Sunday, 27 April 2014

Plot Update - Half Way There

Today I built this year's carrot temple - I wouldn't grow carrots without the mesh to keep the root fly away. 

At the far end I've removed the forcing barrel from the rhubarb:

In between the two the ground is pretty clear (although there are 8 rows of potatoes under the soil in the foreground)

except for a double row of broad beans.  The carrot netting was over these until today.

Stepping further back takes in the carrot tent and beyond it the allium patch.

It's looking pretty green just now.

To complete the run to the other end there is a fifth patch which I am reserving for curcubits. I'm planning some squashes as well as the usual courgettes this year. (More about this later)

There are two more "rooms" on the other side of my internal path, both in need of some attention.  I will save them for another post once I've put my plans for them into action.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Catch Up

Tradition requires a batch of these:

We went sightseeing in the Cotswold Hills this Easter Sunday.  That's the White Horse in the distance:

In fact there was vicious driving rain and we had to beat a retreat (hence the poor quality picture)

In better weather on Saturday the lock at Buscot was in action:

And just in case you thought I had a complete break from gardening I did help my daughter tidy and plant up her vegetable patch.

Ran out of time before weeding the raspberry bed.  (The fleece tents are for courgettes carrots and beans)

Aside from the motorway driving, a great break.  Now its time to attend to the plot back at home!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Toilet Roll Call

Since last summer I have been saving up toilet rolls (and kitchen roll tubes cut in two). 

These are my "root trainers" for this year.  There are quite a few.

I stand them in cell dividers in seed trays fill with compost, sow and cover with vermiculite.  This arrangement ensures enough air circulation between the tubes to stop mould becoming a problem.  Here's my first batch of the year in the propagator. Tomatoes, Chili, Cucumber, Celeriac.  From here on it's a rolling production line until the end of May

For the record I sowed my first early potatoes (Sharpes Express) at the plot today.  The broad beans have emerged and the garlic is looking all the better for a weed and feed.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Bridging the Hungry Gap

... or clearing the decks?  

This weekend at one end of the plot I picked our first new season rhubarb and weeded the allium patch.  At the other end I picked the last of our leeks
Musselburgh Leeks
Dug up the last swedes, picked kale and spinach

Last of the leeks with PSB behind

and Purple Sprouting Broccoli.  I was sure this was an "early" variety, but it has only started producing sprouts a few weeks ago, lots of them.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

As you can see I've still got netting over them.  Just as well as the pigeons have been stripping anything uncovered.  Despite lasting the whole winter the new growth on the leaf beet  has been eaten back to the ribs before they were picked.  The spinach has fared better but brassicas are the pigeons favourite.

It'll soon be sowing time.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Now You See It - Now You Don't

Hooray' it's rhubarb time again

Now you see it:

Now you don't:

I can't resist blanching one clump each year by covering it with a bin. It brings on the stems and the leaves are so spectacularly yellow you could mistake them for flowers.  I  think they are worthy of a floral arrangement. (Of course they soon turn green on exposure to sunlight)