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.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The invalid is recovering, the weather is hot and the plants are growing!

Apologies for the lack of recent updates, but trying to stay on top of the 2 plots, up to date with bee inspections and look after Lee is hard going! Lee's ankle is slowly improving, its still badly bruised, and painful, but at least hes able to do without the crutches most of the time now!

So, as you can see from the piccies, our days off this week dawned hot and sunny, so we were early to the plot, to tackle the weeds that the recent rain had germinated! We also needed to cut back the comfrey from the middle of plot 2, as its started to fall over now, so a haircut (and pop the cuttings into a sealed barrel to rot down to make comfrey tea - a great if foul smelling tomato feed)

Plot 1 had 3 beds at the front that needed sorting out, the big onion bed behind the hothouse to sort and a fair bit of weeding all over!

I started by weeding the autumn sown onion sets, when I started you could hardly see the onions, but now they are nice n clear (if a bit floppy)! As you can see behind, the lettuce, radish and greenhouse are all doing well!

Another task that needed to be done was to plant out our first batch of leeks, only 110 of them (perhaps I went a bit overboard with the seeds! lol!)

Next was the sweetcorn squash beds to hoe, lots of small weed seedlings popping their heads up, with some timely hoeing it should be able to keep them under control!

Next jobs were 2 of the 3 beds at the front of plot 1, as you can see here, the first of them has now got poppies and foxgloves planted in it! The bed closest the camera is the second courgette bed, which now also has 5 red salad bowl lettuce in it!

The other larger bed was where we out the lavender we got cheap last year, and also contained 'volunteer' garlic, 4 bulbs that we missed last year (and grew this year!) Its now cleared and the lavender has had a nice haircut, with 3 more courgette and some 'volunteer' celery planted behind it!

The garlic/onion bed in the middle of the plots is also filled with 'volunteer' crops, this time foxgloves, poppies and spuds, the foxgloves and poppy were carefully moved today, the spuds we harvested a couple of plants, which have given us enough new spuds for tea tonight!

We seem to have more volunteer crops that we've ever had before, not sure why, but the photo below shows the 'volunteer' garlic, a welcome bonus crop!

We've also begun harvesting the first strawbs, raddish and lettuce, all of which are tasty, but nothing compares with the taste of fresh strawbs from the plot! (Especially if they are eaten on the top of a scone with jam and clotted cream on it!)

Other crops that are growing well............ the first sowing of cabbages is looking great under its protective netting! We've got a lot of brassicas growing, 60+ cabbages, 60+ broccolli, 27 sprouts and a few caulies, hopefully this year we'll be able to preserve some by making our own sauerkraut and pickled cabbage!

Yup, brassicas a plenty growing away nicely!

The spuds are growing well too, there's been a couple of blight alerts, with full 'Smiths' periods recently, but (fingers crossed) so far we've been lucky, lets hope that this year the blight gives us a miss! Beyond the spuds you can also see the broad beans (2nd sowing) and the peas, both of which are doing well!

The french beans inside their protective cage, surrounded by peas, all of which seem to be doing really well!

As can be seen here, Lee has had to take it easy with his poorly ankle, sitting with it raised whenever it gives him grief! Hopefully it wont be too long until hes back to full fitness!

I managed to catch this piccy of one of our bees at the watering station we set up for them at the front of plot 1, the bees are doing well, 7 hives all producing brood and a couple already have 3 supers of uncapped honey! Hopefully we'll be able to take some to extract in the next week or so!

Hope your plots are growing well, the weeds arent proving to be too much of a problem and the harvests are starting!

More updates soon, we're on holiday in a weeks time, so should be able to get the plot all spick n span for the judging, and Ill share some piccies of what we've been up to then!

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