Friday, 31 January 2014

Mud, mud!

The paths are mud, the plot is mud.
The rain pond is full to the brim.
Bought some more scaffolding planks to make two more beds at the wet end. Just need the weather to fair up, the ground to dry up and if it will get a bit warmer, I can get them made.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

black fingernail season started again

Yes, its out with the nail-brush as it is seed sowing and potting time.

I pricked out the onion seedlings into modules, not so many this year as I have decided to use some sets and some seeds. They hadn't got their second leaf yet, but I thought that it wouldn't do any harm to move them on, as long as I was careful.
How many of these will thrive I don't know because a few times, when levering the soil up to gently remove the seedling, I heard/felt that ominous tiny snap which usually indicates a broken stem or root.  Not too worrying if it is a root as they seem to recover from that, but a snapped stem is often terminal.

About four days ago I spread the sweet pea seeds saved from last year on some damp newspaper and kitchen towel, because I have never saved seed before and wasn't sure how viable they would be.
Lots of them have developed little sprouts, so it looks like they will be worth the trouble of potting them up.
I took out the ones with the biggest shoots and potted them up the same as last year. Five seeds in each 5inch pot, a mix of multi-purpose compost and vermiculite
Some of them hadn't germinated, but it is only 4 days since I started them chitting, so I will leave them to see if they grow a bit more. I don't really need any more plants, I think 14 pots of 5 are probably enough for my purposes, but I can't bear to throw them out.
I don't know what kind of flower they will produce because they cross-pollinate each other quite happily, but it will be interesting to find out.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

seed potatoes

Very cold with a hard frost this morning, so we are well wrapped up for the trading hut today and oh, the excitment! The seed potatoes have arrived, Yey!

We sold out of Desiree straight off, but I've got mine, so I'm alright, Jack!
They are said to be good all rounders, last year's Kestrel were good but seemed to break up badly when boiled so I'm trying a different variety.

Moved five barrows of soil improver from under that blue tarpaulin at the bottom of the site, up that lane to my plot at the top of the allotments. Legs and arms a bit wobbly by the time I had finished.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Onion seeds showing

Bedfordshire Champion, sown 28 Dec.  I just remembered them today and look!
Compost used was Mother Earth multi-purpose that I won in the raffle on show day.  The seedlings seem smaller than last year, but I don't know how long they have been showing, not more than 3 or 4 days, certainly.
I moved them to the spare room windowsill last week as it seemed very cold in the greenhouse (I'm just a big softie), and they weren't showing then.
I wil prick them out into modules when they have their second leaves.

Friday, 10 January 2014

first photos for 2014

 Plenty of water about, but we don't complain, other places have had it much worse than us, and the raised beds seem to be doing their job.

 I cleared out the wet end a bit as it has gone from a weed dump to a rain pond again

There was some lovely squelching noises when I was digging it out.

 The tub of canes had fallen over again, so I am just leaving it till I can find a better solution to their storage.
The birds are still enjoying the apples, leaving ghost apples all over the garden. 
The winter onions are looking a bit spindly but they will pick up when the soil warms up.

I am pulling the biggest leeks as the winter wears on, it has been really good for leeks so far.

The Nero di Toscana are looking like a stand of palm trees

 And signs of spring!    Pink buds on the blackcurrant bush. (none yet on the red and white currants or goose berries)

 Buds on the apple trees, especially the ones in pots.  (Sorry about the blurriness, I haven't figured out how to do close-ups or if it is even possible with this camera)

 And even buds on the pear tree.  The buds are sort of rusty looking, I hope that isn't a bad sign, but there are plenty of them. (This photo is a good clear close-up, but I have no idea why)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

asparagus crowns

Just so I won't forget, the delivery is not due till April...I have ordered 10 asparagus crowns (guelph milennium) from DTBrown (£13.95 +pp=£18.90)
Also a huge bag of sunflower hearts (22.65 kg for £29.99, free pp), those pesky goldfinches are going through a feeder a day! Still..I love watching them and we don't have dogs or cats.

It has been an expensive half hour on the internet!

Aforementioned huge bag, very heavy...Came 2 days later, very prompt.