What a mind blowingly fantastic week!
Our daughter made her appearance on Monday 25th June at ten to midnight, which pretty much put paid to gardening this week. But don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have it any other way. Her beauty far outweighs the vocabulary in the english language - leaving me searching for superlatives with which to describe her. Despite her birthweight of 9 Pounds 6 ounces, both Mummy & Ruby Ann ( and of course Daddy too) are doing just fine. I was pushing too you know!
So this week folks, its just a short summary, although thanks to Mum ( Nana ! ) I did manage to get a few jobs completed:
The potato bed that was planted with First & Second Earlies has now been cleared. All spuds were harvested, dried, and are now stored in a cool dark place.Not quite sure how long they will survive as we are devouring them at quite a rate.
The bed was dug over with a trowel after our harvest, then raked to a fine tilth. Next was a fresh covering of mulch cloth to hold in the moisture and also to block out the light. This will keep any weed growth at bay while fresh planting takes place. The first planting was 4 rows ( left to right ) of Peas (v. Kelvedon Wonder) which should provide us with a further late crop of fresh tasty peas, hopefully about mid august?. This planting followed the news that approx 30% of the UK Pea crops have been wiped out due to flooding / persistent heavy rain in farmers fields. This is the advantage of growing in Raised Beds - having thoroughly prepared the ground before constructing the beds, I know that I have good soil structure as well as good drainage. Bring on the rain - I think I can cope!
This will be my next crop to join the peas! Mum sowed these Curly Kale seeds a few weeks ago, and I plan to pot them on until they are a bit bigger, then plant them out in a couple of weeks time. This should give us a nice crop of leafy greens for the coming cooler months.
I'm also planning to sow some Savoy Cabbage ( if I can find a decent supplier ) in the remaining space in the bed.
These are 3 crops that are ideal for planting following a potato harvest, and should do well in this soil.
I'm looking forward to some good results here - fingers crossed eh!
This bed will be the next to take some attention.
The Garlic and the Shallot's are both about ready for harvesting, But I'm going to need to warmer / drier weather to dry the crops out before storing. The bulbs of both sets are a good size, and the weight of the foliage is pulling them over.
If they spend too much longer in situ, they will surely be ruined.
Also, following their harvest, a lot more light and air will be able to reach the row of carrots that have been smothered beneath.
The foliage in the bed to the left is my short row of maincrop spuds ( v.King Edward), which are growing at a tremendous rate.
In hindsight, this bed was way too small for such a crop, so any pots harvested from here will be a bonus, as are the flowers in Purple and white which adorn the lush green foliage.You can just make out my Rhubarb (v. Timperley Early ) by the fence. Growth here too is fast. Crumble and custard will soon be on the menu!
My tomato plants are going great guns too. I've got 6 sturdy plants outside (v. Moneymaker) already bearing fruit, as well as 8 Sturdy plants (v. Gardeners Delight) in pots in the conservatory.
Ironic then really, that closer inspection of my planters on the patio should reveal a couple of self seeded plants of unknown variety springing up amongst the flowers! Beware then in future when composting - as these plants are from my home made compost !
Just when you think there will be no more surprises...... I had found a few leaves of a wild (?) passion flower late last summer, which i simply trailed up a fence and forgot about. Imagine my delight when I discovered a couple of days ago, that there a loads of fruits adorning the plant. I believe they're edible, but will need some advice on when to harvest etc. I'm sure one of my readers will know, so please get in touch.
That's about it really.
I hope you've enjoyed this short update.
I'm off now to try and squeeze in some shut eye before the next feed! I hope you all have a good week, and if I get time, I'll post some more info during the week. I'm also hoping to get my new email up and running to make contacting me a bit easier.