Ready To Grow

IMG_20160321_114041Yes, despite the friggin endless wind and still rather chilly evenings, spring definitely feels like it’s arrived on the farm now: the first clue is the perennial herbs that are starting to put leaf on again, or appear from underground in the case of the lovage, sorrel and chives. That means that the soil temperatures are warming up sufficiently for plants to think that it’s spring – so I’m convinced too. In the polytunnels the ground has warmed up more quickly and stays warmer at night too; the drilled carrots have germinated in the battered Vole tunnel (just waiting for a less windy day to take off the ripped plastic and reskin it – if you’re interested in coming along to help out in return for lunch, please let me know and drop me an email!).

IMG_20160407_163003I’ve also been transplanting some spring onions, lettuce, peas and spinach sown in February, and drilled a couple more small rows of beetroot in the Baby Elephant tunnel, just to keep us going till the maincrop can be drilled outside in the field once the ground is prepared. A few weeks ago I also planted some redcurrant, blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes (10 of each I think), next to a strip of globe artichokes and few older redcurrant bushes I put in a couple of years ago.

IMG_20160321_114819I keep forgetting about this little strip (it’s behind the Vole polytunnel), and the birds take off all the redcurrants before I remember about it in time to net it; so hopefully having a more substantial fruit patch will encourage me to check it more regularly, and get a decent crop off it in a couple of years too. I dug a few strips over, then covered with Mypex and/or mulched with woodchip to help keep the weeds down; there are also a few rhubarb plants there which get munched by rabbits, so I’ve mulched and fleeced that for the time being to see if it helps.

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Growing Growing Growing

IMG_20150709_154246 IMG_20150710_152655Yep, things are growing growing growing over here at the moment. So much so that there is an endless list of jobs to do: mostly weeding (I HATE BLOODY THISTLES), but also successive sowings and plantings of kales, lettuces, salads, rocket, herbs… the carrots in the tunnel have just come to an end, they did pretty well this year; the rows I half-heartedly drilled outside have pretty much all been munched (serve me right for not covering with a net) and thoroughly overgrown by weeds, so I’m going to cut my losses and just mow off, & either try something else there, or keep mowing and/or cultivating as a kind of green manure/bastard fallow. The squash, courgettes, lettuces, chard, brassicas (under nets because of rabbits/pigeons/cabbage white butterflies) and leeks all look great so far though, so huzzah for them! Also loving the soil in the new field – and distinct lack of creeping thistles there. So back to work then…