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 31, 2010

2 Long Hard Days on the plot - 26-27th May 2010

Day 1 - Wednesday 26th May 2010

Well, after finding ourselves behind with the plot (due to the poor weather this winter and the late frosts) we decided that we'd have a big push at getting it sorted on our days off this week, so we were up early and onto the plot at 8am!

We started with 4 brassica beds still to clear and plant up (and lots of seedlings ready to go out), the bean bed needing finishing (and planting up with the 42 bean plants we'd got growing) and the sweetcorn beds needing completely digging over and clearing ready for the 160 sweetcorn and 41 squash/pumpkin plants that were desperate to go out!

Lee started clearing the beds, whilst I watered, then as each bed was cleared, I rotovated it and prepped it for the brassicas, diggin out a small patch of earth to fill with lime, chicken manure and compost (to ensure the brassicas are safe from any chance of clubroot). Once this was done I laid down weed control fabric and cut holes to plant the seedlings through, 24 sprout plants, 26 broccolli and another 20 cabbages, the whole lot then being protected by debris netting draped over piping to keep the rabbits and cabbage white butterflies at bay!

As you can see, there were a few seedlings to plant out today, the brassicas are on the floor, and the beans in the boot of Lee's Panda!!

Once planted and protected, the brassicas seemed to be happy in the ground, safe and secure under the netting!

As you can see, there's still a bed and a half to plant up with the rest of the brassica seedlings, so hopefully they will be going in this coming week! We finished up having to dodge the showers all day, and the weather was unseasonably cold, so we decided only to do inspections on one of the apiaries (the one with 2 hives and a nuc in it), before we called it a day at 6pm, when we went home to a BBQ eith Pat and Colin (fortunately it cleared up just in time!)

Day 2 - Thursday 27th May 2010

The weather forecast for today was for improving conditions, with some sun and less of a chance of showers by lunchtime, so we got to the plot for 930am today, we had a Committee meeting to attend, which took us through to 12ish, then we started in earnest!

The 3 large overgrown beds to the left of plot 2 were our main target today, although we still had the french beans to get in and apiary 2 to inspect (4 hives and a nuc), we were determined to get them cleared, dug, rotovated and planted up with the 41 pumpkins/squash and 160 sweetcorn that were desperate to go in!

The 3 beds that we were putting these in were last years brassica beds, and hadnt been touched at all this year, so were full of weeds - at up to 18" high) and still very compacted from last year, so they all needed to be dug, then rotovated, not an easy task when they each measure 9' wide and over 20' long!
Doesnt look like much when its bunched together, but these plants need a large area, the pumpkin/squash provide good ground cover, suppressing the weeds, and the sweetcorn grow above them, giving 2 crops from one space!

In an epic feat of endurance Lee managed to dig all 3 beds (almost 600 square feet of ground - 1/3rd of the growing space on plot 2!), clearing 20 barrowfulls of weeds and filling 2 compost bins, virtually without a break (apart from when we did the inspection of the 4 hives and nuc in apiary 2), starting at 12ish and finishing at 8pm, when I commenced rotovating it and then planting it!

I managed to plant all 41 of the pumpkin/squashes, and 1 bed of the sweetcorn whilst Lee was planting the french beans out thru weed control fabric (in the bed I'd prepped for him), but at 1035pm we had to admit defeat and go home as it was by then too dark to continue planting!

I returned after work the next day and finished planting the sweetcorn and took these piccies!

The French Beans, safe from rabbits in their enclosure, and surrounded by peas!

The sweetcorn/squash/pumpkin beds, cleared, planted and growing well!

So, after a mammoth couple of days, we are now in a much better position, with only 6 small beds left to clear and plant up, plus a couple of already cleared beds ready for sowing into this week!
Hope you're growing year is off to a good start!

More updates to follow this week!

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