Monday 26 May 2014

End of May Bank Holiday weekend

Busy, busy, Bank Holiday weekend. 
Weather was OK, a few showers on Sunday & mostly sunny on Monday, but we got lots of weeding, planting and tidying up done.
Well as I said lots done, so I've done a Video walkabout, with so many changes since last month and lots of Bees visiting. It's a long one this time, hope you enjoy the video, click the link below to my YouTube channel. 
Crops harvested this week:
Broad Beans 

Thanks for reading/watching. Ian 

Sunday 18 May 2014

Another busy May weekend

Busy indeed, both Saturday & today (Sunday) we have been busy, been earthing up all the Potatoes, even the Sante I planted only 2 weeks ago have come through now. 
In this corner I have made 3 cane wig-wams, I added netting, large mesh for the climbing French Beans 'Violette' and finer mesh netting for the Peas 'Onward' the wig-wam behind Wendy Worsel will also have large mesh netting for more Beans. 
In Brassica corner, everything is growing well, we have Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts & Cauliflowers all under netting to keep the birds off!
In the Fruit Cage we have done some serious weeding, covered most of it with weed suppressant fabric, will cover that with woodchips soon. All the fruits, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Blueberry & Raspberries are in bud, in fact the Currants have set already.
In Strawberry corner, we have been adding some straw, beneath the plants as there are hundreds of Strawberries forming, still green, the straw will stop the fruit spoiling if it touches the soil.
In the Herb bed some California Poppies have self seeded themselves, they look nice mixed in with the Chive flowers & Bee friendly too.
Still harvesting Rhubarb & Asparagus.

8oz of Asparagus 
5.5 lb of Rhubarb
I have also been cutting the grass along the edges of the path, not completed yet but its looking a lot better and I built another planter box, for more Lavender plants, at the end of the new raised bed.

There is not much space left and we still have Sweetcorn, Courgettes & Squashes to put in!

I think I'll do a walkabout video next week, as there is so much to see now everything is growing.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Sunday 11 May 2014

Rain & sunshine didn't stop us !

As the title says, rain and sunshine didn't stop us. 
It's been raining on & off all weekend, but between the showers & as it cleared up Sunday afternoon we got to do quite a lot on the plot. Here are the Sante Potatoes I have been earthing these up for a few weeks now. Also been weeding the fruit cage & putting weed suppressant fabric down to keep the weeds under control. Only have the centre to do now where the old early Raspberries are, we will just get one more year out of them, then will replace with some new canes.   
The new raised bed has some Strawberries in it now, rescued from the fruit cage whilst weeding around the Blueberries. 
But in the patch further back I have been earthing up the early Potatoes, Winston and Charlotte, the Nadine I put in a week ago, are not showing just yet. 
But more sun & rain will help the 1st early Winstons to mature ready for digging soon.  
Been hoeing around the Shallots, Beetroot and Parsnips. 
Have put canes in to support the Broad Beans as they have shot up and its a bit windy, they don't like to be windswept! 
Empty 500ml bottles on top of the canes act as Bird Scares and protect us from eye jabbing!  
More earthing up, this time the Cara (main crop) they haven't been in long but are already showing. 
The Onions are looking better after a hoeing session and the Brassicas are growing well under the netting. 
We have also planted out the Runner Beans, that we started off at home in toilet roll tubes. 
I prepared the ground under the netting frame by adding plenty of Manure & Newspaper (to retain moisture). 
Have also put some Sweetpeas to climb up the other side of the netting. 
Crops harvested this week:

Broad Beans (from the greenhouse).
Plenty of Rhubarb (Stockbridge Arrow and Victoria).

I have started a batch of Rhubarb Wine from what we picked last week.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Monday 5 May 2014

Busy, Busy May Bank Holiday Weekend

Lots and lots to do, over a 3 day weekend, but weather was good.

I started with adding a row of Romanescu Cauliflower, alongside the Onions and next to the other Cabbages. 
I prepared the bed by digging it over adding Lime and mixing it in then firming the soil again, as all Brassicas like firm soil, as you can see its netted to stop the birds feasting on them! 
Harvested some more Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb, but I chose these 3 almost straight stalks, the longest is 24" / 60cm long worthy of a 'Best in Show' surely. 

I also put some Mulch fabric under the Victoria Rhubarb to stop the weeds taking over.
I bought a sack of this 'Gro-Sure Farmyard Manure' as recommended by some other plot holders, to add to the soil in the raised bed I made last week. We then sowed some Dwarf Bean seeds.
The other job I had to do was dig up all the Musselburgh Leeks that were growing between the Potatoes I had put in. 

I needed the space for yet more Potatoes and the Leeks were ready to harvest, the weight of these with leaves & roots removed was 2.2lb/1Kg plenty for a few meals. 
I put some more weed control fabric down underneath the Currant bushes and Blueberries, this patch in the fruit cage is plagued with Ground Elder, so we hope to keep it under control with this.
Bank Holiday Monday: 
In the space where the Leeks were, I dug it over again, removing as many weeds as I could, added some Potato fertiliser & planted 33x 2nd early Nadine Potatoes in 3 rows, a quick crop turnaround! 

So all the Potatoes are in now, not planted in order but I'm trying a new system: 1st early - main - 2nd early - main - 2nd early, to give us a better choice over the year.
We cleared half the greenhouse of Rocket, Peas and a few Broad Beans and added 3 Tomatoes and a Cucumber. 

We have lots of Tomato plants waiting to go in so will have to wait until the Broad Beans have finished, had some pods already.
A bit of a drama unfolded today, we heard a loud buzzing coming from the hive on a nearby plot, we watched the swarm of Bees as it moved towards our plot and they settled on our fence, compost bin & archway! We had to call out the local bee keeper, who is also a plot holder and he came to our assistance, it was nothing to worry about, but as he explained it is the time of year for swarms! 
We were in no danger and if you can see a bucket upturned on the top of the arch its there to attract the Queen so the other Bees follow her, then they are collected and taken to a safe hive. 
I returned this morning to find all the Bees had gone, happy that they found a new home :)

Crops harvested: Leeks, Kale, Peas, Asparagus, Rhubarb, Rocket and Broad Beans.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian