Sunday 17 April 2011

Peaking potatoes

My earlies have broken through! I earthed them up straight away though, just in case of frosts. This year I've planted Amorosa, so we'll see how they get on. I've been pretty bad at keeping records of how varieties have done in the past, so this year I'm going to change my ways! Particularly as some varieties have definitely been better than others...but which ones!? Fresh start from here.

Talking of potatoes (as I often do), I also put in one lot of the late mains (Isle of Jura). Another lot of late mains to go (Setanta). The bed needs clearing of PSB (purple sprouting broc) before that and giving it the ripped cardboard/chicken pellets/horse poo combo. I think my horse poo supply isn't going to last all summer, sigh!

And talking of peaking...the asparagus is also just breaking through. I was at the plot this morning and then went down late eve to water and I'm sure they'd grown by about half a cm in one day. Better keep an eye on them this week. Mmm this will be the first year of harvesting.

Lots of action now on the plot including red currant berries already forming, loads of flowers on the black currants and gooseberries. Also lots of weed-action and grass-path growing so will have to try and keep on top of that. JB helped with some weeding this evening which was much appreciated.

I've been sowing lots of seeds at home too including the pumpkins and other squashes, brassicas, chinese cabbage, lettuces and basil. Some seeds only took about 3 days to germinate...whooosh! You could almost hear them grow.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Funny time of year really, so full of potential. Work on the plot has been a bit slow, I'd have liked to have spent more time down there recently but nevermind eh.

I've sown a couple more short rows of parsnips, intercropped with spinach and lettuces (the spinach and lettuce will be harvested before they start competing too much with the parsnips, plus as parsnips grow down and leafy things grow up, they don't get in each others way. Well that's the idea anyway!)

My early potatoes are in. I dug a trench and added in a load of ripped-up cardboard, horse manure and chicken manure pellets, and watered the trench before filling it back in. I let it all settle for a week or so and then dug individual holes for the seed potatoes. This weekend I'd hoped to put in one lot of main crops but ran out of time.

These are some of my garlics. I grew most of them on at home first, in toilet roll tubes as I didn't have the ground ready earlier. On the plot I'm keeping them covered up with old net curtains to try and avoid the leek moth problems of the past couple of years. It doesn't look very pretty but fingers-crossed it'll help avoid problems (though the wind does keep whipping the curtains off every now and then so there's a chance they might not be fully protected).

This is one part of the plot, with two dwarf apple trees in the foreground, underplanted with strawberries (new this year). There's a bed of leeks in the background, which're still pretty small but tasty. I gave them a sprinkling of chicken maure pellets the other week which seems to have helped them get a bit bigger. I guess they might start bolting soon so will have to eat them up shortly. More softened leeks on toast with blue cheese mmmmm. (we did make leek and blue cheese pizza at the weekend too).