Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Slugs, Pigeons, Rabbits..................and Horses!

The last couple of years we've had mercifully few problems with slugs and our site doesn't really suffer with rabbits like the one up the road. Pigeons we most definitely have a problem with and peas or brassicas without netting don't stand much of a chance.

One thing you don't expect though is horses. There are some living in the field beside our site and of late they have been escaping to our side of the fence occasionally.

When I popped down to water last Wednesday the first thing I noticed were some holes in a dug but empty bed. As there was no soil flung about I wondered if someone had been nicking the topsoil by the bucket full, then I saw the unmistakable imprint of a horse shoe in the clay surface of the un-dug bed one.

It looks like the beast had had a wander round half the plot, including splitting my two rows of carrots into four! Not happy. Somehow he missed every parsnip that has germinated.

I looked up to see the horse merrily wandering around the far end of the site defying all attempts to catch it, or take its picture. Needless to say a complaint has gone into the council who were supposed to replace the fences in April.

At least I haven't put in many of my plants yet, the sweetcorn are due to go in this week, quite happy with these.

I'm glad I waited unlike some who lost more than a carrot or two. Very disheartening for new plot owners.

Happy gardening folks!!


Monday, May 13, 2019

So here's the plan.....

I like to try and stick to a crop rotation plan, there is usually a little tweak required every year, something doesn't come up, you get given something new or more than expected germinates so you think why not put it in. So here is this years plan. Having the cross paths splitting the beds does actually make things easier to manage.    

I'm pretty happy with things so far, I know there is a long way to go yet, so here's a run down of the progress so far. 

Bed 1

Nothing happening here, not even got the covers off yet. It just needs a little dig and its good to go but I have a good couple of weeks as some of the plants due to go in there haven't even come up yet. I'll probably add a couple of buckets of manure to the bits that was exposed over winter.

Bed 2

At the front the asparagus bed is getting into it's stride and if this keeps up it will effectively pay for the plot again this year.

The other half of the front bed if being used for quick growing crops such as lettuce, radish, turnip and beetroot. Once I get all the crops in other beds I'll mix them into the those and maybe use this space for something else. I'm thinking more ornamental this year. 

The back of the bed where the tomatoes and chillies will go has been dug and prepped ready.

Bed 3

I planted 24 stations of parsnips, with 4 seeds per station, so far 12 have come up, that's a 1/8th germination rate, don't you just love them! I've replanted the failed stations again.

The carrots are coming along nicely and onions seem to be enjoying life in the fleece tunnel which will continue for the next couple of weeks until the risk of allium leaf miner has passed..

At the back of the bed the Shetland Black potatoes are looking good and the space for the Oca plants is prepped.

Bed 4

The summer and winter cabbages are looking healthy in the small cage. Only 11 in total but how much cabbage can one man eat! In the big cage The kohl robi are started to swell, I've never grown these before so I'm watching them closely and the broccoli, sprouts and kale have settled into their new home quite nicely.

At the back are the arran pilot early spuds, some of which are a little behind but all showing now. There will be more oca in here once the danger of frost has passed.

Bed 5

The bean canes are up and the seeds are in. I've gone for the odd angle in the bed to make the best use of the space and put in different coloured varieties to make it look a little more interesting.

At the back of the bed the broad beans have plenty of flowers, but no pods yet, they are a dwarf variety so the wind hasn't ravaged them too badly this year. 

In the pea cage things are looking good, the germination rate has been very good, I thought about thinning them but I think I'll just leave it. The beetroot plugs I put in have taken nicely too.

Fruit Bed

I've finished clearing the old raspberries, weeds and herbs, dug it over and turfed the new paths. Once the turf takes I'll cut the edges and put in the boards. The strawberries have lots of flowers but no sign of and berries yet.

So that's where we are so far. As long as everything that is filling up all my window sills does its job we should have a lot more planting out to do soon.

Happy gardening folks!!