Mouse, its eating something in the plant pots. 

I looked up from my cuppa and it was just there, I even got closer and it didn't move, just carried on eating.

(it's in the centre of this photo)

Anyway back to the jobs:

This new raised bed, now has, in the narrow section, 14 Strawberry plants taken from our stock when they sent out runners last summer/autumn.

This area at the front, we used to have a Buddleia tree, but it was getting a bit big and we needed the space for a new tree, so I cut it down and dug out the root. 

The tree on the left is a Damson, we put in a few years ago.

Not much left to do, except a bit of light weeding around the edges, our crops are still doing well at home and potatoes are almost ready to go in.
The new raised bed at the back now has a Pear & a Plum tree, that arrived on Monday, planted Tuesday.
At the lane end we now have a new Apple tree. 

I have tidied up the Damson area too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

March & we are ready for planting!

Here are some  chitting  potatoes, I see on social media lots of people who chit in a dark place & have long white shoots, which are very fragile. 

I chit ours in a light but cool place, which helps to produce short stubby green shoots.

Earlier in the week I cut and treated some sleepers, now put together to replace a rotten raised bed, Jo did a good job sifting a lot of soil to fill it. 

See below to see the result.

The raised bed here, between the greenhouse and rhubarb also had rotted, so we cleared it away & sifted the soil!

Signs of life on the plot, the rhubarb is breaking through!
Back at home we have lots waiting, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers & lots of flowers too.
Jo's heated propagators have been working overtime, giving lots of things an early start. 

All we need now is the last frost then its all systems go! 

Here are all our potatoes chitting, as you can see in a light place, our back bed room with the radiator off. 


Maris Piper, 

King Edward 

& Cara.

The new Strawberry bed. 

Jo planted 32 new plants all taken from our current stock when they sent out runners last year, we still have lots more to find a home for!

This is the bed between Greenhouse & Rhubarb again, now that Jo has dug it over and removed any perennial weed roots. I will make a new bed similar to the new Strawberry bed. 

Check back soon to see what we plant here.

It's been a busy few weeks, the whole plot has been dug over and cleared, now a blank canvas for all those crops we plan to grow this year.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo