Monday, March 28

The tortoise has left the starting blocks.

All talk of seed sowing on other blogs has left us feeling a bit like the tortoise in its race with the hare. Although we had sown some seeds under the indoor growing garden our seed sowing activity paled into insignificance alongside everyone else. I can now report that our seed sowing is now well underway. The first serious sowing of the season – broad beans – Witkiem Manita – has taken place. The seeds have been sown into small pots and will be planted out as small plants.
The cut and come again lettuce that was grown under the growing light was a success and has provided us with lots of salad leaves. We may manage another helping but I think that will be the end of that mini harvest. If we had transplanted the young plants maybe they would have continued to produce for longer but that wasn’t the point of the trial – we wanted to see if just leaving the lettuce to grow under the lights would provide some useable leaves. The next seeds to take up residence are the newly sown tomatoes - Moneymaker and Amish Gold to be joined shortly by other varieties of tomato, peppers and any other seeds that need a more cossetted start to life.
We managed lots of tidying on the plot – so much that we produced a gigantic heap of dry material. It was too dry to compost and so a bonfire was called for and the pile very quickly disappeared. Too quickly to take a photo other than at the very end.
Most of the permanently planted fruit beds have been tidied. The soil has been loosened and the bushes and trees fed with pelleted chicken manure. Last year’s canes of the autumn fruiting raspberries have been cut down to the ground – this year I think I’ll reduce the number of canes that are allowed to grow as quite a thicket is being produced.
Buddleias that mark the end of some of our long beds have also been cut back hard – it’s always hard to imagine how much they will grow after this treatment.

The heat treated onion sets arrived – three varieties, Fen Early, Hytech and Hyred and these have been planted directly into a bed on the plot. These always arrive later than the ordinary onion sets as it can take up to three months to prepare the sets. We have used these type of sets for a few years now and it has certainly saved us from the problem of onions bolting.

I had a happy surprise when clearing away the straw that had protected the carrots over winter. We thought we had dug the last of the useable carrots but I found quite a lot more large firm roots. We also pulled some spring onions that had been left in all winter and are also still harvesting parsnips and leeks. Fresh curly leaved kale is providing some fresh greens.
The frantic activity in the garden pond appears to have quietened down. The brief courtship ritual over, the frogs have hopped off leaving a clump of frog spawn to fend for itself.

On the other hand activity in the nest box has increased. Although at the moment there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of nesting material being collected what has been deposited in the box is being constantly rearranged and each night one of the blue tits roosts inside.

Don't forget to check our latest updates from the web cam update link on the sidebar.

I also have a detailed diary of activities in the garden and on the plot on my website which can be acccessed from the link on the sidebar.

There are more photos of our progress on Martyn's blog

Just a little warning about computer security. I had a call from a very persistent man with an Indian accent trying to tell me that my computer had been compromised and he wanted to help me rescue the situation. He tried all sorts of scare tactics to get me to agree to let him help even after I made it clear that I thought it was a scam. I contacted a computer expert friend who pointed me to this article . Just thought you should be aware!


  1. We often get a call from the same Indian "gentleman"... When he next calls, try putting him off his stride by asking HIM a few questions: "When is the best time to plant onion sets?" "What is your favourite root vegetable?" They hate diverging from the script!

  2. The carrot looks really good and I bet must taste very sweet. Your plot look so tidy. Ours look like a mini jungle at the moment.

  3. It's great to still be harvesting at this time of year. I have some parnsips and leeks and the PSB should be out soon too. Good luck with the sowing!

  4. I do love your nestbox cam - I suspect our resident blue tits are likewise re-arranging the furniture constantly. Impressive harvest - hope I have things to pull and eat this time next year. Happy sowing!

  5. It's great to get the sowing started, isn't it? I think it's the most exciting time of the year. I used to get loads of scam calls from Sky, it wasn't Sky, some company trying to sell me insurance, but to find out whether I had Sky or not they would ask me what sort of box I had. I told them that if they were from Sky they would know the answer to that. In the end they stopped ringing, but now when I get these sort of calls I just ask them if they can hold on a minute, they soon hang up when they know you're not going to return to the phone.

  6. I'll try that Mark - I did fire some questions at him and he kept repeating I only want to help you Mam.

    They tasted lovely Diana - all the better for being unexpected.

    No joy for us this year with PSB Damo - it didn't seem to like the snow and freezing cold.

    Watching the nest cam is fascinating Janet - I guess they know what they are doing but at the moment they look more as if they are playing houses.

    Yes we have had the Sky scams too Jo. Must admit the devil in me enjoys giving them a hard time and it is good to get sowing.

  7. That was a nice surprise to find more carrots!! It looks like everything is moving forward just fine with your plots and seed starting!! Happy Gardening :)

  8. Moving steadily Robin but at least moving

  9. I have my seeds well under way and I am very excited about this years planting as I have a whole plot ready to sow in.

    Glad you have some residents in the nesting box...fingers crossed for the eggs.

    Thanks for the warning on the scam...we have been there in the past...I always pass this sort of thing onto my hubby thought and let him deal with it...he is very good at hanging up the phone!!

  10. great blog! i learn few things in this post, thanks for the share.

  11. Moving companies reviewMarch 30, 2011

    This is not an easy task. I tried sometimes but failed most of the times as I am lacking knowledge. But you looks well-versed with this things and result shown by your pictures and info. I think I should take class from you online or refer me some good online hubs where I can gain knowledge on farming.


  12. I had what I suspect is the same scam attempt last week with someone (Indian accent) calling from what he said was "BT technical support about your computer".

    On yer bike, matey.

  13. Love the nest box cam! Looking fwd to pics of happy birds! Being tortoise is good sometimes. I got in too early with some zucchini. Our weird summer meant my zukes planted later did much better!

  14. I'd LOVE to get a call from one of those guys, it'd be such fun to mess with them... ;)

    Your plot is looking great by the way, this is my first visit to your blog and I'll be coming back for sure. :)

  15. Woody - I suppose the trouble is some people must fall for it or it wouldn't be worth their while.

    Sometimes being a hare pays off Mrs Bok - it's just down to what the weather/climate throws at you! Glad you enjoyed the bird cam pics - it's very exciting when one goes in live as we are watching.

    Welcome Paul or Melanie - my sister got a call the other day and said she couldn't help as she was just baby sitting and someone slammed the phone down at the other end!!

  16. Last year I felt just the same about being late sowing seeds - I had to wait until the end of April before the greenhouse was ready.

    In the event, everything caught up and I had great harvests from the few veg I did manage to get growing. Round here last frost date is "June" so I know there is no point sowing too early.

  17. Things do seem to catch up don't they BW? Just hoping the frost isn't too keen now if we get any.

  18. Tanya - I missed responding to your comment - sorry - I like ti waste a bit of there time before popping the phone down - I like the idea of asking them to hang on!

    Can't wait to see if we get some eggs!


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