Posted by: hencorner | April 25, 2010

Evenings are good….

Isn’t it nice that the evenings are getting longer? Aside from the longer days bricking the paths of the Kitchen Garden, the evenings are perfect conditions for some of the garden jobs.
This week we used our first packet of Nematodes. This is a great way of keeping the slugs down. The ideal conditions for application are a cool evening with damp soil, and we need to keep doing this every six weeks: the first 12 million went in this week!

For those of you following the saga, here is a Ruby update… Without checking with the OH first, I drove a 50 mile round trip to the nice people at Bisley Vets in Surrey who confirmed that I hadn’t missed anything obviously wrong with her, phew!, so no problems with her eyes or breathing, no signs of infections or swellings yet she is definitely wasting away – so a couple of vitamins and a course of antibiotics and we’ll see what happens. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get her up and about again? At least we are getting cuddles with her while she’s under the weather, we’re giving her Baytril orally twice a day. Her feathers as soooo beautiful – just like a pheasant! Maybe we’ll get those hazelnut brown eggs again?

So we’ve finished the Kitchen Garden – Hurrah!
And now brick paths are down it’s time to get seeds and sets in the ground…

We’ve put three varieties of potatoes in Roots bed, #3, snuggled next to the second season of Rainbow Chard. OH doesn’t like it, but I do and the hens love it… it’s really good in a sag aloo!

Alliums Bed, #4, has got red shallots, carrots, spring onions. We’ve heard that carrot fly, that can’t fly very high, get confused by the smell of onions when they are homing in for the carrots, so they are great companion plants – well it worked last year!

Our Legume bed, #1 has been planted with Borlotti Beans, Sugar Snap Peas (complete with wigwams) and Broad Beans. How will the beans fare against the black fly this year? We’ve heard that it helps to plant broad beans in October so that they germinate then hibernate during the frosts, ready to flower before the black fly – but we didn’t do it then – Ho Hum! As a safeguard, we’ve got some Ladybird Larvae on order to gobble up the black fly….

So we need to crack on with the Brassica bed, #2, I wonder if we can master broccoli? we certainly need a good crop of cauliflower for this years’ piccalilli?

As you may have guessed, we are running ‘Four Bed Rotation System’, unfortunately, in the first year I planted it anti-clockwise, which has made subsequent years planting schemes so confusing! We have to keep checking the plans!

Next job is to clear out the cold frame, repaint the sash windows and weed and feed the soil for the seedlings that are coming on in the conservatory. This year we’re going for peppers, chillies, aubergines and a wide variety of tomatoes. Not forgetting their companions; the good old marigolds.

If following us on Twitter you’ll be up to date with Asparagus Watch! It’s the second year on crowns, and we currently have 27 spears, up to 49cm high! We are enjoying the race with Jamie Oliver which is helping us hold off from eating them…

A great local celebration for St Georges Day had some straw bales left over at the end and allowed us to take some home, which we’ve got stored under cover for the hens to nest in and, of course, the strawberry beds!

Well, we had good time this week, albeit tiring, we’ve been out in the kitchen garden until 8.30pm but have been rewarded with some home-made cider alongside our supper!

Evenings are definitely good for gardeners!

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