Monday, May 7

Things are looking up

Last week we 'made hay whilst the sun shone' - not literally of course. We skipped spring and had a taste of summer. The race was on to get some of the beds tilled before the sun baked what had been mud into concrete.

Almost all the remaining weed control fabric was removed, any weeds that had survived under the covering or popped through the holes were removed and the tiller was fired up.
Although the surface of the soil is dry, there is still plenty of moisture lower  down but enough beds were in a 'tillable' condition to keep Martyn busy. Once tilled the appropriate sheet of weed control fabric was put in place and mulched using wood chippings.

As beds became ready, planting and sowing began. One bed was sown with parsnips and carrots.
We're hoping that the present weather conditions will encourage germination and that we have a better carrot harvest this year than last. The carrots were covered with enviromesh to keep the carrot fly at bay but that will be no protection against slugs. It seems strange to be watering but as the seeds are near the surface which is fairly dry it IS necessary.

The watering cans have come out of hibernation as, until the plants roots reach down from the top layers of soil, the newly planted beds as well as newly sown seeds need watering too.
I noticed quite a few white butterflies over the weekend, luckily our brassicas are hiding under mesh.
Additionally to sowing carrots into the ground, I decided to sow a few in one of our growing bags. If they produce a crop it will make for an interesting comparison. I sowed a few radishes in another bag. Once they germinate I'll sow a few more to try to produce a succession. In another bag I planted two varieties of lettuce - Tom Thumb and All Year Round. The bags have also been covered with mesh to protect from carrot fly and birds.
The potatoes that we planted in bags are growing well and the first lot planted on the allotment are pushing through. Another bed became available so I planted two rows of Vivaldi. We have quite a few seed potatoes left of varieties already planted which are still in the greenhouse awaiting a home.
We've come to the end of our stored potatoes and are having to buy some which is always a shock to the system.

Amid all the activity we did manage a tiny harvest of Purple Sprouting broccoli.
It may be a modest amount but very welcome. We think club root may be a factor in our lack of success with this plant. Unfortunately there is currently no club root resistant variety available so we are working on a plan to try to improve our chances of a decent harvest next year.

We are also harvesting watercress from our garden pond. Lots has been cleared out and now lovely fresh growth is being produced. Of course it has decided to grow a little further into the middle of the pond and needs coaxing to the side to make picking easier.
We could have harvested some rhubarb but let's face it there is only so much rhubarb that you can eat isn't there?


By the way Martyn has posted a video of last week's plot activity on his blog here.

I'm rather cheekily hoping this little posy of PSB and the watercress pickings qualify this post for a link to  Harvest Monday hosted on Dave's blog Our Happy Acres

17 comments:

  1. I'm impressed with how much work you have got done, and with your system to sow seeds between cuts in the membrane. I gather this reduces the weeds you have to pull as the season goes on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don’t think we could manage our large plot without wcf, Julieanne. Not and keep it reasonably tidy.

      Delete
  2. Coming along well. I had my best cropping of carrots when I grew them in tubs over 24" high ~ thwarted the old carrot fly well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ll just be happy to harvest good carrots this year, Deborah.

      Delete
  3. That really was a quick turn around in the weather. It looks like you made a huge amount of progress in the garden. It looks great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been a dramatic change, Michelle but it could quite easily go back the other way.

      Delete
  4. Wonderful to see all that progress in the beds before they bake! It will be interesting seeing how the carrot trials work out. good to see your spuds pushing through, I can imagine how awful it must be having to buy them!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was good to get the carrots and parsnips in, Dina. Now we anxiously await germination

      Delete
    2. Up until last year I never had any problem with parsnips, but then they seemed to refuse to germinate. This year we do have some poking their heads up and that really dry spell meant careful watering so they weren't washed away! Interesting to see how you grow yours, Sue. This is a new method to me, and I shall watch with great interest....

      Delete
  5. It is a busy time for gardeners and it looks like you all have been busy for sure! Do you use a special mesh made for gardening or just a fine fabric? I've found something to use but it is fairly expensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The mesh is enviromesh, Dave - it;s sometimes called insect mesh SEE HERE It is very long lasting.

      Delete
  6. Your doing a grand job both of you well done and blessing to you both

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda - more to do today.

      Delete
  7. Any sort of harvest is welcome at this time of year. The weather's been fantastic over the bank holiday weekend, hasn't it? It's allowed us to get lots of outdoor jobs done, at last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The weather has been incredible, Jo. It obviously didn't realise that it was a bank holiday.

      Delete
  8. That's an amazing amount of planting you've done in a short time. The watercress has really seemed to done well for you and the broccoli looks great. Our ground should be dry enough to work after the weekend, so hopefully we can getting some planting done next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our ground is now too dry, Phuong

      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 is not 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.