Saturday, April 25

The plot so far

We've been making the most of the good weather and like the bees we have been busy on the plot. So what have we been doing?

We have planted most of the potatoes - royal we here as Martyn has planted all of the potatoes so far this year. Just another bed left to plant up. The last lot will be under weed control fabric. Whether under fabric or not our seed potatoes are planted using a trowel - just dig a hole and drop the tuber in. I've given more detail on this web page. We achieve a good harvest this way without ending up with a strained back and it is much quicker which is important as we plant quite a few potatoes.
Just behind the potato bed in the photo above is our second strawberry bed. I posted about planting up the first bed here. This wasn't our intended location but the strawberries needed to get out of their pots and the bed intended for them was still too claggy to plant so a change of plan was needed. We gardeners have to be flexible.
Just next to the wheelbarrow in the photo above is planted our first row of peas. These were sown generously to allow for non-germination and hungry wildlife. Seeds I planted in a trough in the greenhouse with the intention of growing pea shoots have been rootled though and carried off, presumably by hungry mice. The peas on the plot have just started to poke through so we have popped some twigs over the bed to try and deter the wood pigeons. A twiggy framework will be added before the peas grow much more.
Behind the peas above is the bed containing our first lot of brassicas, bought as plug plants from Marshalls. Usually we grow these under netting to protect against birds and butterflies but this year we are trying a lightweight mesh in an attempt to keep the plants clean of whitefly which is especially off putting when it infests broccoli and cauliflower. I wonder whether there is any correlation between the sea of oilseed rape that surround us these days and the increase in the whitefly population?

Also under mesh we have sown our carrot and parsnip seeds. This time to protect from carrot fly. Martyn posted about this here. I have also described our carrot growing technique on this web page. The mesh will stay in place until late autumn although I will have to stick my head inside the mesh tent to pull out any weeds that sneak through the gaps in the fabric.
The parsnip seeds are really covered just to prevent the wildlife and any cats from stamping on, or dust bathing in, the soil and disturbing the seeds. More about our parsnip growing method is here.
In the bed alongside the carrots are the autumn planted onions and garlic which are growing well. I know in some parts of the country these too have to be grown under mesh so I wonder how long we will escape the ravages of onion pests.

We - this time the royal we refers to me -have planted up two beds of onions and shallots. All the shallots were started in modules. Some onions were planted singly in modules, some in groups of three sets to a module and some sets planted straight in the ground. Hopefully this will give us onions in a range of sizes.
Finally the first batch of broad beans have been planted. These were started in modules with two seeds popped in each module, In most cases both seeds germinated and so each hole technically contains two plants masquerading as one.
No doubt the weevils are rubbing their antennae together with glee.

It's a battlefield out there and our defence spending increases year on year.

By the way since taking these photos the plot has been strimmed and beds edged.


28 comments:

  1. Wow, you've been busy, making the most of the good weather I expect whilst it's here. I stopped growing kale because of the white fly infestation, I'm giving it another go this year though, I'm hoping that now I'm on a different site it might not be so bad, we'll see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whitefly are certainly a major pest. I;ve even had them get into a cup of coffee.

      Delete
  2. There is very little oil seed rape around here and yet I still have a massive whitefly problem on brassicas. I've been looking to see if I can find environmesh in black. As I grow in the garden I wanted it to be less conspicuous. But I haven't had any luck so far. Failing that I am tempted to give up with brassicas. The problem is even greater than the cabbage whites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe black would cause the conditions underneath to be too hot, Jessica.

      Delete
  3. We are lucky enough to be far enough north to escape the whitefly. Sometimes it is brought in on plants from farther south, but I rarely find them in the garden. Aphids on the other hand are fairly plentiful here. They often spoil my brassicas if I don't control them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you but I know that you make up for it with other pests, Daphne.

      Delete
  4. Lovely word, "claggy". We use it to mean sticky, so presumably you do too. Thinking about growing peas indoors, I wonder if you left a tub of "sacrificial" pea seeds near the ones you sowed, would the mice be content with just those? I suspect they would snaffle them AS WELL AS the ones you sowed though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes claggy - sticky and unworkable, Mark. I think they would just take them away and put them into storage - some type of metal mesh covering willl be employed next time

      Delete
  5. It's been a great week for working on the plot. Like you Sue I've got some spuds in and transferred shallots from cells into the ground. Hope that the strawberries like their new headquarters. Mine are in a raised bed and I had to get out my watering can to them this week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is one of the disadvantages of a raised bed isn't it, Anna? Although in very wet weather no doubt it becomes an advantage.

      Delete
  6. Just posted about planting my spuds and then I come across this! Mind you potatoes are about all I have planted/sown. Not even got my parsnips sown yet, let alone carrots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two of us working on the plot though - Mal and it makes a big difference.

      Delete
  7. I've been dazzled by fields of oilseed rape this afternoon, there's plenty of it round here. Everything's looking good Sue, your onions are nice and strong. Mine look very puny and sorry for themselves at the moment. Something's eaten the ends of the leaves and they're just not growing very much. I'm hoping they rally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The stronger looking ones are autumn planted onions, CJ. I wonder what is eating the leaves?

      I hate oilseed rape - around us acidic yellow dominates where there should be fresh spring green, The colour is glaring and aggressive and the smell takes my breath away. The only time I have any sort of hay fever is when the rape is on flower. Then it is surreptitiously leaking out of the fields, It's aptly named as it is raping the country.

      Delete
  8. Things are looking good Sue. My early potatoes are popping through, broadbeans looking good, peas coming up, so are the parsnips, carrots and beetroot.. and my strawberries are in flower!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our potatoes aren't showing yet and the carrots etc are only just sown = so you are way ahead of us Julie. We do have flowers on the strawberries though but probably due to them having been under cover.

      Delete
  9. You have done a lot of hard work ! But everything is going to be great !
    Have a nice Sunday !

    ReplyDelete
  10. All I've done is spread compost so far. What a massive amount of work you've already finished!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Goodness - you have been busy - it's all looking splendid - puts my meagre efforts to shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two of us Elaine so should do twice as much,

      Delete
  12. Everything is coming along swimmingly! I was laughing at the thought of the weevils rubbing their antennae, and you poking your head through the mesh to weed!! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it is an intriguing sight if the police helicopter flies over, Dina

      Delete
  13. WOw! What an amazing hard work! That's huge area that you have covered! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two of us means we can do twice as much Malar

      Delete
  14. Ha ha, yes I was imagining the weevils too. They really go to town on my broad beans but the plants look reasonably healthy otherwise, with flowers just coming on my autumn sown ones. I didn't get any pea shoots this year either, I forgot to sow when I normally do ( December, in the lean to) and then ones I sowed later either didn't germinate or have been eaten by something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weevils have nibbled the broad bean leaves a bit but left the peas si far, I've sown batch two to try for some pea shoots in ythe greenhouse,

      Delete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.