March has been mostly clement, although still fairly wet. Up to now I have managed to put in:
The onions, brown and red
Potatoes - Belle de Fontenay earlies, King Edward 7 mains and a few Pink Fir Apples that I had stored
5 jerusalem artichoke bulbs
Peas - Alderman talls, Early onward and Golden Mangetout which were so prolific last year
The first rows of roots - Early nantes carrots, beets (Bikores and Cheltenham Greentop) and Milan purple turnips
And the new plot is already looking pretty full!!! Not sure where I will squeeze in the rest.
A friend gave me an old window! SO I am set up to build a small cold frame. Which is just as well because I really need to get going on some of the brassicas which will go in when the spuds start coming out.
It is so nice to see the signs of spring. Buds are green and fresh on the grapevine, the raspberries, the redcurrants (which even have delicate flowers on them), daffodils seem to have sprung up by themselves! (do they propagate underground??) and the herbs like rosemary and thyme are covered in tiny fragile flowers.
This is an entry that I wrote but did not get around to posting!
24 February 2014
Finally a dry (ish) day after this long wet winter period, rain almost every day since November and astonishingly mild temperatures. On the plot, little tulips were springing up and daffodil stems. The rosemary is covered in tiny purple flowers, some of the raspberry bushes are starting to bud, the rhubarb is breaking out its first small stems and the Brussels sprouts have started putting out flower buds. Spring is tentatively upon us, a little early but nothing too radical.
The soil is still thick and cloying and I admit that I went a bit barmy with the manure, as I ordered for half a plot what I would normally take for a full one. oops. Oh well, hopefully it will mean bloody big veg! Digging it in is a nightmare though. I managed to turn over enough ground to plant the first onion sets (100 brown onions are in, and about another 80 to go, plus the red ones which I will leave a wee bit yet), and 7 potato plants (earlies, Belle de Fontenay) plus a small patch of radishes. For the rest of the time, I hauled the manure around a bit, put down some borders around the edges of my new reduced space, and continued laying a path down the middle of the plot. I now have more than enough paving material, which is a change as I was always missing some in the past!
It is still too cool and wet to think about much else but I am already looking at the pea bed menacingly. I chucked a few broad bean seeds in a couple of weeks ago to see what would happen - to my surprise, 8 plants are already growing! I will sow some more next weekend to fill in the gaps and get those pretty broad beans off to a flying start.