Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Village show

We popped up to the plot to see what's happening. We got half a kilo of beetroot and some sweet peas. The sweetcorn look great, lots of cobs all with tassels and every stalk has a male flower too. I tried to spread some pollen onto the tassels so we will see how that works out. Still a couple of weeks at least to wait for a sweetcorn.

I pruned the raspberry canes. The growth on the new canes is the best I've seen so next year looks promising. The onions are all starting to lay down. We pulled a few where the top growth had died back a bit bit most need a touch longer. I'll put them in the greenhouse to dry again - that worked well.

Cabbages are doing well, they are forming hearts with one nearly ready to take. The first batch of broccoli is looking great, with the later batches also growing. They have plenty of time to catch up.

We took some black currant cuttings. We want to move the bushes but they don't take to being moved, so one way is to grow some more plants, plant them in the right place and when they are doing well, dig the old ones up. It could take a couple of years though.

There are lots of weeds to dig up and the existing fruit bushes need some pruning, but things look good.

One thing I'm not sure about is the village show. Brenda pressed a show guide on us and asked us to enter the show. I'm not sure I want to. We grow for the table, not to show. Will any of our stuff be up to showing? Can I be bothered to primp and preen it into what the judges want? I'm not sure, but I've got a couple of weeks to decide.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Not enough spring onions

We took the last of the spring onions today. We sowed a whole packet of seeds and we have got a good crop, but we could easily have used more. I think if we stagger the sowing a lot we could grow more and they would be very welcome. They are especially crisp and sweet so worth any effort and when they are warmed up they are very sweet.

We took another batch of beetroot too. A few had bolted with no real beet. They got pulled up to make room and resources for the others. The beets we took are a perfect size, with still much more to come. It freezes well, once boiled, so like the spring onions it would be worth trying to grow more, though staggering the sowing is less important because freezing it will spread its use.

Every sweetcorn stalk has a male flower on it. One or two are beginning to open to shed their pollen. The cobs are beginning to swell on the stalks but only one stalk has any tassels yet. I took the netting off - we have not needed netting in previous years. When I got home I found a pocket full of clothes pegs which I'd taken off the netting and forgot to leave at the plot.

We decided to water the beetroot and the brassicas. Rain is forecast for next week, but I don't trust the forecasts that far out and the plants need water now. I hope there is some good rain, the ground is dry and hard and needs weeding - softer ground is easier to weed.

Now the soft fruit is over we need to prune the bushes. We might try to move a blackcurrant bush too - we really want to get all of the fruit closer to the hedge, but I don't want to kill the bushes. The blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes are particularly good. I'll try to use some of the pruning to grow cuttings as a back up.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Bean fest

The broad beans are over, but what a crop. We've eaten them, frozen them and given them away and they are superb. We now also have our first, and hopefully not last, French bean crop. The mange touts have struggled to give us a few pods before they gave their last gasp. A very few sweet pea flowers were ready to cut - I'm at all sure how many more will come through on the straggly plants. Some plants have bindweed through them but I can't remove it without breaking the sweet peas, so I'll wait until they are done. 

A few beetroot were ready - they are boiling away as I type. there are lots more to come and they look good. Another harvest of spring onions will be delicious with maybe one more crop to come. The main onions are looking pretty good, most have recovered from being nibbled and a few tops are turning so not long before we pull and dry a few of those too.  The sweetcorn is beginning to get the top tassels growing and hints of cobs too. After their demolition by pests I'm pleased they have done so well.

We planted out the last of the broccoli plants and covered them with frames and nets. The glut of pigeons continues to be a problem in the area, hence the netting. The pigeons are turning to farmland, especially wheat and oil seed rape and are leaving our plot alone at the moment. What will happen when the large flocks find the fields ploughed and empty? I think we are ready for them, but I've thought that before and been wrong.