Wednesday 28 April 2010

Pea supports built

Another mid week Blog, I said they would be more frequent.

Today I just made 2 more frames/supports, this time for the Peas, the shorter one for 'Petit Pois' as they only grow to about 2ft (60cm) tall and can be eaten raw, pods an all, in salads.
The taller frame is for 'Alderman Peas' growing to about 5ft (150cm).
The use of cardboard again is to stop the weeds growing where its difficult to do weeding.

Other news, the potato count increases:
Charlotte (1st early) now 49/70.
Pentland Javelin (2nd early) 29/32.

Thanks for reading/returning, lookout for next up-date on Sunday evening. Ian

Sunday 25 April 2010

More spring planting done

My prayers were answered and it rained over night, so got lots done today.

Started by spreading some manure over the patch we are planting Peas & Beans in.

Earthed up early Charlotte potatoes, latest count 35 showing.

Weeded Onion beds and planted Pak Choi, Red Cabbage, Beetroot, Runner Beans & more Lettuce.

Here's our first harvest of Rhubarb.

This variety 'Stockbridge Arrrow' is a very tasty early cropping variety.

So Rhubarb Crumble with dinner.

Also made some cane wigwams, I use a circle of cardboard to stop weeds growing up the centre of each wigwam, because when the crops grow it makes weeding the centre very difficult.

The middle one has been planted up with Sweet Peas, the others will be planted with Climbing French Beans

Then guess what, it rained and stopped us doing any more.

Thanks for reading/returning, look out for next up-date. Ian.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Rotavator in use again today

Another mid week Blog, as Spring is a busy time I think these Blogs will be more frequent :)

This is the last patch of soil to be worked on, its where the Brassicas: Broccoli, Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower & Kale will go as well as Beans & Peas too.

This is the 'before'

Now the 'after' shot.

The soil is now light and aired, but where the Brassicas are going I will have to stamp all over it to make it more firm as they prefer it that way, I have also sprinkled 'Lime' (a hand full per sq yd) on this area as this helps against 'Club root'.

Peas and Beans will also be planted here soon, as they are already started in the g/h @ home.

Other news: More Charlotte potatoes through, Sunday=0, Monday=12, Wednesday=25, Thursday=27.

Thanks for reading/returning, look out for the next up-date on Sunday evening. Ian

Monday 19 April 2010

What a difference a day makes

When at the plot yesterday (Sunday 18th) I could not see any of the 'Charlotte' potatoes planted 4 weeks ago. But lo and behold today I could see 12 poking through the soil.
Even though I have been growing Potatoes for years now, it's always exciting when the first one shows through.

I think we had a little overnight rain which must have done it :)

If only it would rain just at night time, it would make growing crops so much easier, LoL. Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 18 April 2010

5 Hours on the plot today & alot done too

First job to do today was to plant out my main crop Potatoes 'Cara' they have been 'chitting' for several weeks and have perfect short dark green shoots.
(sorry foreground spud is out of focus)
and there were 64 of them (8 rows) !

These were planted just the same as early spuds, except they are 15" apart in rows 30" between each and about 6" deep (see 21.3.10)

The 'Shallots' are doing well, so much so we can remove the netting now, as there is less chance the birds will peck them out.

The 'Broad Beans' are also doing well, the lattice work of string is to support them from being blown over, when they get tall enough.

I know I keep mentioning this, but look how big the Rhubarb is this week, we hope to pick some soon, maybe next week if weather holds up.

Other tasks done today:
Lots of weeding.
Put more wire supports in for Raspberries.
Took net curtain off Mange Tout.
Replaced net curtain with proper netting.
Cleared out old compost bin*
*(as awaiting delivery of new compost bin)

Thanks for reading/returning, look out for next up-date, possibly Wednesday, but definitely on Sunday evening.

I look forward to your comments, questions or tweets, Ian.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Mid-week Allotment up-date

It was a lovely sunny Wednesday afternoon so I decided to finally put the Raspberry supports up.

But look how big the Rhubarb is now, compared to a few weeks ago, that dressing of Manure in Feb definitely did its stuff. It will be ready to pick soon, cant wait.

Another good use for net curtains.

We planted Mange Tout seeds here.

We will do anything to stop the birds & especially Pheasants from pecking up the seeds. Once the seedlings climb we will remove the curtaining.

Thanks for reading/returning, remember to check back on Sunday evening for next up-date.

Sunday 11 April 2010

Super sunny day but less time today

It was a lovely sunny day again today, but due to an emergency visit to Vet with one of our cats, had less time on the plot.

But did manage to sow a row of Carrots.

Its important to cover these from day one as we do have a 'Root Fly' problem, I use standard cloche wire loops but bend them to a point, to give better headroom.

Then I put a fly proof covering over the wire hoops, using fleece pegs to hold the sides down.

I use old plain net curtains actually, the fine weave acts as a perfect barrier from those pesky root flies.
It certainly does work as we had a perfect untouched crop last year*

*The trick to avoid Root Fly damage is to NOT weed or thin out Carrot seedlings during the day especially when warm/hot, wait until early evening when its cooler and less flies about, doing it quickly and replace netting as soon as possible.

I also managed a bit of weeding too in Fruit Cage.
Now that the fine weather is here things already planted are growing well, Onions, Potatoes, Garlic, Strawberries and Rhubarb.

Next task is to spread more Manure around, as other crops are being started in the greenhouse at home, Peas, Beans etc.

Thanks for reading/returning, I look forward to your comments or tweets. Remember to check back next weekend for latest news.

Sunday 4 April 2010

More Spuds planted a perfect day too.

A chilly start, then the sun came out and it was a lovely day for Allotmenteering.

I did a bit of manual digging today, back breaking work but had to be done. Had to dig out some rather persistent weeds that come onto our plot from next door (under fence) as I will be Rotavating soon and don't want to chop up these troublesome weeds.

As planned I managed to get the 2nd Early Potatoes 'Pentland Javelin' in, 2 weeks after planting 'Charlotte' to stagger harvesting.

Planted in exactly the same way as last time, 12" apart in rows 24" between each.

I make labels on my computer with name, type and planting date, laminate them and using a hole punch thread onto a short stick. To mark the location and act as labels for the potato sacks when harvested.

This raised bed has Garlic in it, planted in the Autumn and now doing well.

The Rhubarb is growing well too, every day it gets bigger.
This variety 'Stockbridge Arrow' is a sweet early variety, we also have some 'Victoria' a less sweet late cropping type.

Thanks for returning/reading. I look forwards to your comments or tweets, check back each weekend for up-dates (usually Sunday evening) Ian.