Monday, 24 April 2017

Hail, Timerous Beastie

Had a great day at the plot today planting out the first brassicas and some peas.Also did some preparatory work for this year's major crop: carrots.  At times it was sunny and at other times it was hailing. To round things off while photographing strawberry plants (sadly blackened by frost)  I realised I had company. I took about thirty pictures. As often happens in these circumstances the first one turned out to be the clearest!

Carrot netting in background - can you see the hail in the foreground?
Perhaps not surprisingly, there is a risk of frost in Edinburgh tonight so I am off to light the greenhouse paraffin heater!

Hail Hail

Mouse on the Prowl

Black Eyed Strawberries

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Herb Revival

We love culinary herbs and always make room for them, 

One of our home garden raised beds is devoted to Mediterranean herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Sage) and Chives. 

and another for green herbs (Parsley and Coriander and Sorrel)

Both beds are in need of refreshment... and here are the troops to do it.

And that first mint is not the only one. This spring I potted up the remains of a single supermarket pot bought last autumn. These seven pots are ready for shipping out to friends and relatives. 

Here's the sage cuttings taken last autumn now potted up.

...and rosemary

...and thyme.

I mentioned coriander above but there is none to photograph.  That's because it is the bane of my life. We eat coriander. Lots of it. Every year I try to grow it for leaf and every year it bolts.  Well this year I am dedicating a large container to it which I will keep moist and free from extreme temperatures.  I'm going to beat it this time!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Diggin Spuds

We operate a 5 year rotation* on our allotment. There are five zones which are prepared each year according to the next year's crop.  In addition there is a sixth  growing zone, the soft fruit area which is static and has a wooden framework to support netting in the summer. The internal path separates two zones to the East from the four to the West. The picture above is of the two zones to the East. In the distance is the soft fruit area. In the foreground is this year's potato zone - and it is fully planted up! This is making me feel really positive - because that means I can concentrate my efforts on the four remaining zones, And this is how they currently look - in need of attention. Our patch stops at the shed (or more precisely the path in from of it)

Here's a reverse view with the alliums in the foreground.  There are three rows of garlic and four of onion so far. You can just see the corner of the first carrot tent to the right

*The 5 year rotation is a progression from Potatoes to Legumes to Brassicas to Curcubits to Alliums and Other Roots.  This has been tinkered with a bit particularly to accommodate the use of weed suppressant fabric with all the advantages that brings.

Just now the potato zone is looking the best to me!


Trampled Underfoot

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Snap Decision - New Weapon Deployed

With the forecast for frosty snap overnight it was time to deploy my new weapon in the greenhouse.  Since buying this bizarrely shaped heater and 4 gallons of paraffin in March the weather has been uncharacteristically benign in Edinburgh (no frost and also not much by way of rain). But we know there is always going to be a frost in April and even one in May so we were ready!

Paraffin Heater
 It's only a small greenhouse but I crammed everything I could in, Everything down to and including tomatoes:

Stage Right

Stage Left

It was a bit of a kerfuffle setting it up for the first time and I even managed to drop the wick into the paraffin reservoir while trying to adjust the setting of the flame in accord with the (impossible to follow) instructions.  Still I got it lit and it kept the temperature up.  Success!  I was even a bit gleeful that the outside temperature dropped to -2C in our garden.  The greenhouse minimum  temperature was +6.3C.

Now in keeping with tradition I need a name for the new toy piece of kit.  Any suggestions?

Light My Fire

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Moving Out Today

Peas, Broad Beans, Potatoes belong in the plot not at home. So today was moving out day: 

Here's some happy broad beans:

And here;s the state of play with the alliums: Elephant Garlic in the foreground

Finally here is the potato patch (in front of the fruit cage)

There's a real feeling that the season is underway at last.

Movin Out

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Spring Gambol

I've been away for a couple of days to see these chaps:

It's always a bit of a risk at this time of year to trust Jack Frost not to visit your greenhouse when you are away, but I got away with it. (Min temperature was 6C)

Groovin with Mr Bloe