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A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF OUR PLOT
The month has started typical of April, wet but mild. I have planted out 12 summer cabbages, 'Earliest of All' and 6 cauliflower 'Tundra'. I can thoroughly recommend this variety of cauli having had consistently good results over several years, producing good large white heads. I shall be planting more later on to give a succession through out the summer.
On a very wet Saturday John has started to erect our new shed. After a thorough soaking it was unanimously agreed to 'abandon ship' and complete on a drier day.
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9th April and our shed is completed and fully operational
Very little work has been accomplished on the plot this first 2 weeks of April due to the bad weather. The cherry trees are just beginning to come into blossom and we still have a good display of Narcissus, a variety called Cheerfulness giving some welcome brightness to the dull days.
Easter week-end and the weather is being kind to us at last. The first bed of potatoes have been earthed up and well mulched with rotted compost. We now only have to await the first tastings of summer, with maybe some fresh mint and a knob of butter - mmm delicious.
As an experiment I covered my early cabbages and cauli' with fleece and I am very pleased at how well they have come on compared with one row left open to the elements which are only about half the size. I have made sowings of French Beans - Cropper Tepee, Carrots and Fennel. Gooseberries are well formed and the Strawberries are in flower showing signs of a good crop to come. The weeds are enjoying the warm spell also so I am keeping on top of the hoeing. I aim to hoe all vacant ground at least once a week.
May Day Bank Holiday week-end and the weather has been very kind to us. We have taken advantage of the ground being nice and moist and have continued to mulch well where ever possible. The onion sets in particular are large enough. I have also planted out the first of my Celeriac plants and mulched well between. The early carrots sown under fleece, failed to germinate, possibly due to the cold wet soil so I have re-sown. Weeds on the pathways have been treated with glysophate. Apple trees are in full blossom, fingers crossed we don't have late frost. I have continued to make sowings in the greenhouse of Baby Sweet Corn (Minimop),Dwarf Curly Kale, Sprouts, and Swede. Tomatoes have been potted on and Courgettes are nearly large enough to plant out in the next week or so.
Onion sets mulched and 'put to bed till harvest time'
Middle of May and the weather is against us again with gale force winds, heavy rain and in between hot humid days. I have taken a chance and planted out some tomatoes, keeping some in reserve should they not survive. Courgettes I have planted on a raised mound built with a good 2 bucket fulls of compost. This helps to keep the fruits off the ground and clean. Also Sweet corn, French Beans, Chard Bright Lights and further sowings of carrots, lettuce and Spring onion. On our latest plot the 2 thornless Blackberries planted last Autumn either side of the bench are a mass of flower and we have also planted 2 Williams Pears (pot grown) on this plot this month.
Week-end of the 20th May, I have harvested my first Strawberries, a variety called Marshmello, and the first Broad Beans, Acqudulce. I have also had a serious problem of Blossom Wilt on the Victoria Plum tree. I have removed most of the dead and brown blossom but I am reluctant to prune dead wood this time of the year. Remembering some advice I was given once 'if in doubt do nowt' so if anyone can help me with this problem please let me know. In the mean time I will continue with lots of TLC.
The last 10 days of May has been so wet with gales etc., it has been hard to finish planting but all beds are now full, the final plantings of Kale and Sprouts have been made and all are well mulched. Carrots are still proving to be a problem with lack of germination. I can only put it down to the weather. On our 4th plot, it is now fully planted up with perennials, bedding and a mixture of vegetables and fruit.
I still have leeks, fennel, swede and further sowing of peas to make as soon as space allows. We should be lifting potatoes mid-June.
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