Saturday, 18 February 2012

Rush against time!

  The current spell of cold weather has passed by. Early this morning the temperature was -5C but no wind so it did not feel cold. Bear in mind that where we live is sheltered and the sun does not come up above the ridge until later. By late morning it felt warm and continued to feel warm through the afternoon. That means one thing! The weeds will grow! One thing I have learnt gardening here at Champeau over the last year is that the weeds grow fast, really fast. I have to keep on top of them so today I used my onion hoe and hoed between the garlic removing the weeds. I ended up with a half full wheel barrow! The autumn sown garlic is the one crop that has stood the cold weather well, followed by the second autumn sowing of broad beans.

Winter Garlic bed after hoeing
 Lesson learnt with broad beans here is not to sow too early. They only need to be about one to two inches high else they get hit by the frost. Some of the first sowing that have been frosted may still recover. I wait to see. I lost the first sowing of broad beans in the poly tunnel so I have re-sown. I suspect that they will turn out to be spindly as there will not be enough light.
  The soil is very wet and sticky but is drying fast. I have dug up the frosted brassicas (mainly "fourager" and purple sprouting) which were well and truly kaput and put them on the compost heap. Shame about the purple sprouting as it was just starting to come into season. Such is the throw of the dice. The smell of rotting cabbage and leeks was in the air! Yesterday I dug up my badly frosted leeks and rescued what I could for the table. I would have thought they would have stood the cold weather better but I guess too many days and nights of below zero just took there toll.
Frosted leeks
  In the poly tunnel things are moving fast. Early Onward peas, sown in loo rolls, are sprouting and I am looking to plant them out once the soil has dried out a bit. Mice have been at work and some have been dug up and eaten! Little blighters (I had another word to put in but thought I had not better). Brassicas in the tunnel are showing signs of recovery after the cold spell. I guess they did not get the coup de grace! In the fleece cloche the onion seed is growing on with all varieties now germinated. Leeks too are up. The surviving lettuce are poised to go!
  I managed to get my seed potatoes and they are now set up in the dining room in seed trays for chitting. Three varieties - Rosabelle (very successful last year), Desiree and a lets have go one called Blue D'Auvergne. They produce blue potatoes but not all the way through. I have also purchased onion sets (Red Baron) and shallots. The idea here is to supplement the seed sown onions with the sets.
  So, the speed of the season is accelerating and there is more and more to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment