Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Psssst - Bottling Fizz

The Elderflower Champagne has been bottled and tucked away in the coal cellar.

The elderflower lemon and sugar solution had spent a week fermenting in a bucket (covered with a muslin) before straining and bottling.

Psssst ?  It is still fermenting a bit so I have been letting the excess pressure off. The last thing anyone wants is an exploding bottle.


Saturday, 24 June 2017


When you are digging potatoes and cutting cabbages it qualifies as a harvest!

I have been resisting the urge to start digging spuds until now. Today I set to with a fork and was relieved to find good sized Epicure potatoes. A couple of Greyhound cabbages were ready too. So it is going to be homegrown veg from here on. Woopee!

On checking my records, these (the first row of potatoes) were planted on 17 March several weeks before the other earlies and over a month before the final maincrop which was in by 19 April,  See  Diggin

Potato Patch 19/04/17

Potato Patch 24/06/17


Thursday, 22 June 2017

For the Record

It's great when the soft fruit gets going (and some peas)

Just so I can keep tabs here are the last four pickings of strawberry Marshmello on the scales - each at two day intervals:





Not to be left out the raspberries have started ripening:

Time to hone my preserving skills.  Judging by the mess I made of the gooseberry jam (it caught) honing is definitely required.


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Time For a Tonic?

At the allotment this morning and not all is well.  Half a row of raspberries has veined leaves like this:
Raspberry Leaves showing classic symptoms of iron deficiency.
and early cabbage Greyhound is also a bit blotchy.

Cabbage with blotches - Manganese deficiency?
Returning home with pictures and consulting the books both seem to be mineral deficiencies. Given recent climatic conditions it could simply be waterlogging showing up in different ways.  All the same I will be looking for a suitable tonic for each.  The iron deficiency might benefit from a sprinkling of ericaceous fertilizer as this  states "Extra Iron For Richer Green Leaves". Manganese sulphate might be harder to come by.  The advice seems to be not to over lime susceptible soils.  This seems harsh for a brassica patch!  If there is an organic trace element cocktail in the shops/garden centre I will probably get it as an insurance.

Now on a more cheerful note, I also picked the first strawberries of the season today. Now when is Wimbledon?


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Three Weeks is a Long Time in Propagation

Coriander now:

(I had already harvested some plants yesterday before I took this picture today)

Coriander 3 weeks ago:

And I did promise to update progress on the water cuttings of mint and basil

Mint cuttings now:

3 weeks ago:

Basil cuttings now:

3 weeks ago:

The growth on these cuttings is easily outstripping the progress of seedlings sown at the same time or earlier, 

Then and Now

Thursday, 8 June 2017

A Voyage Around My Garden

Here's the current state of play:  Looking from East to West, there are beans in the foreground, brassicas beyond.

The East End (reverse view)

In the corner the globe artichokes are showing a bit of muscle.

The blueberries are responding to winter pruning in their pen.


Here is a closer look at the brassica, each plantlet at its station 18 inches from its neighbour planted through the weed suppressant fabric. At the rear are the early planted cabbages and cauliflowers already well away.

A closer look at the early brassicas,

Moving along further West there are peas, cucurbits and sweetcorn (also through weed suppressant fabric) carrots (under nets) and alliums.

Cucurbits: Squashes and Pumpkins:

Sweetcorn with two courgettes beyond.

In the next corner the old rhubarb is looking robust

and alongside at the West End there are first signs of another robust cropper: Jerusalem artichoke.

The alliums are looking very happy.

Heading back from West to East the fruit cage now has a net over it.

and the early potatoes are flowering.

View of the potatoes and fruit East to West.

These pictures were taken yesterday 7/6/17 a dryish day between two very wet ones!

Getting Around

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Beecause You Can

 I've been trying out my new present today.  I asked for a camera lens that would be able to photograph bees (and a tripod to keep it steady).

Initial experimentation suggests I have got just what I asked for! A big thank you to the family.

Bumble Bee