‘Digging for Victory’ – Week 10 and 11

So Spring has come with the usual weather – warm and sunny one day – cloudy and cold the next – with rian showers here there and everywhere.

What does Mr Middleton say we should be doing now?

Firstly. Work on Sandy Soil. No Sandy soil here!! It is loamy with some clay – and is still wet and cold – I’ve done some digging where possible – but its not easy.

Second. Plant Early Potatoes. I’ve planted about 50+ of the Red Duke of Yorks that were last years crop. meant to be eaten, but they had other ideas in the mild Winter. These are a great spud – you grow them as Earlies – and then they can be left to become a Main Crop. Essentially, between mid June and October you can just dig as you eat, leaving them in the soil growing.

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As you can see, the spuds on the left – the broad beans in the netting and the onions to the right. The earth is still too cold for the beans to germinate – they have been there three weeks (I had a furtle to ensure there were still beans there – and our mouse community hadn’t been partying hard!!)

Thirdly. Plant out Cauliflowers, Onions and Cabbage. Well the Onions are out already!!!. I’ve got some Cabbage seedlings in the Poly – but no way is it warm enough for them to go out!!

I’ve also planted up some Sprouts and Purple Sprouting Broccoli (both preferred to Cabbage here)

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Fourth. Attend to Asparagus beds. The Asparagus is way ahead of where it should be this year – but as its only year two Asparagus I am letting it grow rather the eating it!!

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Fifth. Outdoor Tomatoes. Seed tomatoes that are gong to be grown outside. I think I possible need to do this – the ones I have grown for inside have germinated rather too well – so although still small – I wanted another variety as well, so I might need to grow some outside.

These are the tomatoes, Cucumbers and some Artichokes, slowly growing inside.

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For week 9 Mr Middleton would have us doing:

More digging!!!. Well its a dry day today before rain comes again so I am going to try and rotavate all the manure in. Sow herbs – well that’s been done – but that is Goswinks area so I don’t interfere, and finally stake cucumbers. As my Cucumbers are only 2 inches high I am not sure they need staking!!!

The thing I seem to be noticing in the last three months is Mr Middleton seems to be operating in warmer tenperatures then here – which surprises me with the mild Winter we have had. All his assumptions seem to be based on plants be further ahead then they are – for example:

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The Peas he said plant inside back in February have not grown – they have just rotted. I thought it was far too early to plant – and so it seems!!!

Still warmer weather coming. Forced Rhubarb to eat this weekend:

 

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These are trays of wildflower seed. We have tried before to encourage wild flowers in our Chicken/Allotment field – but the seeds ten to get swallowed up and don’t grow. Altenratively the advice is to cultivate the soil and plant the seed on open soil.

Well these fields are ex-pasture so cultivating just encourages more weeds so that would not work. So I came up with the idea of sowing the seeds in small trays – allowing them to grow to some maturity – then they will be transplanted as a whole into the fields, by cutting out a hole in the grass and replacing with this block of flowering earth. Then these blocks would become focal points for the wild flowers to spread out. We will see how it goes – they are already starting to germinate!!

 

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