Monday April 24th
A fine evening after a so-so day, so podded up to see what I could do. Decided to tidy up the bed by the shed, which will be broccoli, since the summer sprouting is currently on the verge of being ready to plant. Put the broom handles in the shed and the carpet on the old manure heap at the bottom, which is currently growing fat hen like a lawn. Cut another spring cabbage that looked rather pale - and ended up giving it to Maggie since I still have the last of the last one at home. Planted up another punnet of sad-looking sturon onions - mostly in with the overwintering Electric red onions. Only a few of those are looking in any way decent, so I might as well add a few others where the old set had shrivelled. It was a tough winter for overwintering plants. Garlic however seems to have relished the cold - it´s way over a foot high and looks really rather nice.
Had another go at the rock face part of Plot 1 - loosened a lot more stones. I now need to go back and sieve them out. Cleared up more rubbish - I can´t believe I managed to miss a load of metal pipes (!). Now they are in a bucket in the car, ready to get dropped off at the recycle as I go past. Shifted some path carpet about, and realised too late that the Stanley knife´s at home. Next time!
Typically, the slugs have already eaten some of the lettuce seedlings. Buried the smaller beer traps and went hunting for the flat beer. Found an old drinks bottle with something brown in, sniffed it and wished I hadn´t! It was the comfrey liquid. POO! Furtled about and found the (identical) one with the beer in, so now the traps are baited. It´ll probably rain now.
Found another thistle sprouting in the flower bed, so it got the same treatment as the previous one (which is now dying). Hoed a lot of the topped-up beds, as they are growing lots of weeds. Finally decided to photograph a few things and discovered I´d left the digicam at work. Hey ho.
Plum is out, cherry coming out and greengage is flowering but losing a lot of the flowers for some reason. All of them are white and very pretty. The gooseberries are humming with bumble bees and the redcurrant Jonkheer van Tets is flowering too. Not too far off the main blackcurrants, and then the last currant to open (the Red Start redcurrant). The apples are poised to open - have a horrible feeling I´m going to miss them by being away, but that can´t be helped. And my red tulips are opening. And the Autumn King carrots are off already - it´ s barely been a week since they were sown!
Plan for this weekend: the tricky sowings.
Have to work out whether it´s best to chit and plant up, like I did last year, after I get back, or sow direct now and hope. Left to sow:
Sweetcorn `Lark´ F1 tendersweet
Sweetcorn `Minipop´ F1 minicorn
French Beans `Safari´ filet-type Kenyan beans
French Beans `Berggold´ yellow ones
Runner Beans `Enorma´ as usual
Pea beans (Heritage beans)
Soya beans `Ustie´ which definitely need chitting!