End of May Update

With the weather being amazingly mild for this time of year, things are growing like the proverbial billy-o, whoever he was. The onion patches, both of them, are shooting up – with some of the shallots trying to flower already. The first lot of snap peas and peas are flowering, with the second sowing growing well, so the opportunity to sow the final row of both was taken as we’ve had some rain, with the ground being damp enough to help germination. The last rows of broadbeans were also sown – one of the same variety already in, the other from saved broadbeans from last year. Fingers crossed something happens as it’s our first sowing from saved beans.

The spuds are all looking rather fetching – can’t wait to try the early varieties in a few weeks time. We also planted the sweetcorn, as I can safely say that the frosts are over now, despite it being only the end of May. The weather forecast for the coming week is ‘hot’, and the outlook seems ok, so we’re going to risk it 🙂

We also put in the rest of the beetroot – but this time used Kestrel F1 as they’ll be better for storing (larger) than the Cylindra type we sowed in the spring. The final row of carrots were also sown, to give us our main crop.

Poor Chook :(

Today we lost Snowy, the foster bantam. She passed away in her sleep and is now in the orchard – it’s going to be much quieter without her special sqwawking.

Path Update

The path is getting there – Geoff, the knowledgeable one, is seen using a wackerplate to get the sand nicely compacted, watched over  by ‘Foreman Smiler’. Testing was carried out by Penny who gave it the thumbs paws up.

Sowing Update – Peas, Beans, and other Greens

With the dry weather continuing, between sporadic cloud bursts we’re needing to use water on the veg and trees to ensure nothing dies.

As part of the successional sowing system, today we put in our third and final row of ‘Norli’ snap peas, and de-weeded the future home of the sweetcorn, squash and courgettes. The peas and broad beans are coming up nicely, with flowers on the first batch of both, and the snap peas as well. The ‘Duncan’ spring cabbage is gorgeous, we’re trying to keep on top of it and giving away as well.

I mentioned in my last post about having planted another 10′ of Cylindra beetroot rather than F1 Kestrel, which store better. Well, in a moment of vagueness I managed to hoe the 10′ over, killing all the Cylindra, so I’ve sown the F1 Kestrel this time. I’m going to be more active with the chicken wire protection, as the sparrow population we’ve nicely cultivated has decided beetroot leaves are the new dish of the day, and have devoured all of Gary’s next door and begun on ours. Ah bless.

The strawberries have had straw put under the fruit, which seems to be coming on a treat with the weather, as is the rhubarb.

With my parents down for a few days from sunny Scotland, dad helped me build the second greenhouse, which is now just waiting for a day with no breeze, so it’s possible to carry the panes of glass safely. Greenhouse number 1 is chock full of sweetcorn, aubergine (Melanzana – Violetta Lunga 2), cucumbers, tomatoes, dwarf french beans and marigolds (African Crackerjack Mixed). Some of these are desperate to be planted out – especially the sweetcorn and french beans, so the next spare day will see some planting in earnest. I only hope we’ve not left it too late for some of them.

Path Laying

2011pathdigging2Whilst not in the patch, I thought I’d mention that we’re having to lay new paths as we’re going down there so often that the grass became mud over the winter. This picture shows Grandad and Smiler digging the first turf up for a new path, which will be laid in the same style as the old blue brick path at the farm next door. As a plus it’ll make a decent, but short, skateboard practice area…