Get cracking!

I will probably blog a bit more frequently from here on in, there is more to tell you and if I left it to fortnightly it would end up as an essay! 

On a warm(ish) day last week, I decided now was the time to get cracking with the seed sowing and planting. It was a lovely sunny morning and for a change no cold wind, so I set about busying myself in the greenhouse sowing seeds.

First in at this time of year go the squash seeds, butternut squash, courgettes and this year some patty pan which are nice a sweet according to the packet. The sweet corn have also been planted along with broad beans, all of the trays have been covered with a plastic lid, not just to increase the temperature but because last year I lost a few trays to mice. You soon realise you have mice after waiting patiently for a couple of weeks for the shoots to appear and still nothing, on further investigation you find no sign of the seeds! While I was on a roll I did a bit of hoeing and then planted up the garlic, onion and shallot bulbs.  Straight lines have never been my strong point they are a bit wonky but that does not really matter unless you are growing a prize winning plot, the lines just make it easier to hoe inbetween without hitting the crops and damaging them. I did think I would just be able to push the bulbs into the ground but the soil was harder than I expected and so I used the dibber to make holes to drop the bulbs into. The skill here is not to make the holes too deep because if it rains the holes will hold water and the bulbs will rot away, always a risk at this time of the year. The next thing I do is cover the area in environmesh, this does two things, firstly it stops the birds tugging at the tips of the bulbs and uprooting them, and secondly the moisture that accumulates overnight is enough to keep the bulbs going without watering them for a while, again because if I water them in and then it rains they may get waterlogged. 

Since I wrote the first bit we have at last been blessed with a couple of sunny days 🙂 so I went all out, planted all the seed potatoes, rows of carrots, parsnip, beetroot and chicory. I also planted up the salad leaf box with spinach, watercress, lettuce leaves and spring onions as well as planting artichoke seeds, samphire and sugar snap peas, phew. Weeding as always played a bit part of the day and Hubby did a fine job on a couple of the beds, although I did have to convert him from hand weeding to hoeing otherwise it would not get finished before they started growing again. 

In the poly tunnel that have early veg I at last found the beginnings of a cauliflower, I was beginning to think I had only planted cabbages, the broad beans have flowers and the garlic is has good strong growth. We have reconnected the outside taps, I hope we have seen the last of any freezing weather or they will soon pop the pipes off and leak like they did at the end of the year when we forgot to disconnect them 😦

I saw the first Bee today quickly followed by a butterfly, not literally following the bee though lol, we have plenty of daffodils brightening up the place now as well as a few other early spring flowering plants, it’s looking a whole lot better than the drabness of Winter. 

I was very pleased to find a supplier for Quail, normally I would hatch them out  myself but I am down to only four hens which cannot lay enough eggs to fill an incubator in the time that they would be viable. We set off on Saturday morning and came back with thirty tiny little chicks just a week old, they may be small but they can eat for England! 

Our push on the egg front, due to the incredible number they were laying, resulted in record takings over a two week period, in fact it was so successful that we actually sold out of eggs and then had to play catch up, it’s all or nothing. Nothing is exactly what we have had from the geese so far, zilch, not one single egg, so either they are all male, I am not convinced of this or, well in all honesty, I have no idea why they would not be laying but if they do not start soon they will end up being diner which would be a grea shame. 

The weather forecast is good for the next couple of days and so I will be spending the time outside, I have some wire netting to put around the fruit cage and some weed cover to go on one of the permanent beds as well as more weeding, then there is the herb garden to tackle, it has been left to get a bit overgrown so that will be quite a project to bring it back into line. It’s good to be able to finally get outside without shivering though so I will make the most of it before it gets too hot for me 😉 

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