I'm no April fool…

| 6th March 2011

Today is a good day!

Not everyone will share our excitement, but almost a month earlier than last year, Asparagus Watch has begun. Traditionally, the first day of April is the time to begin watching the asparagus bed, but as you can see, left, the first spear is pressing through which means that more are on their way. We haven’t just been waiting for a new season to begin, this spear is the first that we can harvest to eat. An asparagus bed needs 2-3 years to develop crowns that are strong and  healthy enough to ensure many years of good yield. So whilst we’ve been patiently watching for the last couple of years, now is the time to practise the Hollandaise in anticipation!

Talking of eggs (main ingredient of Hollandaise Sauce) and chickens, one of the new hens took a bit of a battering last week. It’s all part of the pecking order, but she tried to escape down a dead-end and ended up being continually pecked from behind by the bigger girls (who really should have known better…). We removed the three new girls for a couple of days and have reintroduced them tonight. Hopefully, they’ll all be friends in the morning?

Tree number Ten

Last week we told you about the new Humbug Pear tree that we’d ordered, well today it was safely planted in the garden. This is tree number ten in our fruit and nut collection. Already, in early March, we’re seeing the most beautiful blossom. Here is the lovely pink flowers on the Almond tree, I wonder if we will get any fully mature fruits this year, I believe you can eat the fruit before cracking the nut? Sounds good…. And we’ve named the day for Cider Sunday 2011 – 18th September! We may get another quick winter wash on the old apples & pears just to help protect them from any nasties as they burst into flower.

Beans Means….

Well, I must say that I’m very pleased that we planted our broad beans in October last year as they have come on so well! I can see little buds that will be flowering soon and hopefully well ahead of the black fly….

They were started in modules and then when well-established, and the bed had space, were planted in last years Allium bed which is now this year’s Legume bed.

Today I did a bit of a weed it the bed alongside the beans and dug in some well-rotted compost (the chicken muck really helps it all to break down nicely) and have planted two varieties of peas (not grown peas before) and some mange tout. I’m going to try successional planting this year to give us a good season of continuous supply, normally I plant it all out at once, overdose on a big harvest then it’s gone…. so planning is the answer!

Other updates:

  • Seedlings are doing well
  • Brassicas have all germinated
  • Half of the melons are doing great, we may have lost the rest…
  • Cauliflowers in the cold frame are coming on nicely
  • Purple Sprouting Broccoli is nearly ready to go

Jobs for next week:

  • Remember to water the baby plants in the cold frame
  • Tidy and mulch the soft fruit beds
  • Plan the March planting schedule
  • Look out for the new girls as the pecking order is implemented
  • Complete the new ‘Henclosure’
  • Tidy the herb garden

Have a great week yourself now….

Corners aren’t just for squares!

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