Monday 30 December 2019

Last Blog for 2019

 We haven't been down for a while to do any jobs, the weather has been so cold, wet and miserable, but today the sun came out and dare I say it, it was warm! 

So on Sunday I started to dig over this patch near the Apple trees & bug house. 
I continued today (Monday). 
Then on Monday (today) I moved to the other side and started to dig over this patch, which was over grown with clumps of grass that had taken hold! 
While I was busy, Jo cleared both Rhubarb beds and covered them with well rotted manure.
Jo also cleared some troublesome clumps of grass from this patch and dug out some self seeded plants and moved them to a safe area.
Jo trimmed the old wood from the Honeysuckle and cut it back a bit from the archway. 

We hope to take some from the top too, a good pruning encourages growth so we hope to see an abundance of flowers soon. 

Talking of pruning I did all the Apple trees, its best to do it between Nov & Feb when the tree is dormant. Removing a third from each branch to an outward facing bud, cutting out all branches that overlap to lessen rubbing, that leads to disease.
With all the digging the Robins were busy, they always seem to know when soil is being turned, they were very cheeky and came really close as I was clearing the weeds away! 

They pick off lots of bugs and a few worms too. 
While Jo was weeding this Herb bed, she found a hibernating Hedgehog in the corner, it had made a lovely nest amongst the weeds and grasses. As soon as we realised we left it well alone, to finish its hibernation.
So all in all, a good couple of days, Sunday & Monday. 

We hope to return on New Years Day, to contunue clearing, so we can get muck dug in.
Roll on 2020. Happy New Year to you all

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 6 October 2019

Winter planting & even a harvest or two

Where the Picasso potatoes were dug from, we planted 3 Elephant Garlics & 2 Shallots, we netted them to protect from birds & squirrels!
Despite it being colder & wetter, we still managed to harvest this lot: Lettuce, Courgettes, Beans, Raspberries, Tomatoes and 3 Apples, a heritage variety 'Woodbrook Pippin' and they are massive!
So despite a wet start, it brightened up and we got busy clearing a few wig-wams away and storing the canes, wet end (the end in the soil) uppermost, so they dry out.

Thanks for reading/returning, Ian & Jo

Monday 23 September 2019

Harvests & weeding time!

Such a lovely morning, so Jo & I decided to visit our plot today as Sunday was so wet! 

We harvested this lot while there.
I dug a few Picasso potatoes up, these will do a few meals over the next week or so.
I cleared around the Cara potatoes, there were plenty of weeds, but now looks a lot better & the Parsnips (on the left) now have more room to grow.
So while I was doing the Cara patch, Jo weeded around this patch where the Spinach, Kale and Cabbages are. Keeping the netting on has helped them to grow strong, no interference from birds!
Jo then weeded around the Leeks and they are looking really good & healthy.
Jo then weeded this patch where there is Pac-Choy, Lettuce & Kale, also still under netting, to keep the birds off. 
She picked the biggest Lettuce too!
So it was a good few hours and we got a lot done including the bumper harvest, as in 1st photo.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 15 September 2019

September harvest time

So a week ago I dug up more potatoes, these are Picasso main crop & very nice they are and make great chips & roasties too.
A lovely Trug of produce. 
Using my trusty petrol strimmer I cut the grass path again, might be the last time this year, unless we get a late summer.
Got loads of weeds to burn, so had to buy a new incinerator bin! 
At least we had plenty of dry weeds to burn, despite the rain we have had.
The Borlotto Beans are almost ready to pick, see below:
I'm glad we put a bigger netting frame over the Kale, it's put on a growth spurt now with more headroom. 
Today's harvest: Raspberries, Beetroot, Tomatoes & Pears from our neighbour.
And a bag full of Beans. 

Borlotto & Runner Beans.
We've harvested so much fruit this year, so I'm trying Goosberry & Raspberry mix wine.
I'm also starting a batch of just Raspberry wine. 

Will be doing a double batch of Rhubarb soon too.
Things are still growing though, I weeded around the Parsnips today & other crops are doing well, we expect to still be harvesting through the winter.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo

Sunday 25 August 2019

Another 5 hours digging and clearing our allotment

Another good harvest: 
Picasso Potatoes, 
& Flowers.
I showed a close-up of the Barlotta Beans last time, so here is the whole plant, now about 7ft tall and laden with beans, not ready to pick yet as the pods are not swelling with beans.
I knew it was hot, but didn't realise it was a record breaking Bank Holiday weekend heat!
So I decided to work at the shaded end of the plot, digging over more of this patch ready for our next big project, I showed the photo of a huge root last week, I traced it and now its getting thinner so hopefully nearing the end. 
So watch this space for more news soon.
This area we planted up and netted last time, they are looking healthy so have survived the move from seed tray to ground.
This area has also survived, since planting and netting last week. 

We are expecting rain next week, so that will be  good for our new plants.
The Brasicca's are doing well too, I noticed a Cabbage White Butterfly in there so must be vigilant for caterpillars soon!

All the clearing has produced a pile of weeds & roots, so as they were dry had a bonfire to burn as much as we could, the ash will be dug back into the soil.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.

Sunday 18 August 2019

10 hours over 2 days working on the plot!

I dug over a patch we need and got all these assorted early potatoes that we missed when digging up a few months ago: Pentland Javelin, Foremost & Charlotte.
Jo weeded around the Kale and Borocale and planted some more Cabbages in a space left by Pak-Choi that had gone to seed earlier in the season.
So to protect these brassicas I used some water pipe hoops with metal tube legs to give extra height and covered with netting, protecting the growing Kale etc.
This is the patch I dug over and got that mix of Potatoes, we plan to plant some over winter crops on Sunday.
This patch was left fallow, so a few weeks ago I dug it over and today Jo planted: 
& Kohl Rabi. (see next photo)
And to make sure the young seedlings, we had started off at home, dont get pulled out & eaten by the birds we netted the whole patch!
So Saturday ended with a good harvest:
Runner Beans, 2x Courgettes, Tomatoes & Potatoes. 

We spent a very satisfying 5 hours today!
The patch cleared on Saturday is now full again with:
Kale, Pak Choi, Cabbage, Spinach & Lettuce. Netted of course too.
Inside the fruit cage: Jo weeded around the Raspberries & cut out all the old fruited wood, then I tied up all the remaining canes to the horizontal wires, the autumn ones have fruit on already.
I have been clearing the lane end of our plot ready for the next big change to its entrance, but dug up this massive root! I expect its from the tree on the other side of the lane, will have to remove it as it might interfere with my plans!
Odd that we have a Yellow and an Orange Courgette on the same plant ?
The Patti-Pan Squash is looking good, we hope it gets a bit bigger, needs more water!
Dug up some more Picasso spuds for our meals, we will also have some of the earlies I dug up on Saturday, they store well in light proof bags.
A good weekend of digging, weeding, planting & harvesting, another 5 satisfying hours done today.

 A total of 10 hours this weekend and the weather was good too.

Thanks for reading/returning. Ian & Jo.