The weather here has been most unkind to us this year. We've had hot spells, when you think the time has come to get the seedlings out, immediately followed by driving rain, howling gales and overnight frosts. It seems to change weekly, knowing what to do has been near impossible!
The first thing that got planted up were the potatoes and even they struggled with the weather. The first shoots the put up were almost immediately struck down with wind burn after a particularly nasty, and sudden, gale that struck.
But they soldiered on are now looking wonderful! You may be wondering why they are not earthed up, nor are they in neat rows. Well, I can answer that in one word; chickens. The chickens found their way into the veg garden and now are impossible to keep out! They've actually not been the menace I thought they'd be. They haven't gone for the plants at all and have kept nasty beasties at bay. However, their scratching isn't great for seedlings or plant in place veg like carrots, and apparently, potatoes. I earthed up the potatoes, neat heaps and gulleys. I would then return the following day to a perfectly flat bed with the potatoes poking through again. I earthed them up again, next day, neat, flat, chicken scratched bed. So I gave up. It will reduce my yield but I'm not fighting. I'll figure out an anti chicken system for them next year.
The next bed is my strange mix of Broad Beans, Lettuce, Onions, Garlic and Shallots.
This was not the original planning set up but due to the crazy weather effecting not just the plants but my ability to dig the beds, this bed became the "Whatever is ready and still alive" bed!
Weeding around onions sucks!
These Broad Beans got hit by a batch of our random wind which snapped pretty much all of them. But they pulled themselves together and grew again. They are dripping in flowers and we are hoping for a great haul!
The onions, garlic and shallots are doing fine but again I'm not sure about how the weather has affected them. They seem to have grown a huge number of leaves each and the bulbs look quite small. I am hoping they'll swell up soon, but as one has already grown a flower, I'm not holding my breath.
|The Cabbages and Friends|
My final bed is the brassicas bed. And yes, more Broad beans. There will also be peas in here.
The Broad Beans were a bit of an experiment. I tried putting them straight into the grown and growing them in situ, just to see what difference it made. It appears that they have grown shorter than the 'window sill' raised ones. I am wondering if this is a result of the winds, the plants are staying low. I think I'll try it again next year to see if the same result is achieved. It certainly has helped protect the plants from the snapping fate of the others.
The rest of the bed has cabbage, kale and cauliflower. They were raised indoors, then spent weeks in the cold frame before I dared to move them outside. They have taken well but I was still concerned about the wind, so...
...that's why the trellis appeared and a rushed planting of peas, just trying to put anything in that will act as a break against the wind. Particularly after my mum said "oh, cauliflowers! Aren't they difficult to grow? I only ever get leaves!" - Panic! Lol
|The Crazy Salad Leaves|
Ok, so I had to let you peek into the cold frame! The cut and come again salad leaves are taking over! They are splatted up against the lid! We just can't eat enough!
But I am loving my cold frame. My dad built it for me, there are three sections with lids.
Then there is also two uncovered sections, basically raised beds, next to it. A smaller one, I'm using for carrots and a larger one, about the size of the entire covered area, that I'm using for strawberries.
It has been a great help with my growing. I currently don't have a greenhouse so any help with the more fragile plants is of great use.
I am trying cucumber, pumpkin and courgette in it this year. We've had great success with cucumbers in the past so hoping for great things again this year.
|Dad Built the Cold Frame and Raised Bed|
Here's the cold frame in all its glory. Please excuse the mess! We are still in the process of converting our veggie patch.
For those new to the blog the veggie patch used to be part of a field and was completely full of weeds! See the weeds behind that wall? That's what it looks like if you turn your back on it for a second!
We have been weed killing like people possessed and have a rototiller thing now which we will use to prepare the whole area for new beds and nice, and importantly flat, grass paths.