Sunday 15 April 2018

Potato planting time

Only 2 weeks later than normal, but today, as its warmer, it's time to plant the early potatoes for 2018. 

This year I'm trying Pentland Javelin as a 1st early & Kestrel for 2nd early, as you can see they are ready with short stubby shoots.
I dug a trench, a spade deep, added a few spade fulls of well rotted manure and forked it in.

I then put each tuber 12" (30cm) apart in the base of the trench and back filled with the soil I dug out with a rake, leaving a mound. 
Each trench is 24" (60cm) apart.

So here are the three rows of Pentland Javelin all planted and ridged up. 

We will stagger the planting so all the potatoes arent ready at the same time, Charlotte 2nd early next.
I carried on digging over this patch behind the Garlic that I started last week, so we have have plenty of space ready for planting, 
While I planted spuds, Jo sowed some seeds: Spring Onions, Beetroot & Spinach. 

Under the fleece are some Peas that were in the greenhouse and now need hardening off ready for planting out.
Both the Cox's Orange Pippin apple trees have hundreds of blossom buds, a good sign for a good crop.
Rhubarb update: Getting bigger by the day, in fact we split this one over winter and its growing faster than the rest.
Pond update: We have Tadpoles! Although you cant see them, there are thousands as well as other pondlife, we spotted Beetles, pond skaters & caddisfly too.
So despite a few showers we got lots done, including helping our friend & neighbour Steve fix his shed roof. 

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 8 April 2018

One week later (after Easter)

One week after Easter and the Rhubarb is getting bigger, not ready yet as it needs to be a lot taller with umbrella like leaves. 
But after a wet miserable week it was lovely and sunny today, feels much more like summer is on its way.
So I finished digging over this patch, where the Spuds will go. 
I took the photo before I dug over that small square bottom left. It certainly caused a massive pile of weeds to burn, mostly Ground Elder and Dock!
I also started digging over this patch next to the fruit cage, I didn't go all the way to the fence, because we have a rather large Horseradish root there and didn't want to disturb it! 

In the foreground is the Garlic we put in recently, now its matured and taller, I removed the netting that was protecting the young shoots from birds etc.

Then I did a spot of weeding/digging on another patch & dug up some Picasso spuds from ones we planted last May, had them for dinner roasted with garlic & rosemary seasoning and were lovely.
So as I said the sun came out and I spent 5 hours digging today and it was worth it. Only stopped a few times for a cuppa & snack.

The forecast looks favourable, so next time we might have put some crops in especially early Potatoes!

No Jo today she's away for a few days visiting family.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian

Sunday 1 April 2018

Easter weekend on the plot

Good Friday:
Can you see the cheeky Robin? 
It was searching for bugs & worms as I dug over this patch.
A bit more of the patch now dug over and enough done today. 
I will be planting main crop Potatoes here once they have been chitted.
So while I was busy, Jo cleared this raised bed of weeds & topped it off with a barrow full of horse muck!
Easter Sunday:
We returned and did an hour more digging over the poatato patch before lunch and 2 hours after, not much left to do now. But I could tell the soil is still too cold to plant anything, so we will have to wait.
Stockbridge Arrow Rhubarb growing daily now, wont be long before the 1st harvest & a crumble or two.
All those weeds caused quite a pile to burn, but all the rain has made the pile quite damp, so it didnt burn long.
Anyway as it was April 1st, I was no fool and got plenty done and despite an overcast sky it didn't rain. But more rain is forecast for tomorrow.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo