31 May 2010

Sewelly garden on the last day of May

We've been busy over the past few weeks in the garden weeding (never ending), pricking out, transplanting, mowing and sowing hence the lack of blogs.

Everything's still quite small but the rain over the past couple of evenings will help to bring it all on and it lifts the soul when we walk around in the late evening observing how the plants have grown in just one day.  (I guess that's why we say it's "soul destroying" when the slugs come and eat them all!)

The Red Duke of York early potatoes are coming on a treat and seem to have missed the blight warning last week. I was relieved to see the first signs of the Sarpo Mira potatoes too only a week or so ago.  They're a blight resistant main crop potato that we planted unchitted at the end of April.  They proved their worth last year so we're giving them another go.

Moving along the row is the onion bed.  I only weeded this two weeks ago and already they're sprouting again so it's next on my job list.  Here we've planted Garlic Arno, Shallots Red Sun and Sutton Onions.  The borage that self seeded prolifically last year is still popping up all over the place!

The last bed at the top is supposed to be my 'other' bed - carrots, parsnips, chard, beetroot etc.  However, the PSB (purple sprouting brocolli) is still producing loads of shoots so I'm slightly restricted with my planting until it's all lifted!  So far we've sown Gladiator parsnips, Chanteney carrots, mixed lettuce, rainbow chard and Boltardy beetroot and a few White Lisbon scallions. I'm itching to successionally sow some more carrots but will have to be patient! 

In the middle bed I've sown the green manure Phacelia tanacelifolia.  It's recommended to dig in green manures before they flower but bees love this one and the flowers can be cut. I'm therefore planning to leave it for as long as it's okay and probably curse the fact in the autumn (or Ian will be cursing me as the main digger in the household!)  The middle bed has been heavily used over the past few years and it also has a tendancy to flood, hence the rest.  In the autumn we'll add some more topsoil and organic matter to it, bringing up the level.

The next row of beds include the runner bean in waiting bed (seedlings are still a bit small), with companion plants nasturtium and tagetes planted at the end, then the legume bed with late sown broad beans and Kelvedon Wonder peas. I've planted a few sweet peas at the end of this bed to attract pollinating insects to this end of the garden.

Moving along we have two brassica beds crammed full.  I'll have to thin them out as the year progresses but I've left a few extra plants in place in case of slugs "one for the slug, one for the snail, one to keep and one to fail"!  As I'm planting directly into the soil I like to hedge my bets.  In this bed we have curly kale and brussels sprouts interplanted with three different varieties of radish and some mixed salad leaves.

The second bed has five rows of swede that have just germinated and I transplanted several varieties of PSB and spring greens today and more companion plants have been planted at the end of the row.

We have two more beds full of flowering strawberries and some rhubarb and then a further two rows containing a mixture of berries - rasberries, goseberries and currents.

Apart from the weeding there's still lots to do.  We'll be netting the strawberries to keep the birds off them and definately netting the brassicas this year to avoid the hundreds of caterpillars experienced last year! I'll also be mulching the soil once the plants are a bit bigger too.

So that's it outside in the veggie garden for now.  The polytunnel is full of various veg and we've also been busy creating a more ornamental front garden as well as decorating the small bathroom!  Life's never quiet in the Sewelly household!

Oh, and the great news this week is that I've just been included on the VEC list of adult education tutors in Carlow.

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