Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Getting up to date again!

Well! What a busy month April was! Unseasonably warm, glorious sunshine and very little rain, unusual for Manchester to say the least! We managed to get some piccies during the last week of April, but even now they are far behind where our crops are now, I'll get some more taken and posted very soon!

We spent most of the month weeding, watering and during the last week of April (when I was on holiday and Mr D was recovering from a hospital stay) planting out a large amount of the plants we'd germinated indoors and that have been growing on the bedroom windowsills for the past 4 to 12 weeks! As you can see in this general view of the plot our overwintering garlic (bottom right of the piccy) is growing really well, as are most of our overwintering onion sets (tho a few had started to go to seed, probably due to the dry conditions!) Also visible here is the brassica netting and its supports (canes with bottles / cans / plastic cups on top), one of the Jerusalem Fartichoke beds (infront of the pond and wooden compost bins behind the garlic) and the pea / bean supports!

This piccy shows our newly planted up greenhouse, 8 tomato plants (of 8 dif varieties), 12 chilli plants (of 11 varieties), 6 pepper plants (3 varieties), 4 aubergines (2 varieties) and a cucumber! The largest of the chilli plants are Naga Jolokias at about 4' tall, and are even now producing ripe chillies at about 4" long! We've used a string suspension system to support the tomato plants, which seem to be doing really well! (Tho the toms we have in the cheap plastic greenhouse in the back yard are already heavy with trusses of small unripe fruit, methinks we will soon be munching on fresh toms! Mmm!)

This piccy shows the inverted pea supports, the idea being that the pods hang to the outside, to allow easy picking of crops, whereas more 'normal' pea supports the pods hang to the inside! Whether it works or not is another thing that we will only know after this first growing season!

Empty pop cans make good cane toppers - to prevent you poking an eye out on them! Its good to reuse and recycle!

Behind the cold frame you can see the raspberries on the fedge, greening up nicely, hopefully a good crop of raspberries for our first year! We've also lots of flowers on the plot1 strawberries, aswell as lots on the hundred or so strawbs we moved out of plot2 and put into 2 hanging baskets and 3 oil drums that we'd cut into planters! (I'll post a piccy of them soon!)

This piccy shows the cucumber ramp, an idea mentioned upon the GYO Grapevine (see the links for a link), the idea being the cucumbers grow up the frame, the fruit hangs inside and the shaded area is good for growing lettuce is, and as it's netted its safer for the lettuces from the pigeons!
You can also see the first of our broad beans in a row along the path inbetween the greenhouse and the pea supports, and in the bottom corner the brassica netting!
This week we have been planting out lots of sweetcorn, pumpkin and squashes, french beans, peas and much more besides!
Further updates to follow soon, along with some more up to date piccies of where we are now, 2 weeks further on in mid May!!

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