Sunday, April 12

What a difference a week makes - vegetables,

The huge improvement in the weather over the last few days has meant that our gardening has emerged from the doldrums.

Having had the empty beds covered with weed control fabric has meant that weeding hasn't been a major issue but it does mean that beds can take longer to dry out. A benefit in a dry summer but not so much in a wet spring. So the weed control has been peeled back from some beds to aid more effective drying so that the beds can be cultivated.

The poor weather and soil conditions has meant that some things have had planting out on the plot delayed. 

Onions and shallots planted in modules have been waiting patiently and at last the first batch has been planted out. I'm hoping that these will pick up as although the shallots are fine the onions look a little battered. Having said that if these had been planted out earlier they would have been battered by wind anyway.
Two beds each containing two varieties of potatoes - Casablana and Foremost -  have been planted. One bed has been planted up using the trowel method and earthed up.
In the other bed the potatoes were planted through holes in weed control fabric. When the shoots emerge these will be protected under straw until the risk of frosts has passed.
The idea is that the earthed up potatoes will be harvested first as it is easier to dig individual plants for early helpings using this method. The covered potatoes will be dug all at once.

We bought early brassica plants from Marshalls - which have been growing on in the cold-frame. These have been covered with some lightweight mesh to form a floating cloche which will hopefully keep the white butterflies that were sniffing around and the wood pigeons at bay. Martyn's post gives more details of this.
We've also sown our first lot of peas. We are very generous in the amount of seeds that we sow on the grounds that we can afford for some to either not germinate or be eaten by hungry wild life.
Waiting in the cold-frame are more onions and shallots and some broad beans. Hopefully these will soon join the other vegetables already planted in the plot.

Seed update:
If you are interested our full list of the seeds that we bought this year is here (also accessible from the tabs at the top of the blog page. Each month we also describe the seeds that have been sown and what has been planted out and the crops that have been harvested. I also write a monthly summary diary but unfortunately due to a computer blow-up this is a bit behind at the moment.

A late addition to our original seed list has been provided by Marshall Seeds who emailed to ask if we were interested in trialling some of the seeds new to their list. Of course we were.
It looks like we will have plenty squash this year. We'll also have plenty of tomatoes as we had already added Masotka to our collection after quite a few of you sang its praises. As for courgettes - so what's new? -Doesn't everyone have a glut of courgettes? I'll share how the seeds perform with you as the season progresses.

28 comments:

  1. Summer isn't summer without a glut of courgettes. That knucklehead pumpkin looks like a scary beast.

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    1. It does look weird CJ. It will be interesting to taste it, that is if we achieve some fruit.

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  2. Yes everyone gets a glut of courgettes (and squashes too)!!!

    It didn't take too long to leapfrog me did it? I planted my second potato variety this morning and then retreated from the drizzle with leeks parsnips kale and PSB still from last year's sowings.

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    1. I'd say that we were neck and neck, Mal. There are two of use so we ought to get more done,

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  3. I'm trying a butternut squash this year, something I haven't grow before so I hope it does well. I'm intrigued by that Knucklehead pumpkin, the unusual shapes or designs always attract me.

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    1. We have never grown butternut squash before either, Jo. I wonder who comes up with the names of some vegetables.

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  4. The last week has certainly been most favourable for getting on with outdoor work Sue and it certainly looks as if you have made great progress. As for courgettes I'm staggering sowing this year in the hope that I might avoid a glut. Wishful thinking or not?

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    1. The weather has dropped off the cliff here today,

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  5. I rarely get a glut of courgettes. I keep hoping. Though like you we are finally getting some good weather. I was getting pretty tired of cold and drizzly.

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    1. We could do with our weather being more consistently good, Daphne. I'm hoping that the newly planted vegetables are not being too battered by the wind which had been strong over the weekend.

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  6. I grow my courgettes purposely to get a glut! I want summer pickings of baby courgettes followed by the more usual size for chutney, and don't even object to the marrow size ones which I use instead of lasagne sheets.
    Everything is looking good with you. Once this interminable wind drops I might get something done outside.

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    1. I'd never thought of using slices of courgette as lasagne sheets. Better too many fruits than not enough.

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  7. Everything seems to have grown before my eyes this week with a little sun and warmth. Hope it continues, but strong wind is drying the soil surface where the small transplanted plants (lettuces, beetroot, spinach, beans) still have their roots, so I'm also doing quite a bit of watering on the plot.

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    1. We could do with our clay soil drying a little so it will cultivate, SandD.

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  8. I decided not to grow the two tomato varieties provided by Marshalls, since they were indoor types. I think I'm going to get some of that lightweight mesh - it looks perfect for using with my aluminium rods & Build-a-Ball set.

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    1. It will be interesting to see how varieties that we wouldn't usually grow fate, Mark.

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  9. I was going to sow some peas this weekend but the weather turned rather cold and blustery so that job didn't get done - I seem to be falling a bit behind with everything - hopefully if we get some good weather this week I can play catch up.

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    1. I'm sure that things will catch up, Elaine especially if the weather does improve.

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  10. Everything's looking good there sue. We had very strong winds as well this weekend, the plot was very dry today but it's raining now, hopefully it will be absorbed by the soil and not just run off. I need to mulch some of my beds but where I'd laid out some leaves on one bed they've all blown away so not sure when it will be best to do it, this wind is annoying.

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    1. I am really fed up with the wind now, Lou. Any plants that we have managed to plant out will have suffered a battering.

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  11. It's certainly all systems go now on your plot! I do like the look of those seeds you are trialing, I shall look forward to seeing how they perform.xxx

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    1. At the moment it has to be all systems go whenever the weather is favourable, Dina.

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  12. That's really a big work! Thumb up ! Hope you will have a lot of squash and tomatoes to harvest!

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  13. Your vegetable garden will be gorgeous. I wish you a bountiful harvest of vegetables !
    Greetings

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  14. I found that courgettes are super easy to grow and I love them.
    If I only had a little bit more space in my veg patch I'd grow pumpkins. You will have an interesting harvest of them next season.

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    1. We certainly will have quite a mixture of pumpkin and squash, Aga if they are all produce fruits.

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