Greenhouse & Raised Beds

In times of inclement weather, retiring to the warm safety of the greenhouse is prudent. This is the first year we’ve had the luxurious ability to grow early under glass, and I can now see the attraction, especially on days where the elements are doing their utmost in getting you inside. So, armed with a cuppa, I sowed All the Year Round cauliflowers into plug trays (pilched from Jackson Growers down at Swarkestone)…

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…two varieties of cucumbers – one gherkin (Beth Alpha) for pickling and one crazy Italian type (Carosello Tondo di Manduria) resembling a miniature water melon, the same aubergines, Violetta Lunga 2, as last year…

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…and Dolce di Bergamo sweet peppers.

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Braving the aforementioned elements (manly, I know), I pelted down to the raised beds and quickly sowed 9 feet of carrots (Chantenay Red Cored 2) in one 3′ square bed…

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and Mixed Salad Leaves in another bed.

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The beds stand at 2.5′ tall, so I’m hoping that the carrot fly struggles to get to these, though I’ll believe it when I see it! The salad leaves’ bed has had chicken wire lain over the top to prevent the ridiculously large number of house sparrows from decimating them before we even see them! This year we’ve counted 9 nests being built around our house alone. Last year we counted just over 50 birds at one time around the feeders after the second hatching, the year before we counted half that, and the year before half again. If all nests hatch 4 offspring then we’re looking at 90 birds after the first hatching – so my guess is after two broods we should be over the 100 birds mark. The new hedgerow we’ve planted down the acre field should help them once it starts producing, but that’s a few years off yet.

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