Tag Archives: peas

Allotment 04/08/09

Image047I didn’t really get to the allotment other than to harvest over last weekend but the weekend before I was up there most days. It is coming on nicely still, plenty of courgettes and kale, a reasonable amount of beetroot from the first sowing, the first runner beans and a very few peas from the two plants that survived the rabbit nibbling of the first sowing.

Image048More beetroot has been sown, more manure spread out, beans planted out and manure spread. I have had a good look at the soil on the beds where things have been grown and there is hardly any sign of the manure that was spread earlier, just four months ago. Lots more is needed up there before the next crops are planted out.

Allotment 04/07/09

allotment 04/07/09Spent a very busy couple of hours up on the allotment today with Rhys and middle-youngest-sister. All the time we were up there it was threatening to rain, and did start twice, but we still get a lot done. Three beds sorted, one for MYS’s tomato plants, half of one has gone down to peas, it would be so nice to get a crop of them this year after all the sowings I have done and a whole bed to French Beans.

I filled up the end on one of the kale beds with some cabbages that had been growing at home, I put some in from the same sowing a few weeks ago and they have rocketed. They are now filling their plastic bottles so I must order some more netting to keep the butterflies off and take the bottles off. I’m going to do another sowing of these, I can get two more in before the session is over, as with kale.

PICT0098I made a half hearted attempt at weeding out some of the thistles that are on the plots, maybe it is something to do with allotment sites but our last allotment that we had a few years ago was always covered in thistles. It was a losing battle. I think the plot that is next to ours is empty still and the bottom half of it is covered in them, I think we will cut them down before they flower but they are also covered in black fly so we may ended up with them as a problem on our plot when we do, still I have seem ladybirds up there so they will have a feast.

runner bean plantsThe courgettes are getting close to fruiting, I can now pick out which ones are the round fruit or the yellow fruit. Or the yellow round ones that there seem to be more than I remember sowing of. The first lot of runner beans are flowering well too, I haven’t get seem any fruit setting though. MYS has already had a few french beans off the plants that she planted out at the same time as the runner beans so they shouldn’t be that far behind. And this more I got some more dwarf runner and french beans as there is just enough time for another sowing.

A few seconds of calm


I’m both emotionally and physically wrung out, life at work is far from pleasant and I’m spending my time from waking up each morning counting down the time until I can leave and go… to another job. I’m working three different jobs at the moment, it’s interesting though. And I am enjoying two of them, if only I wasn’t so tired and drained from the third. Yesterday I had a ‘funny turn’ and just blacked out for a while, I’m not the only member of staff having a hard time which I think makes it easier. At least I have support and without that I know I would be having a much harder time.

Work isn’t the only thing dragging me at the moment, this years lambing is the worst lambing we’ve ever had, it all started off fine with Lily and then the next morning Mophead had a nice sized single without a problem on her own. Both ewes were kept in with their lambs, neither of them a proved of this, especially Lily after we bought Mophead in. The long and the short of it is they both got into a sack of chicken feed, ate more them half of it between the two of them, got very ill and died. It wasn’t a nice few days with trips to and from the vets with different jabs and drenches to try. Lily Lamb was one of our original flock, all of who were bottle feed, with their own story of how we got them and special place. Mophead was kept after her mother died, she was our first Cotswold ewe who had been hand reared by the local special needs school until it closed down, she was a people sheep and if she didn’t like something that was going on, like a lose dog or too many flies, she was be at the garden gate standing in the way and stamping her feet until something was done about.

pict0067We’ve also had problems with the lambs and goat kids, who are all living in the kitchen at the moment (much to the older goat kids disgust, who aren’t going to sleep on the floor with sheep, what do we think they are?), one of the goat kids went down with bloat and had to be rushed to the vets and kept over night and the next day one of the lambs went down with it too, another trip to the vets all of two hours after collecting the goat kid. Touch wood, everyone seems fine now.


Ivy and her lambs, the black one is there if you look closely!

Lambing hasn’t all gone badly though, Ivy has produced our very first black ewe lamb, most years we’ve had a couple of black ram lambs but never a little girl before. All three of them, she had a white female too, are doing fine. Since then it has been very slow on the lambing front, all of the ewes are looking big, a few of them even look massive but no more so far.


Keris and her kid


There has been other good news too, Keris kidded for the first time. A single boy, who is very cute and already has the Anglo Nubian voice. I started milking on Wednesday after taking him away on Tuesday night and Keris has been so good at standing for milking. Today mother took him to be disbudded while I was at work. I still haven’t decided on a name, even though he is now a week old. He says something “Hu” to me, and maybe Greek, or maybe… I don’t know. Last year Felix asked to be named Felix, I looked at him and that was his name but this kid isn’t giving me so many cues. He is a love silver-grey colour, and very greedy too.    

The Silver Dorking has started laying again, actually we’re getting a lot of eggs at the moment considering most of our hens are older. I think later on in the year we might well get some more ex-chicken farm ones. We only have two left from the last ones we got a couple of years ago, and they still lay, the others were got by a fox. Also my new quail have started laying, I’m getting about six eggs a day now. This year I’d like to get them a shed so as they don’t have to come back into the house during the inter to keep them laying, I just need to work out how to afford it. Sheds are a little bit like gold dust on freecycle, so I think I’m going to have to buy one. I’m also going to build up my laying birds so as I have enough eggs each day to start doing something meaningful with them.  

It’s so very almost still light enough to do things when I get home from work now, not long now and I will be able to come home and spend so time on the garden, at the moment the only day I’m getting off is Sunday and there is so much to do before I’m back to work the next morning. Last weekend I did get to spend so time on the garden, I’ve manured the bed that I’m planning on using for beans and put in some more garlic, I just have one last bulb to plant now which I didn’t get to as it tipped it down with rain before I managed to get it in. There is a lot of garlic planted now, I missed quite a lot last year so the bed that I used is now full of garlic again, and it seems a shame to dig it up now so it might as well stay in place, and I planted another bed of garlic before this bed started coming through. My moon peas have been harden off too so they are ready to plant when I get chance.

Each day just has to be taken as it comes at the moment, I’m trying to remember to tell myself “today will be a good day and whatever happens is for my greater good” each morning when I wake up and I think it is helping.

Winter Solstice

Today was the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. From now on days will be getting longer and everything with start to wake up.

As a sort of celebration I have spent this evening making paper pots and sowing peas, carrots (to be grown in buckets until the warmer weather when they can go outside) and a few leeks. I’ve been reading a little bit about how leeks can be started off now in polystyrene boxes  so thought I would try it.

The carrots and leeks were also to do my second bit of moon planting, so far I’ve only managed root crops on the right day, last weekend I planted some onion sets and garlic.

Rhys has spent this evening making chocolates for Christmas presents, and when I first got home from work we tried to ‘candle’ the quail eggs. It didn’t work but I’m hopefully, the weight has changed in them from how it feels when they are first laid. It will be time to stop turning them in the next day or two ready for hatching.

Seeds, more seeds and seedlings

My seeds from ebay arrived the other day.

Unfortunatly the sweet corn seeds that I bought aren’t eatable ones, I should have read the listing more carefully, which meant a trip to the garden centre to buy some more seeds asap to plant now, and a few others. 

My trays of pea seeds are coming through nicely now, they’re to go on the new bed I almost finished the other day. There should be 200 of them but I’m still tempted to put another 100 or so to grow as it’s going to be the last planting of the year.

I’m not very good at judging space for plants, and things often end up being planted a little to close together where I’ve got carried away with how many plants will actully fit into a bed.