Kestrel and Lady Balfour potatoes have been sunk into raised beds. I still have to sink pink fir apple, once I have filled the other beds with ‘orse poop. I put the seed potatoes into raised beds as there is better drainage, less resistance for the forming tubers and previous experience has meant a big, quite successful crop. I’m not sure yet if there will be any international kidney this year on the plot.
There was also the opportunity to look at the young fruit trees that are planted on the plot. With the site being windy, they could do with some bracing support so that they don’t keel over. I did quick count, and found that I had quite a few fruit trees, I guess I don’t need to buy any more! In the picture above, you see the morello cherry tree. This one, along with the sylvia, moor park apricot, darling peach, pear du comice, czar and victoria plum were all tied to a stake sunk beside them.
With the exception of the Czar plum tree, all of the trees appear to be waking up and have buds forms on their boughs. I am not too sure about the Czar, as it has always been a little bit of a miserable looking tree. The plot most certainly has it’s own little micro-cosm that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the site; i think the peach is the only that is sending out pink fuzzy buds. Have been watching it closely and willing the bud to burst.
And also St.David’s day, by the way. So Happy Feast of St.David to the Welsh Contingent.
I knew Spring was coming, the plot Daffodils have bloomed and burst with a splash of yellow bisecting the plot across the middle. Granted, they bloomed about two weeks ago, but that was something of alarum call that positive things were on the way.
Then I looked out the window this morning, and saw greasy fat raindrops sliding down the pane. I had been double checking that we hadn’t been snowed on, so rain was okay; more so than a possible blanket of snow. I don’t snow was predicted per se, but I had heard rumours of discontent that we might get some and therein have difficulties coming into work.
No snow, but miserable raindrops as Spring kicks off. What might this mean then for me, and the plot?
As you can see over the last few weeks, seed have been sown and germinated. And oh look, a daffodil. Whilst this is small progress, I do feel that I am about a month behind where I might be. I think this is caused by the fact that the chillies were sown a little later than usual, and the tomatoes are definitely out of kilter. As March arrives like the proverbial Lion, I need to checklist the growing season plan. Mum has already asked when I am going to sow ‘Running’ Beans, with that my mind is also wandering towards this years Psychology Sunflower challenge and sowing sunflowers. By April, will be time to sow Squashes and courgettes. I still have yet to sacrifice last years Ghost Rider Pumpkin. I will aim to do that in the next few weeks, it’s starting to look as though it is pouting.
Potatoes! I forgot about the spuds. These are waiting in the wings, whilst I source some bags of ‘orse poop. A few tried and tested varieties from previous years have been retained and the seed potatoes will be sunk into raised beds at the next available opportunity.
That’s Peace and Happiness, before you have to go translate it…
To the untrained eye, this looks a mess. However, if you were to ask me nicely; I could tell you what most things are and where. The gallery above, is a walking tour if you like of the half plot. I will try and get some specific bed pictures up. I appreciate that it looks like a great big green mess in the gallery. Today is the first day of the Summer holidays for me, so an opportunity to see what I need to do. It goes without saying, that weeds are a problem. This time last year, we had a deluge; and the weeds were well up to ankle height. As well as that, I didn’t have so filled raised beds. They are there now, and they contain crops.
Two more raised beds have, thanks to Pops, been constructed. I had scavenged last week, bags of garden waste. Sat on the plot for best part of a week, these were emptied today in the beds. I know that these are upside down, before you point it out! The pots are on the spikes, so that hopefully no one gets hurt. It is safe to say, that having raised beds has been a boon. Whilst the clay is fabulous, full of nutrients; the position of the plot means that the whole thing gets flooded. This brings pools of water, slugs and other things that eat crops. With the battle against the weeds. The areas of open ground where there are no raised beds, have been choked by weeds. The plan is to now pull up the weeds, cover with newspaper, and perhaps even black plastic on top of that. I have been avoiding that, thinking that raised beds are enough. At least the black plastic can be planted through, the newspaper and pulled up weeds can help the clay composition.
This is going to be one of the big battles. To be clear of as many weeds as possible, and cover the ground. With the beautiful weather that we have had, the clay is like concrete. There is now way a magic fork or spade is going to slice through it. It is just as bad, when it is winter.
As I sit here, the weather lady has just delivered her forecast. For the moment at least, the nice weather will remain. A bit of harvesting was done to today. A small amount of Florence Fennel. A crop, that I had forgotten that I sown. So was very surprised to the see the dill hovering amongst the leaves of the Astia Courgette right next to it. The Florence Fennel was sautéed with the Kestrel potatoes. Lovely looking first second earlies, with pink smudges that look like little faces.
In the wendy house, you will see the vast array of chillies and bells. We have in there a huge number. We have just to name a few, Nigels outdoor chilli, lemon drop, frauzauber, spanish mammoth red, early jalapeño, purple beauty and long red marconi to name a few. Those are the ones that were at least labelled. I think a few of them, have thrown a bit of a tantrum in the wendy, having moved from the classroom. They were perhaps not used to the different temperatures. As mentioned previously, we are having nice weather. A few of the chillies, have been a little burned, and perhaps are sulking because of that too. They are watered and fed regularly. I am still not convinced of treating them in a mean fashion. The resplendent purple rainbow chillis remain in the kitchen at home. There were seven of these altogether, only one of these is in the wendy.
Triffids rise again, on the plot. Not only are there squashes, but also sweetcorn and sunflowers. I had though that the sunburst sunflowers, were relatively small. Yet these are nearly as big as me. No quite giant, but bigger than I had expected. Very leafy, and yet to form any flowers. I do believe that the squashes may take over the universe. I have long expected and anticipated the leaves getting as big as dinner plates. In my experience, that is a good thing. That is happening, yes. Now, we are on flower and fruit watch. Already, we have had a few striato di napoli and astia already, in addition to two beautiful tennis ball sized summer ball. I have never sown a yellow courgette, so this was a lovely crop. Mama H and I are still at odds over the bush baby marrow. Resting on a brick, it is as big as it should be. Mama H wants me to wait for various dishes to have been eated, before I harvest it. If it explodes, it’s not my fault, all right.
Tomorrow is another day, and for the moment; it is summer.