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.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Update + piccies from 8th July 2008!

Well, what with the weather (yucky isnt it? We were at the plot for 8 hours last wednesday, got soaked, cold n muddy, plus about half of what we wanted to get done finished as the soil is just too wet to work!), being mad at work (back from hols and straight into our stocktake prep for next week - stresssssfull!) and trying to keep the plot weed free for the judging (no-one has seen them yet, so we're not sure if they've yet been, so need to keep it immaculate for a while yet!), I've not had a chance to process the latest piccies and post them, so thinking that I'm better late than never, here you go! As you may be able to see, the grapevine is doing really well, tho without some decent sunshine I'm not sure that we'll get any decent grapes this year, but with some serious pruning and perhaps the addition of a gazebo type roofed structure in front of the shed, it may improve our chances next year!

Looking from the front of plot 1, the courgettes (front 2 beds) are now getting into their stride, we're taking at least 1 courgette per plant per day or two, and with current prices, this is darn good value - plus of course very tasty, organic and fresh! Beyond the courgettes is the first 2 sisters bed, which is growing away nicely! The sweetcorn isnt as far on as it was this time last year, but the Mars Pumpkins are going really well!
Beyond the 2 sisters bed we've the late sowing of carrots, now nicely germinated - must get this netted to stop the pesky wabbits from munching them! The next bed back is the main pumpkin / squash bed, and seems to be doing well! Beyond that bed is the victorian purple podded peas, borlotti beans and carlin peas, with the brqassica bed beyond! In the right hand beds from the back forwards is the walk in plastic greenhouse, another 2 sister bed, a bed of leeks ( doing really well already), another 2 sister bed, 2 beds of onions from seed and a bed of celery (not seen in this piccy), then the greenhouse and the beds in front of that! (see next piccy!)

In front of the greenhouse, and as you can see, the celery is going great guns, the outdoor toms are ok, and the jack be little pumpkins are really doing well!

Of particular note (in other words, I got a nice piccy of it so I'm gonna post it - so there!:p) is the 2 sisters bed, which seems to be doing really well!

The brassica bed at the back is also growing nicely, the cardboard mulch doesnt seem to be causing any problems, and is definitely keeping the bed weed free! Methinks we'll be using this technique more next year! PS if you need some cardboard boxes to fit the beds, then try your local Halfords, the boxes that cycles are delivered in are absolutely ideal for this!

Finally for plot 1 a view from the bottom, not looking too bad!

Plot 2 on the other hand.....................
is definitely a bit more of a work in progress!! The weeds seem to be a bigger problem on this plot, and although we've been working hard on weeding them, the wet weather means they are germinating and growing at an incredible rate, just a bit too quick for us to keep up with! Definitely a case of using a cardboard mulch on this plot next year methinks!

The pea n bean bed! It took me 3 hours to hand weed the 2 supports of runners and one of peas, but the good news is that they are doing well, with lots of flowers and a few small pods now forming, can't wait to be munching them! The late sown broad beans are covered in flowers, whereas the overwintering ones are just about finished, and the french beans are also doing really well, should be eating french beans very soon now!

The overwintering onions and garlic have now been harvested, and the bed they were in has had an extra path put up the middle, so it now allows us to adopt no dig methods and be able to reach all areas without stepping on it! Our plans for these 2 beds are to muck them, mulch with cardboard, then plant our last sowing of red cabbages and some chard and pak choi in one bed, and overwintering spring cabbages plus chinese cabbages in the other - all to be protected with netting! I'm hoping to get these beds sorted in the next week or so, plus weed the paths and bark them up to keep the weeds down a bit more!

Finally, a piccy of our maincrop rooster spuds on the half plot that we are giving up! We harvested about 70lb of first earlies from this plot this week, splitting the harvest with the new plotholder, and still have spring sown onion sets, second earlies plus 2 beds of maincrop spuds to harvest from here, all of which are looking good and will be split with the new plotholder, Pete!

So, harvesting wise, this past week we've had 35lb spuds (first earlies, 2 beds, 20 plants per bed, which is only about half the total harvest from the 2 beds, the other half went to the plot holder who's taking on the half plot we harvested the first earlies from), 7 more courgettes, 3lb more rasps, 2lb more strawbs, another 2lb mange tout, 18 beetroot, 12 baby carrots, a cabbage, about 8 portions of broccolli, 2 caulis, 95 overwintering onions (biggest at about 2lb each), another 2lb of broad beans, 2 lettuces, a cucumber and lots of radishes!

That means our total harvests for this year are now.....
2 batches overwintered garlic (97 bulbs) =50 pounds sterling approx
Rasps 7lb =12 pounds sterling approx
Strawbs 5lb =10 pounds sterling approx
Courgettes x 15 =8 pounds sterling
Rhubarb 20lb = 40 pounds sterling
Cucumber 3 = 2 pounds
Chillies / peppers = 3 pounds
Spuds 40lb = 20 pounds
Onions = 35 pounds
Radish = 5 pounds
Mange Tout 5lb = 10 pounds
Broad Beans 5lb = 5 pounds
Lettuce x 6 = 4 pounds
Broccolli = 5 pounds
Cabbage = 3 pounds
Caulis = 2 pounds
Carrots = 3 pounds

Total Harvest so far 2008 252 pounds sterling!

Costs for this year are currently still at 200 pounds, so we're already in a profit situation, and with getting our seeds for next year in Wyevales half price seed sale (we spent 26 pound and got 52 pounds worth of seeds, only onion sets, overwintering garlic, seed spuds and a few seeds that we werent able to get from Wyevales to buy for next year!), next years costs should also be good!

Well, thats all for now, hope your growing year is going well! I'm hoping to get some more piccies today and may even manage to post them later, so please check back and see whats grown!

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