Happy but shattered.

There's no other way to describe today's weather than glorious.

I'm the director of the management company at the flats where I live, so tend to do a bit of work keeping the grounds and driveway tidy. We've got an annoying earth bank at the back of the car park which, before I took on my current role, was a huge eyesore. I've got some lavender and lobelia germinating at home to plant along it once the cold weather's gone for good so, in the meantime, I'm having to pull endless weeds out of it to try and keep it tidy.

After waking early, I headed out to weed the bank and to spray the weeds on the drive with glyphosate in preparation for the 16 or so tonnes of gravel we're having delivered some time in the coming weeks. By 11am, it was a bright blue sky, so I expected it to be a little cool with it. I was definitely wrong on that score and ended up sweltering in the scorching sun.

Just before lunch, I headed off to the plot with a sack of weeds to feed the compost heap. A few other plot holders were around, but it wasn't half as busy as I'd expected it to be and no-one was to be seen on any of the neighbouring plots. With the weather breaking, I brought an assortment of seedlings and plants with me to the plot, which I stuck out in the sun upon arriving.

A few weeks back, I split some chives I've got in the kitchen. Half of them I've now planted beside the polytunnel, in what's destined to be my herb bed.

Half of me wanted to stick the runner beans in. They're a good foot tall now and shooting up at a phenomenal rate - seemingly doubly so after a day in the sun today - but I'm still a bit nervous about it being too early, so they're back in the polytunnel for now.

All of a sudden, things are starting to spring into life. In the polytunnel, the mixed salad leaves I planted last weekend are starting to germinate, as are the swedes, which I'm starting off in the tunnel as I don't fancy their chances against the wildlife at the top of the plot.

Outside, my carrots are starting to show and my red onions have put out shoots an inch or two tall in the last few days. I finally took the fleece off my peas, which are doing OK, but have been gnawed around the edges of the leaves by something. My money's on the mice. At this rate, I might change my mind about traps!

The asparagus crowns which have grown are rocketing away, but so far there are only three out of the six or so I planted, so it's beginning to look like I might have suffered a 50% loss.

Mid afternoon, I went for a drive round the village. There's a long lane skirts right around the periphery of the village which, unfortunately, tends to get used for fly tipping. I tend to have a drive round now and then to see if there's anything been dumped which I can scavenge and recycle. Today, I found a big plastic bucket, originally for popcorn, which is now planted beside the polytunnel to try and contain the mint cutting I've got in the kitchen.

Further round the loop, I stopped off at a roadside cart which sells horse manure for 50p a bag. All week, they've had loads of bags as I've driven past in the car but, typically, the first time I passed in the Landy they only had two bags left, so I bought them and shipped them back to the plot.

For some reason, my health issues have started to make themselves known again this week and I've been suffering from really bad leg pains. They also made their presence known with a distinct lack of strength today. One bag of manure was probably about 20kg, which I coped with OK. The second was probably 30+ and I really struggled to get it down to the plot. Some food and 15 minutes lying on a pallet in the sun helped me recover enough to keep going, but I really need to work out why I'm struggling. In previous weeks, I've been drinking a protein shake before going to the plot. I skipped this today, but think I'll have to make sure I drink one tomorrow before heading off there.

Not sure how successful it'll be, but I knocked in 4 posts during the afternoon, ran 3 rows of string between them and sowed loads of main crop peas to take over from the early ones once they've produced a crop. I'm hoping the string, which I also strung across the top of the run will be enough to keep pigeons and the rabbits away from them. That's assuming the mice don't get to them first!

Before leaving for the day, I transplanted some cauliflower seedlings into the brassica section. I'm pretty nervous about these. They're barely an inch high and I can see them becoming a snack for the wildlife all too easily. Fingers crossed they don't, as I've got sprouts and cabbage to follow them into the ground soon.


April 10, 2010 В· admin В· No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  В· Posted in: Pests, Polytunnel, Vegetables, Wildlife

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