Monday, 20 February 2017

First whole weekend outdoors

What a beautiful weekend we had here in North East England.  It was glorious for a Winter's day in February.  It's due to turn cold by the end of the week again, so I'll be sure not to get caught out.
After the usual daily/weekend jobs I started as I meant to go on and got the peas moved to the poltyunnel as they are looking nice and strong and rather big in their modules.  I know we risk losing them, but I am sowing every couple of weeks so that I can mark off which sowing date was best for me. 
I moved the strawberries that were in little pots, taken from runners, to the polytunnel too, for an extra early lot.
I also got a bin of carrots sown.  I have another bin I will put some more in but I want to add sand to that one to compare.  On the below photo, I put the bubble wrap over the top to help germination.
Strawberries planted from 2016 finished plant runners
 Once I'd finished with the polytunnel, I took a stroll into the veg plot.  The garlic is growing very well, but something has had the first few cloves away.  This line went all the way down to the bottom of the bed before.
 

I then dug a bean trench and filled it with the compost bin's contents.  I intend to dig another bean trench to the right of this one, leaving a gap, and filling that one with rotted muck.  That one will be for French climbing beans.  I'm using muck as I've no more compost from the veg peeling composter.
It was a day of pondering as I worked.  I have the area where the rescue hens lived in 2016 before the lockdown.  I think I would like to bring this area back to life as a flower garden/mini orchard.  There's already lots of things in there at the back of the grassed area.  Last year, I was adamant that anything that didn't provide food was to go.  However I've since learnt the importance of flowers, bees and pollination plus beneficial insects (not to mention the decline of the bee population).

 This is the area I was thinking about putting a few fruit trees, maybe an apple off Kev, a pear (already got) and almond?  I need to find out more about the fruit trees.  The space is quite big so I was thinking maybe I could make a bed for my berries and bushes that like ericaceous soil if I don't put fruit trees in.  We do have 3 apple trees already, would 4 be too many?  Should I get another pear (the one I have is conference, self pollinating).  Decisions....


Whilst pondering this, I remembered I needed to cover another area of the plot that was all weeds last year with membrane, to hopefully eradicate them.  This is it:

Looking up and over the fence, I then started pondering something else...so I walked out to the front of the house and took a photo of what's there.  I could tidy up around the bridle path sign and plant some wild hedging here, like Tricia suggested.



I have a wall that runs along the front of the house which is very long and south facing.  Now I don't want anything high, as it'd stop the view from the rooms, but maybe I could grow peas, mini sunflowers or such like along the wall?



Whilst I was pondering, Ste was actually working.  He made a new feeder for the growers.  Their normal feeder is insider this bucket and they have to put their heads in the holes to get to it.  It stops them wasting it all as this bunch are terrible for that.  These guys will be back out soon hopefully.  The ban for my postcode is being lifted shortly.
He also lined the last bed with membrane and we set about filling it with muck, so that's now done.  I just need topsoil for them all now, which I am ordering at the end of the month.

I saw my first dandelion emerging on Sunday which is telling me things are starting to grow and I need to start the weekly weed if I have any chance of survival this year.

 There wasn't just me having fun in the veg plot.  Grace knows how to dig up the leeks.
Jack helped out too with the last of the sprouts.

 Steven did the man thing and had a fire!  Incidentally the weed bed I mentioned is behind this fire bin, pre cover up.
As I left the plot for the afternoon, I couldn't help but look back and get that giddy feeling that all gardeners so as the season starts. 

As always, comments, questions and advice are welcome.  We're very much learning as we go, jumping in both feet first.


7 comments:

  1. Ok, how many carrots are you growing in containers, I thought about doing that. Sorry about your garlic and well done on the trench digging! Love the idea of an ericaceous bed - may nick that idea! Love seeing lots of photos around the house and land. All very exciting and good the kids were giving a hand, too. Reg Ste I shall say one thing- mh, man, fire!!!not sure if that translated as I imagined it! Always fab to look back on some jobs well done.

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    1. Well! My carrot seeds need to be used up this year so I basically sprinkled them on the surface, so loads is the answer. When they germinate (if?) I will thin them out. I'm happy to grow baby carrots in here as I am going to get a new packet to grow outdoors.
      Lol I know exactly how you said it haha.
      Yes, the more memories, the better :) I love that side of blogging. x

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  2. You're in for a very busy year I think! x

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  3. Its all looking good, I should think your peas will be fine, if we get a cold snap just throw some fleece or newspaper over the top, I dont think you can have too many apple trees, what you dont eat the animals will.

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    1. In that case, case closed! More trees :) I think a couple of apple and a couple of pear would be perfect. The cold is coming Thursday so I must be sure to cover them up then, thanks Dawn.

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  4. Wow you are doing so well, you should really be proud of yourselves. I haven't read you blog for a few months as I have been so busy and it is amazing the transformation!

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