Argh no time no time, things need to go in, weeds need to come out… but at least some of the early summer crops are coming along well & now ready to harvest! Broad beans, climbing French beans and outdoor chard are joining the herbs such as dill (pictured), parsley, basil and savoury; salad bags and beetroot bunches from the tunnels; and courgettes should be ready next week after this lovely rain, hurrah!
The good thing (actually, one of the many good things of course) about early spring is that those winter crops that were pretty much picked out have magically put on another flush of growth, just when you took your eye off them for a few weeks. Those mustards, lettuces and claytonia mixes in the tunnels have suddenly sprouted a whole new flush of fresh leaves; and the kales out in the field are also growing on again strongly. On a sunny still early March day, they whisper promises of further bountiful veg to come from their just-sown relatives, in summer and autumn: brilliant!
Cor, so -5.7C in the polytunnel last night suggests that my prediction of this winter being harsher is coming true already! The start of November saw some lovely sunny days, with the yarrow flowering (and latest generation of ladybird larvae devouring the late aphids), and nasturtiums still producing tons of flowers and leaves – right until the first prooer frost a fortnight ago. The warmer spell last week kept things going too; although the terrible rain from Storm Angus and then another heavy rain system the following couple of days flooded the fields and tunnels a bit. Fortunately the soil drains pretty well when given a chance, so the frost last night (and again tonight) could have been a lot worse.
We’ve just about picked out the turnips and beetroot (the frosts may have claimed the last few in the fields), and we also managed to dig up a surprising numnber of white and red artichokes, considering they have just been left to their own devices from any remaining roots last year. The last of the carrots have gone now too, and we’ve made a dent in the parsnips; although they can stay in the ground until we want to pick a sack’s worth or two – we’ll wait for more sunny frost-free days for that!