Apologies for not providing a proper update after the snow. We still have rather unseasonably cold weather but nothing dramatic. Fortunately so far there has been no more snow. Aside from a fair few herbs and the marigolds planted in more exposed places, most things seem to be struggling through.
Direct sown peas, salad leaves and radishes are popping up.
And everything in the polytunnel seems to be thriving.
We do however have rather a large number of what I think (from looking them up on the Internet) are St. Mark’s flies, Bibio marci. I have read that they eat the roots of, amongst other things, lettuce so having so many of them is probably not a great thing. We will have to put our heads together and figure out how to deal with them.
Today, in hopes that the weather will soon improve I have sown another batch of seeds. More kohlrabi, french beans, various flowers, basil and summer squash.
One of the reasons that I have not updated this blog sooner than now is that it has been rather a chaotic week. The two wood burning stoves have finally been installed!
Some wood has been ordered, since of course the wood we have chopped here and that acquired from my husband’s workplace will not be useable for a year or so. We were glad to be able to find a supplier of naturally dried wood. You may or may not be aware that much of the wood on the market is kiln dried – negating its carbon neutrality. Seems crazy to me.
We are glad to finally have the stoves in place. They mean that next autumn and winter we will not have to rely on the oil heating. It is a big step towards our more sustainable way of life.
It has been a rather busy week and I have been too rushed or too tired to give much time to this blog but I will remedy that now with an update on progress in the garden.
The first early potatoes have been earthed up twice and are bursting through once more in the polytunnel.
More maincrop potatoes are in the ground and others I have planted in Ikea bags beside the polytunnel.
I have moved some peas into the orchard/forest garden area.
Calabrese and romanesquo have made their way out to the vegetable beds, where more peas have also just been directly sown. Cauliflower will follow shortly.
Kohlrabi and beetroots have been hardening off ready to plant out too. I will do that this weekend.
Courgettes are also in the polytunnel, with bubble wrap on hand to protect it if we have a cold night. I have planted them more closely than is advised as one or two were too long in the pots and got a bit squashed so may not make it.
I also forgot to mention before that we now have our water butt set up out back to water in the polytunnel and the outside tap by the orchard/forest garden has been fixed so we can use the hose to water on that side of the house.
There are plenty of flowers blooming about the place and lots of busy bees.
Free wood from outside my husband’s workplace. (They were going to chip it so it was up for grabs.)
And the pond is coming along nicely.
Now it is the weekend I can really get on with things!
Today has been a really busy day in the garden. Spring is most definitely here and we are entering the busiest time of year for growing your own. There has been plenty of progress.
– Baby beetroots pricked out and in the polytunnel.
– First of the first early potatoes in the polytunnel are showing sprouts. Soon, when a few more appear, it will be time to earth them up.
– Carrots have germinated on a cooler windowsill and soon I will prick them out into the polytunnel bed. I do not seem to have much luck getting them to germinate in the ground.
– Radishes (a little nibbled) are growing in the polytunnel. Broad beans are also a little nibbled but still growing and the pak choi beneath them are coming along. The peas are growing, if slowly.
I have also done a little weeding in the polytunnel – there is still some to do (As you can see there is some grass between the radishes) but I like to do a little casual weeding as I go along as I know how out of hand things can get if you let things get on top of you. It is better to do little and often.
– I set the brassicas in the open polytunnel for their first day of hardening off. I hope to plant them out in a week or so if the weather is okay. I have not built the cold frame yet so this method will have to do for now. I will bring them back indoors this evening.
– Since I know from the allotment last year how destructive the pigeons can be for brassicas I also spent some time today banging together a very rough frame to put netting on to give the calabrese, cauliflowers and romanesquo some protection when I do plant them out.
– I then cleared a section dead material from a section of edge bed and started to clear a space to plant a few runner beans against the wall.
Finally, a little more planting indoors – some nasturtiums for use as companion plants and a few other bee attracting flowers.
I do hope that at least some of this hard work will give us a good yield!