Friday, 30 March 2018


In time honoured tradition

This year's batch.

Looking at the weather outside I don't think I will be keeping the other tradition - planting potatoes.  It is grey windy and cold (4C) in Edinburgh today.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Roots and Shoots

Finally getting towards the end of the carrots.  These have been left in the ground, but covered with straw, throughout the winter.

Also covered with straw - but only recently -  rhubarb.  The bin went on in February, but I had plenty of straw doing nothing.

Another overwintered crop, but one not requiring any protection, is Jerusalem artichoke. These reached 10ft high and were chopped down in two stages.  First to about 6ft  to protect them from wind damage, and then to two foot after the frost had killed off the tops.  The yield is phenomenal - at least twenty fold.  There's only one problem: the limit to the number of times you can serve up artichoke soup before rebellion sets in.

Jerusalem artechokes
 The autumn sown broad beans failed, but these autumn sown onions look like they have survived and have started growing away!

Japanese Onions
That puts me in mind of an old song....

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Dirty Old Heater

Edinburgh temperatures are due to abate for a day or two (with even the promise of double figures tomorrow!!!) before another spell of nigh time frost  threatening again.  I took the opportunity to clean the greenhouse glass this morning, because a paraffin heater keeps off the frost but the payoff is a coating of soot on every surface.  After three or four nights the greenhouse looks more like a blackhouse and light levels are markedly lower.  So I have emptied it out and given the windows a good clean. Not having any covering lid these cauliflowers are decidedly mottled with a film of smuts! They are out in the fresh air and sunshine today.

Fleece is wonderful at trapping smuts!  I won't be reusing this bit.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Smell the Flowers - First Bee Sighting of 2018

I went to the plot to dig carrots today and to my surprise the sun was shining. There is a floral border at the entrance to the site and I was again surprised to spot some flying insect activity.

 This bee was hard at work.  And it wasn't alone for long.

New Arrival

Room for Two?

I am guessing they are bees not hoverflies.  They must be pollinators as they were busy collecting pollen, as you can see in the pictures, and stashing it in the baskets on their legs. As for which type - my first guess was going to be the "Early Bumblebee" but they seem to be a lot fatter and fuzzier. On reflection I guess someone has a honey beehive nearby. Whatever variety they are they are they are most cheering to see.

Only one song springs to mind (even though they are not roses - the sentiment is there)

Monday, 19 March 2018

Threshold Apprehension

The temperature here has just gone sub zero for the third night in a row and I have again deployed the paraffin heater in the greenhouse.  My personality has changed recently because now I have always got half an eye on the thermometer.  I've been a bit apprehensive about the temperature.

Or even:

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Heat Is On

Peater The Heater
The temperature dropped to -2.5C last night.  Just as well I had dusted of the paraffin heater and deployed it in the greenhouse once the temperature dropped to 1C.   It maintained a temperature of about 8 degrees above the outdoor temperature.

Only one song for Peater the Heater

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Here Comes The Sun

I suspended any idea of sowing in mid February.  Even though seeds are started off indoors and stay indoors for a week or two I still find it impossible to sow when it is blowing a snowstorm outside. It takes a bit of sun put you in the mood.  Today the sun appeared again and I celebrated by sowing some broad beans and some peas.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Snow Clearance

These before and after pictures don't require any words!