Saturday, May 26, 2018

05 Jun

Can it be too hot???

The first task of the half-term was crop protection and, after a couple of days grafting, I now have a lamb and chicken proof veg patch and tunnel. This is after a horrible day when both had made their way onto the beds, the chickens busy uprooting my newly planted leeks and the lambs eating my newly formed broad bean pods – interestingly on their brief excursion into the tunnel they were very selective in their grazing – the broad beans – and tops off the sweetcorn and gazinias – it was such a relief to have handy replacements of the corn at the ready – having moaned last week about having too many plugs, this week it was my saviour!

The theme for the past two weeks has been watering, watering and more watering. Top of my Christmas list for this year is an irrigation system for the tunnel. My obliging odd job man has rigged up a hose pipe, but it still requires an operator and in the past few weeks, one day missed and everything is frazzeled. It was pushing 40 degrees in the tunnel last week and without the doors open at both ends, everything began to wilt in the heat, including me. It is not the place to keep plants in pots in hot weather, so I have had a flurry of planting, and now that the magic May is ‘out’, I hope I can confidently allow the more tender plants to brave the elements. I am pleased to say that everything I have planted out so far looks preety healthy. My tomatoes are romping away in the tunnel and I have put sweetcorn, french beans and some broccoli in there too. Outside I have put the leeks, runner beans, sweet peas and again broccoli, sweetcorn and cauliflower. It is so satisfying to finally plant out the plugs that I have nurtured.

I am pleased to have found a great source of manure – trade off with the girl who keeps her ponies in the paddock foc – and have given everything a really good feed.

In terms of food for the table, it is still lettuce, lettuce and more lettuce. I have been better with my succession planting this year and now have some webbs wonderful and lollo rosso (seeds from garden direct) planted out ready to take over when the first batch is finished. All in all a great two weeks of gardening!


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