Friday, May 12

Playing Catch-Up

I really have fallen behind at keeping my blog and website up to date. This is mainly for good reasons - days out , visiting, gardening etc but there have also been some unwelcome reasons involving vet's visits.

With this in mind I thought I'd write a catch-up post about the state of play on the plot. In this post I am focusing on the vegetable side of our plot gardening. Having said that the autumn raspberries that I have recently tidied up have sneaked into the picture.
The potatoes are our six trial varieties which were growing well before Jack Frost struck.

The winter onions are growing quickly and will soon be ready to harvest. Last year's winter onions kept us well supplied until the spring planted onions were ready. We still have one or two that are useable.

Our first lot of broad beans have had a tough time suffering from lack of moisture, being bombarded by hailstones and strong winds and being attacked by weevils but they are struggling on and producing flowers.
Between our plot visits on Monday and Thursday disaster struck and the potatoes that were growing really well have had the tops frosted.
Incredibly the frost chose to decimate some tops and spare others. Martyn posted a short film showing more damage here. We expect the plants to rally but this is a setback so it is fortunate that this year we are growing some potatoes in containers that are protected inside the greenhouse and so should still have some to crop reasonably early. The planting was staggered.
All our potatoes are planted up now in several beds scattered around the plot and again we staggered the planting so some still need to emerge. The early potatoes below are Casablanca in their prefrosted state.
The onions and shallots were all started in modules before planting out. The original leaves are looking a little worse for wear due to the conditions that they have had to suffer but they still seem to be growing.

The brassicas - calabrese, cabbage and cauliflowers - on the other hand have been cossetted in the cold frame in five inch pots before planting out. The environmesh is to keep, pigeons, butterflies and whitefly at bay.

Our first lot of peas germinated well but the conditions have meant that growth is slow and they are struggling with weevil damage. No amount of enviromesh can protect against weevils. Hopefully they will speed up their growth now and outpace the weevils.

This week we sowed our mangetout and mushy peas. The sticks laid on the surface are to protect sowing area from birds dust bathing and animals walking on the area.
Under cover below are salad crops. 
Parsnip seeds have been sown in compost trenches. The video at the end of this post explains our sowing method.
Unlike the onions previously mentioned, the ones above were planted directly as sets so it will be interesting to see whether these catch up with those started in modules.

Finally, we have now sown the carrots in the same way as the parsnips with the addition of a covering of enviromesh to protect against carrot fly. This will be kept in place throughout the season.
If you are interested I have put together a video showing how we sow our parsnips and carrots but be warned that it is nearly ten minutes long. There is a narration so make sure your sound is turned on.



11 comments:

  1. It's interesting to watch your sowing technique in detail. Have you ever done any time-lapse photography showing how the plants grow? BTW, hope the vets visits you mention have resulted in a satisfactory conclusion...

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    1. We haven't tried time lapse. I certainly wouldn't want to leave any equipment on the plot as it would 'disappear'. Maybe we can try it at home some time. After a few weeks of worry and waiting we now hope that the vet's treatment was a success. Thanks for asking.

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  2. It's all looking great. Odd about the potatoes, though, a bit like a tornado taking out every other house.
    I'm on standstill now, can hardly move my left leg again! Talk about timing. Piffle.

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    1. Sorry about your leg, Deborah. The potato issue was really disappointing as they were growing really well.

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  3. Oh my, you two are right on top of things - your plot looks fabulous! Well done xxx

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  4. I do hope Tivvy is ok! It is hard keeping a blog going at times, especially in the summer, time flies by doesn't it? That frost and hail sounds awful, glad it didn't get all the potatoes, hope the damaged ones bounce bad soon. My broad beans are flowering now, despite the lack of rain, I was delighted to get some of the wt stuff today. Good seeing what's going on on the plot.xxx

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    1. Other than two big scars from two operations and looking like a patchwork quilt, Tivvy is recovering well thanks, Dina. No real rain here just a bit of drizzle. If the weather turns favourable it will help the potatoes.

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    2. Oh dear, poor Tivvy! What happened?xxx

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  5. So intriguing to see those two adjacent frosted potato plants. I hope that your crop hasn't suffered any serious damage Sue. My shallots are looking a bit woe begone but maybe the rain that we are now enjoying might perk them up. I hope that your poorly pet is on the mend.

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    1. The potatoes seem to have perked up, Anna. It has been raining today but in effect not a great amount of actual rainfall. Tivs is doing fine thanks

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