Monday, 18 June 2012

All out

The greenhouse is empty. We have not been robbed, we just put everything out that was still in there. In the past few years we have grown about four courgette plants and we've been overrun with them. Really nice as very fresh courgettes are, there's only so many we could eat and when our neighbours were not accepting them too we knew we had grown too many. this year we grew five plants and determined we would only plant the two best ones, which we did a few weeks ago. The three still in the green house have been watered and kept out of the cold and they have done much, much better than the two outside, even thought they have been constrained in their pots. Today we planted out the three from the green house, but we will pull up at least two when we know which ones do best.

We also planted out the remaining mange touts. They too looked as good in their pots as the ones previously planted out. We have had some damage to the ones outside where they have grown through the mesh covering and been eaten, probably by birds. Last year partridges scoffed the lot, so today I built a plastic mesh cover propped up on canes. The plants are well away from the mesh, so, hopefully, the birds won't get close to our peas. It might be a nuisance to uncover to pick the pods, but we'll see.

We also planted out the cabbages that Gary gave us to replace the ones razed by birds. I made a plastic mesh tunnel supported by wire hoops and held in place with tent pegs. We had a few extra cabbages left over, so we planted them out in the open to see how long they last and as a kind of offering to the pigeons. The pact is they can have them if they leave everything else alone, but I don't expect they will understand that.

A few strawberries have been nibbled - I suspect slugs. I put down some bark chippings around the plants, but I think I need more, and more slug pellets too. There are no berries looking ripe yet, but lots of small green ones so if we can keep the slugs off we should get a good crop.

The broad beans stems are huge. They have flourished in the wet and they are tough enough to thrive in the cold. They are covered with flowers and the bottom ones have set into small bean pods. No sign of black fly yet, but lots of patrolling ants.

We took some rhubarb, it won't be long before we stop taking it so the plant bulks up again. The stems are still red and it cooks down really nicely.

When the broccoli at home is ready it will spend a few weeks in the greenhouse before being planted out. Just like cabbage, it will need a  lot of protection from the birds and unlike cabbage it will grow outside for months and be vulnerable through the winter. I hope it makes it.

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