Monday, 19 October 2009

And about time too...

...that I updated this blog. Not that everything has stopped on the plot in the last 6 months - far from it. It just seems I lost the desire to keep it updated. Well there's an imminent arrival that's distracted me rather slightly. Yes a tiny pair of wellies has been growing in my belly and should make an appearance in the next 2 weeks or so. So until then I'm going to catch up with some blogging now that I'm a lady of leisure.

Friday, 10 April 2009

April so far

Last weekend (4th/5th) was a busy one - two full days on the plots.
I planted out the broad beans...And transplanted the peas into the same bed. I love the way they almost instantly know where and what to curl their tendrils around.

I also planted out the yellow mange tout up against the hazel and chicken wire frame I'd put together.

And on Sunday we put in most of the potatoes - Nadine & Charlotte, with only the Pink Fir Apples to go.
I also sowed lots of flowers - poached egg plant, love-in-a-mist, cornflowers and two kinds of poppies.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Patience is...

...having to wait another 2 years before I can harvest any of these.

There will be fruit

Over the last 2 weeks or so the fruit bushes have been showing their minute flowers to the outside world and I noticed this evening that the bumble bees were doing the rounds.
The gooseberries are covered in tiny, delicate blooms and if the frosts hold off then it looks like we should get a decent crop (dare I say it maybe even a glut? I hope so).
The reliable blackcurrants are putting on a good show too.
The redcurrant that I moved out from underneath the Bramley apple is thriving and has lots of tiny trusses of flowers.
And the most exciting of them all is that the cordon apples have hints of blossom.


Seeing as we're almost half way through April I'd best write down what we managed to get done on the plot last month. All the weekends were spent at the plot (apart from the last week where we skived off for a week's snowboarding!!).

We finished the asparagus bed and planted the crowns....hopefully we've done it right.We set up the wires and posts for the cordon apples and planted them.
Decided on where the plum, gage, damson and crab apple should go - top of Plot 85 and planted them. The soil on that section hasn't been dug (as far as I know) for at least 3 years and it's solid clay. So we weeded where we were going to plant the trees as best as possible, filled the holes with compost and then have covered the whole area in weed suppressant fabric and wood chips to stop the docks and other nasties in reappearing.

Sowed an early sowing of carrots (under fleece), beetroot (white & red) and some fast growing turnips (for something new) and when we visited last weekend there are signs of seedlings.

April so far is proving just as busy....

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Gourmet Lunch

The lovely thing about being able to go home for lunch is that some days you can treat yourself to something like this.

Steamed new season purple sprouting broccoli with a poached egg on homemade was really yummy! This is definitely our asparagus stand-in until we start producing our own...

Signs of Spring

With this latest bout of milder weather things have been stirring.

The garlic has shot up from these tiny shoots back a few weeks ago to this.
The rhubarb seems to be getting bigger every time you glance at it. The ramsoms have made an early return (so they must like our soil)... mmm wild garlic...

And there's buds on just about everything...

Appearances are deceiving

This blog for me is mainly an online diary to track the plots' progress. However there are a couple of people out there that pop in, read my posts and leave lovely comments and I bet they've been thinking is she still hibernating? or given it up totally?
Nope I haven't, in fact MJC and I have been busy building more raised beds and generally trying to get as much preparation done before the growing season in earnest... So here's a few photos to prove that I'm not lying...honest!
So we've cleared the weeds around the remaining gooseberry bushes, cut down the raspberry canes and given the whole area a good mulch to get one step ahead of the evil couch grass and other nasty weeds. I also rescued a redcurrant and another gooseberry plant that were being slowly smothered by the rasps. MJC also had the very good idea of putting bricks around one of the rhubarb patches to stop us accidentally stomping all over it.
I've dug and weeded a planting hole ready for one of the pear trees (Doyenne de Comice) I got cheap from Lidl's (£11.97 for 2 pear trees and a crab apple...bargain!!). We've both read Ken Fern's book 'Gardening for a Future' from cover to cover which sets out the principles of forest gardening so we're trying to create our own little productive area on Plot 85 next to the Bramley. I've also ordered (today) some more fruit trees today from Deacons Nursery. It was soo hard trying to limit myself on which apple varieties to choose so in the end I plumped for the following:
  • apples - King of the Pippins and Reinette Rouge Etoille (these both flower at the same time)
  • apples - James Grieve and Pitmaston Pineapple (same with these two)
  • damson - Merriweather
  • gage - Cambridge
  • and of course the classic Victoria plum (which my Mum requested)

The apples I'm going to attempt to train on wires as cordons at a 45 degree angle and the others I think I'm going to plant at the top of Plot 86 so they don't shade out the neighbouring plots too much. I'm going to start preparing the area where they'll go this weekend - so I'll post more more pics of how it's looking.

Here's what we've spent most of January working on. Some of these have been dug over now and are ready for spring sowing and I have a grand plan ready on paper (well spreadsheet).

And we've ordered 20 asparagus crowns (Ginjlim and Backlim) so we've painstakingly prepared a special raised bed for them when they get delivered in March.