Thursday 23 April 2015

Mid week growing update.

Early Nantes carrots just showing.
Over half of the Rocket early potatoes now broken through. 
Another harvest of Parsnips, leaving them in the ground hasn't harmed them. 

First harvest of the Stockbridge Arrow rhubarb.
Another 60 onions planted, the Red Baron this time, so we now have 128 onions!
Chopped a bit more of the Laylandii and burned the cuttings on the bonfire. We are keeping the thicker branches to cut into logs for seasoning.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Its that time of the year, for planting & things are growing.

Due to work commitments this week we only managed to get to our Allotment today, but wow we did pack a lot in.

First we planted the 2nd early 'Charlotte' potatoes, two weeks after the 'Rocket' (1st early) were planted.
Next job was to plant out some Broad Beans that we started of in a cell tray. 

Also planted some Shallot Onions that were also started of in a cell tray. 
To the right I planted out 68 'Sturon' white onions, these were also started off in cell trays and had good roots, so ready to plant out. I have 60 'Red Baron' onions to plant out next, started off in the same way.
Next job, weeded between the Garlic in this raised bed and sowed some Rocket and Carrot seed in between the Garlic rows.
While I was having a Tea break, this cheeky Robin was picking up grubs from the soil I had turned while planting the Potatoes, I hoped it would do the classic sitting on the spade handle pose, but this was the best it could do!
Now that things are warming up, lots of things are growing:
Top left: 'Stuarts Purple' Asparagus. 
Top right: Rows of Radish, Lettuce, Rocket, Spring Onions & Peas. 
Bottom left: The Rhubarb almost ready for 1st harvest. 
Bottom right: The 'Honeoye' Strawberries already in flower so soon after planting out. 
My recycling tip: If you use those Pro-biotic Yoghurt drinks in little bottles, they make great cane toppers, they clatter so frighten birds, also vibrates the soil that moles don't like and stops you stabbing your eye when bending down (see Broad Bean photo above).
So we did pack a lot into today, the weather was kind too. 
Had to have a bonfire to burn the weeds and branches chopped off the Leylandii tree I'm having to cut down, its going well, bit by bit.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian  

Monday 6 April 2015

Bank Holiday Monday

Spent a few extra hours today, on this extended Bank Holiday weekend, at the Allotment. 

In this raised bed we have Radish, Lettuce & a few rows of Spring Onions, in the back (behind the criss/cross sticks) we have some Peas growing up the netting.
We mixed in the last of the well rotted manure in this raised bed & made 3 ridges, covered it with black mulch fabric. 
Then planted Strawberry runners 'Elstanta' and 'Alice' that we have growing elsewhere on the plot.
In this raised bed, it was an overgrown herb bed, we did the same as above but in here we planted Strawberry 'Honeoye' a new one we are trying for the first time. 
So now we have an extra 34 Strawberry plants!

The sunken pot has Mint in it, the pot stops it spreading everywhere.
Can't believe how fast the Rhubarb is growing, on Saturday the leaves were just uncurling, today we have stalks and more buds are popping up all over this raised bed.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Sunday 5 April 2015

Busy weekend with the Rotavator and an Easter surprise

First job of the weekend was to rotavate this patch where the early spuds are going in. 

I love my Rotavator, it can turn over this patch in about 15 mins. It's bigger than a Mantis, but still folds down to fit in my car boot. 
As you can see here, the 'Rocket' First Early spuds have 'chitted' well. 

They have perfect short stubby dark green shoots, just ready for planting
Using a line, to keep it straight, I dug a trench about 6" (15cm) deep, then placed each seed spud 12" (30cm) apart along the base of the trench. I then added to the soil removed a few handfuls of Chicken manure pellets. 
I had 38 seed spuds so I had to dig 3 1/2 trenches, each trench 24" (60cm) apart. 
I will add the 2nd early 'Charlotte' in two weeks to stagger the harvest. 

While I had the Rotavator there (as I have to bring it down in the car) I thought I would turn over this patch too. 
But I removed the perennial weeds first, like Nettles, Dandelions and Ground Elder to name a few! Don't want those chopped up in the soil!

We have lots of Onions to go in that have been started in cell trays, this patch will do just fine, in the middle are the Winter Red Onions I put in last year.
We are still digging up winter Parsnips, don't they look good. 
Still have a full row in the ground, but will have to dig them up soon as the main crop spuds, 'Kerrs Pink' and 'Cara' are going in that patch. 
The bonfire is on that patch too, so lots of potash to dig in.

Here you can see the 'Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb' now its getting warmer it's broken through and leaves are uncurling, I took this photo on Saturday and today I noticed lots more buds had leaves uncurling. So it wont be long before I can take the first harvest
The 'Solent Wight Garlic' that has been under fleece since planting at the end of January, has put on good growth, so its time to take the fleece off.
 So as I said a busy weekend, I also started to cut down that huge Laylandii you can see in the background, it has been casting a large shadow over the plot diagonally behind mine, so it has to go. 
I'm taking it down branch by branch, up a ladder with a hand saw. So watch this space to see how I get on.
Lovely Easter surprise this morning when I let the Hens out, I found this massive egg on the henhouse floor, the one far right weighs 70g the massive one is almost 50% heavier at 102g, I wonder if it will have a double yolk ? I will report on this when we crack it. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian