Saturday, 31 May 2008


So the rain's finally arrived, it's been persisting it down here on and off for much of the week, which can only be a good thing.

I've been cracking on with sowing - maincrop carrots, spring onions, sweet rocket; and planting out - winter cabbage and cauliflowers.

In clover

My mate Arthur needs some space for his courgettes and is threatening to dig in my clover if I mow it, so that's what I've done. How thrilled are you about that? Not as thrilled as me I'll bet.


I thinned the strawbs out back in April, getting rid of the oldest plants. They're filling out nicely now so I've put some straw round to protect the fruit.

Early carrots

These are growing away nicely now:


The bloody bastard pigeons have been having a go at my brassicas so I've had to resort to netting, which I hate faffing about with but needs must.

Sweet Rocket

I've sown some sweet rocket (Hesperis "Matronalis") today. It's a biennial so won't flower till next year but should be worth waiting for.

Saturday, 24 May 2008


Wind is the grower's worst enemy I reckon, worse still than too much heat or cold. It drives the moisture out of the air and leaves all living things feeling battered and hard done by, me included. Just what we didn't need after a month of dryness. It's only nature I suppose, no point whinging about it, but I will anyway. Hopefully it's bringing some rain although I'm not holding my breath.

In between whinging I've been planting out today: sprouts, brocolli, cosmos, lettuce and sunflowers.

Green manure

I sowed some clover last year which is doing well, although I had to resow some gaps, then at the end of April this year I sowed some phacaelia:

I'm leaving the self-sown poppies in, they're not doing any harm, will add a bit of colour, and I can sell the opium to the Taliban.


The row of spinach I sowed at the beginning of May is up.

Lettuce and salad leaves

I've planted out a few lettuce (Red Salad Bowl) near my back door at home and put the pot of salad leaves with some friends:


I've planted these out today. They'll add a bit of colour to the place come late summer and hopefully provide lots of blooms for cutting.


I sowed these mid-April and potted them on and moved them to the cold frame mid-May when they were this big:

Now that they are this big...

...I've planted them out, together with the Romenesco brocolli:

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Still no rain

No rain for about three weeks now, save for a bit of drizzle yesterday, hardly enough to settle the dust. Those pesky southerners have been having a deluge, maybe because they pay more poll tax. Or maybe not. I've been watering the carrot and spinach seedlings but I'm trying to force everything else to send down roots and fend for themselves because if I once start there'll be no end to it.

Been getting plenty done today: sown the maincrop peas, french beans, leeks, brocolli; potted on winter cabbages, cauliflower, carnations and basil.

I've finished up the the last of leeks and am slowly eating my way through the spring cabbage; I've finished the thinnings and am into the heads now. There's a joke in there somewhere if I could be bothered to work it out, which I can't.


The potatoes are all showing nicely now so I've earthed them up:


The early peas I sowed in the middle of April need some support now so I've put up some canes and the first string for them to reach for and cling to:

Germination was a bit patchy with these, probably because the seed should have been used by last year. That should teach me not to be so tight and buy new seed, but it probably wont.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Pottering About

Mostly in the potting shed today, pricking out and potting on, as you do. Tomatoes, sprouts, broccoli, flowers. Because of the absurdly hot weather (thank you global bloody capitalists, yes I blame you) I've been moving most things straight out into the cold frames:


Now that the tomatoes are this big...

...they're ready to go into 15cm bottomless pots:

When they've filled these I'll plant them in growbags.

Sweet Peas

I sow my sweet peas quite late, in the middle of March, so that I can get them in the ground once the soil has started warming up and the roots can go straight down rather than going round and round in their pots.

I sow them in the greenhouse, three seeds to a 9cm pot, then get them out into the cold frame as soon as they've germinated. By the middle of April they were looking like this:

I planted them out at the end of April:

I pinch the tops out so they send out strong new shoots so by today they were looking like this:

Now all I've got to do is put up some support for them to climb up; it's up to them to get on with growing and make lots of nice flowers for me.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Nothing to do with the plot but...

Whatever. I've been out in the countryside this afternoon just enjoying the springy springyness of it all. So I just thought I'd share that.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Another nice spring day

Another nice day out on the plot. Plenty to do - I've sowed a row of spinach, planted out some cabbages and prepared a bit more ground for sowing and planting. The place is starting to look a bit more like.


I've planted out the first cabbage patch today. I sowed these (Greyhound) in the greenhouse at the end of March, and moved them out into the coldframe for hardening off a week ago when they were this size:

Today I've planted them out, firming them in well and watering them in:

Then surrounded each plant with some lime, which they'll like, and which should also keep the slugs and snails away:

Then just to finish things off I hung up a few decorations:

Broad beans

I sowed these as a bit of an afterthought back in January but they've come through:

Onions 2

The onion sets are getting established now so I've taken off the netting and given them a hoe round: