Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Main Crop Planting Begins

Sunday saw the main hub of our vegetables for 2008 enter their newly rotavated patch. I had some help for the day from my better half as there was so much to do. Before the planting began, I popped into the greenhouse to see how things were coming along. I found a new colony of snails that had taken a liking to my little Magnolia which is currently struggling to keep it's leaves! The Tomato plants had also taken a bit of a hammering along with the Morning Glory seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago. I found single seedling stems just left while all their leafy greenery had just been chomped into oblivion! ...I wasn't happy.

I am not one for killing any form of life, much to the ranting of my loved one "they're taking food out of our mouth's honey, for god sake put some slug pelletts down and be done with it!!!". I have been collecting garden sieve fulls of the little blighters from inside the greenhouse of late, being the most humane way, to my mind, but I'm sure they're finding they're way back across the garden to the warmth of the glass house once more. I have filled all possible ways in now with a special expanding foam ...at least I think I have found them all!

The first in the new patch were the potatoes. We are sure to have a plentiful supply this year with both varieties now in situe.
The Carrots were the next in, of the old fashioned purple kind and a mixed variety of organic white, yellow and traditional orange.
The Beetroot seeds I had were out of date so I went for a Crimson Globe version from Thompson and Morgan. I spaced them in the hope that they wouldn't need thinning later on but we shall see how they develop. Although the patch looks huge, my eyes were bigger than my tummy and I have sown many more seedlings than we have room for.
We will only be able to house 24 Cauliflower but have 46 growing happily away in the greenhouse! They need a few more weeks in the warm to establish themselves properly in order to stand up to the elements in the patch. The leeks are also doing well but are not quite big enough yet either, so I have left large gaps for things to go in at a later date.

I have no room in the patches this year for Butternut Squash, Pumpkin or Marrow, so I shall go for a walk around the farm with some seeds and scatter them here and there and see what happens. It makes for an interesting walk anyway!

I will also have to find another spot for my lettuces and the special little polytunnels that I found in Lidl. I would like to sport them somewhere in the garden but I shall have to put my thinking cap on for that one.
The Chickens helped to rake out the patch before the planting began. Dora and Minnie are right at home now on the farm, although a little skittish! Gary and Basil ended up having a face-off with both parties refusing to back down. I said to Gary to just walk away to which he was most annoyed! "I will never back down to a Chicken honey, you should know me better than that!". It all went quiet so I carried on pulling bits of tree root from the soil only to glance round and find him flicking soil over Basil with a garden rake! I had to separate them in the end and put one of them in the chicken pen!

It was the first really beautiful day of sunshine this year and we stopped for a lovely sandwich and beer lunch, sat on the log by the fishpond. The chickens found a liking for cheese as it dropped from our sandwiches into the grass and the odd grape seemed to go down well too.

Poodle came over for a bit and had a long drink out of the pond before settling down in a shady bit of grass next to the log. Her wheeziness is so much better in warmer weather and you wouldn't even know she had cat flu come mid-summer. She sounds like the bag pipes in the Winter but seems happy enough!

After the patch was filled to bursting point we retired to the greenhouse and drank Vodka and Orange juice whilst planting up a few more Courgette's, Lupin's, Foxglove's and Aubergine's. I became quite liberal with my sowing towards the end, convincing myself that we would find somewhere in the patch to plant everything! ...We now need another patch in retrospect with a clear head!

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