Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Monday 7th March 2011 - weather: glorious spring day

Firstly, an apology. I have been very lax at updating the blog of late, but spring is just the busiest of times...well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

I have been to the plot several times for long bouts of digging, weeding and more digging. The strawberry bed is weed free and orderly - now I have to 'acquire' some tube piping to create a tunnel to keep the birds and darn deer from scoffing the fruits before we do. The spinach didn't mind the winter freeze and is growing away quickly now the days are warmer. It will quite probably bolt by May, but I will get a good few harvests from it before it goes over. The chard on the other hand suffered before we really got a good meal from it. There are 3 tiny plants still struggling, but the big meaty ones are all gone. The onions and garlic are growing really well, again, they didn't seem to mind the cold winter. In fact, it should have encouraged the garlic to split into lots of juicy cloves. The sorrel is growing well. Boy is it lemony. I really should use it more in salads and when cooking fish, I forget how zesty it is. Also, the bubby is growing like crazy. It is always a joy to see those red and pink leaves breaking free. I reakon I will be pulling my first few stems next week for a small pudding.

I still have turnips and a few parsnips in the ground, but I can't imagine they will be any good by now. I will have to get them all up next visit and cut them open to see if they have gone woody. I suppose the guinea pig (only one piggy now as we lost one over the winter) will enjoy them. I also have an array of greens still in the ground, but they all need to come out now. I did harvest a trug full of mixed kale which I will enjoy stir fried. I loves me greens. The brocolli plants still look so handsome so I might leave them in a bit longer until I need the space, just in case they suddenly get the urge to produce flowers. The daffs are all up and have lovely plump yellow buds just waiting for a few more sunny days before they burst open.

The great news is, no more digging in 2011. Hoorah. I still ache, and it is Tuesday evening, but then I did dig all of plot number 2 on Monday, and then humped 10 barrow loads of manure and dumped onto the pumpkin patch area, and then humped a similar amount of compost from my heap onto the seed sowing area. Phewie, a good work out at the green gym.

Hopefully, weather permitting, this weekend we will finally get the fruit cage sorted. The work has been promised time and time again, but life, and mother nature keep getting in the way. Nothing planned for this weekend, so fingers crossed.

At home I have seeds a-plenty growing. Tomatoes and chillis are all up, along with a couple of aubergine plants which I am delighted with as I can't normally get them to grow. I also have an array of brassicas growing, some salads and at the weekend, I sowed at least 16 different varieties of squash, both ornamental and edible. I am determined this year (yeah yeah, I say this every year) to grow some of the large gourds up a frame with net on it to leave me with more ground space for bush squash.

The other big news is we have 7 eggs in our incubator. Hoorah. The quail project is off again. The quailarium will be completely renovated over the next few weekends and made as fox proof as poss, including electric fencing! Eeek. We are going to have a hatching frenzy and buy a selection of eggs from different breeders to have a good mix of colours and genes. I am going to ring each family, and also ring males and females so we can segregate as necessary when we want to start hatching our own eggs.

So readers, hopefully more pics and news at the weekend....fingers crossed.


Anonymous said...

I am exhausted just reading that! Interesting to see how far ahead of us you are down there. My rhubarb is a massive producer but only just getting tiny leaves now. I'm going to try sorrel this year.

Emma Jane said...

Would you like me to dig up up a bit of sorrel? I am sure as it has only just started growing I could slice a bit off and post to you? Which reminds me....another friend wants a chunk of my cardoon.

Anonymous said...

I don't have anywhere dug to put it yet but thanks for the offer. have got some seeds.

Paul and Melanie said...

Oooh Quail... I'm just thinking about getting chickens, never even considered quail! :)