Sunday, 30 May 2010

More, soon.

The promised rain for yesterday arrived and fizzled out. Today the ground was dry with no real sign that there had been any rain. We took some asparagus, which continues to be delicious. We watered the stuff in the greenhouse and the newly planted courgettes, which need a lot of water to do well.

Some more beetroot will be ready to go out soon, as will some spring onions. Leeks will follow soon after, and everything will need watering again very soon.

Sunday, 23 May 2010


Jean planted four courgettes out today. They look strong and healthy, I hope they are as prolific as the ones we had last year.  We got some more asparagus which had grown very quickly in just a couple of days. Another winter onion had bolted, so it will become part of a salad. The recently planted beetroot was wilting in the heat, but the water it got should revive it. We have very little water left for watering in the greenhouse, never mind the outside plot and no real prospect of rain.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Warm spell

We went up to the plot today to do a few small jobs. The first was to plant out the strongest of our beetroot. Where Jean turned over the soil before planting it was surprisingly damp under the surface. We have more beetroot in the greenhouse coming on - part of the usual successional sowing. I used the metal frames from an old clothes dryer to make a frame to support the peas. They are doing well.

The last job was earthing up the potatoes. We planted ours fairly deep and waited to see them appear before covering them with another layer of earth. Some people earth them up as soon as they plant them, but the potatoes then grow out of the side of the banks as they seek the light. We'll leave them to grow now and only add water as needed.

The forecast for the next few days is increasingly warm - the local forecasters on the BBC seem to confuse 'mild' with warm, I can't describe 27°C as mild in May. There doesn't seem to be much prospect of rain either, so the watering needs to continue.

A few more of the winter onions have bolted, so I pulled them to use. There were some long asparagus spears to take too, the warm weather seems to have prompted them to grow really quickly now. Two of the asparagus plants have not yet produced spears, so, sadly, it looks as though they may have perished.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Carrots, not this time

We've just given up on carrots. I don't understand what we are doing wrong, or what we're not doing, but carrots don't seem to be interested in out plot. One the other hand, everything else is doing well.

We have planted out the rest of the mange touts. I added the remaining pea sticks to support them, but I will need a few more. The existing mange touts may have been nipped by the frosts, but they are picking up.

We planted our peas out too, using some of the space set aside for carrots. As in the past my space planning has been a bit off, but by juggling the space based on what is available there is always somewhere to plant things.

The potatoes are coming up now too. I wonder if we planted them deeper than most people but their timing seems pretty good because they missed the frosts. Some people's spuds have been badly nipped, but look as though they are recovering.

We also planted out some red cabbages. I protected them with the frames made over the winter, which should keep the pidgeons off.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Flowers you want and those you don't

It looks as though some of our sweet peas may have sucumbed to the few nights of frost. I hope at least some of them survive. Close to them, and certainly subject to the same frosts, the mange touts seem to be thriving. The spinach we put out recently is fine. It's a much warmer day today so let's hope the frosts are done.

The very dry weather could be taking its toll too. One of our winter onions has a flower spike on it. They seem to bolt when they get too dry, I hope the others are not thirsty. Past experience tells us that as soon as an onion has bolted it will not grow into anything useful, so I pulled it up and it will probably end up in a salad.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Cold and upside down

The ground looked damp today, I was all set for watering but didn't need to. The air is so cold (8°C) that the soil is not really drying out. We planted a few tomatoes into a growbag, still in the greenhouse and planted row of spinach out. A few weeds were pulled up and we headed home to warm up.

We have some spare tomatoes, Brenda wants a few I think, but I'm going to try growing one upside down. There has been an advert for a tomato growing device that hangs the plant upside down. I'm not sure what the advantage is, but I'm going to find a way to try it, probably just outside the back door at home.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Last night there was a hard frost. All of the plants we have out withstood it, but some other plots suffered. Another hard frost is forecast tonight.

We had to water again and no prospect of proper rain. If the weather gets warmer we will need even more water.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

A few jobs

Over the last week we've done a few jobs, but I haven't posted a blog about them, so here's what we did.

We lightly dug and raked over the hedge-end of the plot, ready for spring onions and spinach. We raked the opposite end for the mange touts peas. The spring onions were looking limp in their seed tray and needed to go out, but the weather has been cold so we've been waiting. In the end we planted them out, the weather turned even colder and windier and they look pathetic and weedy. I'm not sure that many will survive. To give us a second go Jean sowed some more spring onion seeds in cardboard tubes, which is what we did last year, to see if we get any better luck with them.

The mange touts were looking big and strong. Jean planted the best ones and I pushed some supports for them into the ground. These were the prunings from last year's raspberry canes, kept specially for this purpose. Today they all look strong except one which has been broken by the wind.

The winter onions are forming bulbs. This is the vulnerable time, if they get too dry they will bolt and the bulb will be lost. We watered them today, even though we have had a shower, the ground was not even damp in some places.

Tomatoes in the greenhouse are looking good and almost ready to plant into a growbag. Beetroot and red cabbage will not be long before they are ready to go out, but we need the weather to warm up first and that does not look likely yet.

The carrots might have a very few shoots showing, but they might be weeds. There is no sight yet of our potatoes even though other people's are beginning to show. All of our summer onions are growing well and the asparagus continues to produce delicious spears.