The weather man cheered me up by issuing a severe weather warning. I looked out of the window and it was dry, even a little sunny so down to the plot this afternoon.
Before I could go however, Val pointed out the lawn could do with a cut since it was just about dry enough and hadn’t been done since before we went on holiday. I explained that it looked wonderfully lush and the cats liked it about a foot high. She explained she could cut it if I liked and headed for the shed in her open toed sandals to get the flymo out.
So rushed to the shed, set it on the highest setting and reduced the height of the lawn to almost respectable. The grass cuttings and contents of the kitchen compost bin went in to the car and around to the plot I went after a cup of tea and a hay fever pill. Seems the grass pollen had started me off. Anyhow, it was a good job I took the car as will become clear.
There were a few people down on the site and I had a chat with Jim whose plot is doing really badly this year. I suspected the pH level so we tested it with my meter and it appears around neutral so that was out. Looking at the leaves which are yellowish on some plants and purplish on others the only other thing that came to mind was nutrient deficiencies.
He had added some horse manure earlier in the year but it seems to have had little effect. I suggested he gave everything a dose of Growmore fertiliser. I prefer organic solutions generally but he needs to get something into the plants quickly and inorganic fertilisers are faster if not as long lasting. Anyway, as it stands he’s nothing to lose and just might kick start everything that seems stalled at present.
First Early Potatoes – Yummy!
Having put Jim’s plot to rights it was time to get on with my own. Just before we went away we wanted some potatoes but it seemed a shame to harvest them when we were only needing one meal. So rice. Anyway, I had planted 3 Arran Pilot in the deep bed with fitted coldframe and the haulm was standing about two feet above the top of the frame. Took it apart with some concern it would be all top and no tuber but we’ve ended up with 4.5Kg of very nice clean potatoes from it. I don’t suppose they’d make the show bench but there was no slug damage and they looked pretty good.
We had them for tea tonight and they were lovely. These aren’t just potatoes , these are cold frame grown, comfrey fed potatoes. Taken from plot to pot in just 3 hours. (With apologies to those adverts!)
I’ve got two types of turnip planted. Golden Ball, a ‘heritage’ variety and Snowball a modern variety. All that’s new is not worse than the old., the Snowball are far superior. Got a carrier bag full from a three foot row . The Golden Ball aren’t anywhere near ready yet.
Lots of watering in the greenhouse, if the weatherman is right I’d like to avoid swimming to the plot tomorrow so wanted to make sure all were well watered. I’ve got broad beans and strawberries on the plot but didn’t get around to picking any today. Did pull a few garlic, what a poor show. They’ve got rust and and the bulbs are pretty small. I expect we’ll end up buying garlic next year as I doubt there’s going to be enough to get us through.
Having dug over the bed at the bottom of plot five on Sunday (nearly all of it anyway) I wanted to rotovate it to mix the compost thoroughly and get a fine tilth. As I got the Merry Tiller out I realised the wheelbarrow wheel was flat so took that off to fix at home. Trundled down to the bed and started the job. Trundling up and down the bed plugged in to some heavy rock Ion the MP3 player I was vaguely aware that the sky was darkening. Stopped for a break and I was surprised to see that everyone else had left the site and I was on my own.
Back to the task and I got it done as well as I could considering the soil is still too wet really. As I was putting the wheels on to take it back up the plot I felt a few drops of rain. Didn’t think too much of it although the sky was pretty dark. Then the heavens opened and it poured. By the time I had the tiller in the shed my shoes were soaking so left my wellies on and ran for the car. I said it came in useful! Still soaked to the skin but at least I saved myself an extra two minute walk in the power shower.
Tonight there’s been a bit of lightening and loads of rain so I suppose the paddy fields of Wistaston will be wet tomorrow.