Monday, 22 March 2010

Beware : Mother Nature

Welcome back everyone!

Just to let you all know we had an overnight low of 2c , which brought with it a very light ground frost.

We don't want too many of these !

Off to work now,


Sunday, 14 March 2010

First planting of the year!

Welcome back to Reads Retreat. Yesterday the weather forecast promised much but failed to deliver, the sky remained overcast and there was still a chill in the air. And as you all know, I'm still not feeling 100%. But, that doesn't stop the enthusiasm from welling up inside - there so much springing into life in the garden, and I so wanted to do "something" !. A quick trawl through my seed box, and i came across an open packet of Pea seed (v. Kelvedon Wonder) from last year, with about 30 seeds left inside. The bed pictured was home last year to our dwarf yellow french beans, which we were going to plant in the same place again this year, and maybe we still can if i can get the timing right, but we have gambled by planting these pea's now to try for an early crop - hopefully around May time? The bed has been covered in fleece; mainly to stop the cats from shitting in the bed, but also to help keep some heat in there to aid germination. Fingers crossed as always!

Our Asparagus bed has had a generous extra top layer added, mainly consisting of spent compost from last years grow bags / tomato pots, and the bed covered with a mesh frame. We're keeping everything croosed here ! As the plants settled in to their second winter, 8 out of the original 10 crowns we planted were still going well. Now it's just a case of wait and see if we get a crop this year. We should do, with crowns now being over 2 years old. I know its still early days in terms of an asparagus bed, as this should crop for 20 years or so if well looked after!
We'll keep you posted!¬ If you have any tips to help us along, please leave your comments.

The other beds in the garden are nearly all weeded now, and we're covering them as we go with weed prevention membrane. I'm a big fan of this material, it lets the moisture through, but stops light getting in and hence stops weed growth. Also, keeps the bloomin' cats at bay!

That's all for now. Hope you are all enjoying your gardens & plots - there's so much to do.

Finally, a Very Happy Mother's day to all concerned xxx

Take care all,


Saturday, 13 March 2010

Up with the lark !

Nature's alarm clock went off at 0545hrs today:

The birds are singing in the tree's!

What a great start to the day.


Monday, 8 March 2010

First signs of spring

Welcome Back to Reads Retreat, for a long overdue update! Regular readers of our Allotment Blog will be aware of the reasons (weather & health) that have curtailed any gardening activities. The latter is still an issue, but that doesn't stop the enthusiasm ! These daffs (pic) are in their second year now, and these lovely blooms were the first to show just last week. We have a bed in front of the house with about fifty bulbs in it. They're a lovely sight when all in bloom!

Elsewhere around the garden, we have a lot of small clumps of snowdrops in flower. Aren't they gorgeous!
Planning for the raised beds is well underway, not least the Asparagus bed . The crowns will be 2 years old this year and we are eagerly awaiting a crop to grace the dining table. We will also grow a load of cut and come again salad varieties, beetroot, onions, spring onions etc that we can harvest right when we need them.

We've also been given a half dozen trailing winter pansies, which have already been given new homes in baskets and tubs. It's nice to see a bit of greenery, and the prospect of colour too in a few weeks will bring the garden to life again.

Thats all for now, but hope you'll pop back soon for more updates.

Take care all and enjoy your gardening.