Having bought the veg seeds for the year (with the exception of tomatoes and seed tatties which Sally is going to organise, here is what we intend to grow in the garden this year....
Leeks - Musselburgh
Cabbage - Hispi
Spring Greens - Offenham Flower of Spring
Savoy Cabbage - Tundra
Cauliflower - Cheesy
Runner Bean - Achievemnet
Climbing French Bean - Cobra
Beetroot - Bolthardy
Parsnip - Gladiator
Carrot - Early Nantes 5
Onion (from Sets) - Centurion & Sturon
PSB - Red Arrow
Kale - Black Tuscan
So enough to be going on with.
Anyway, upon getting to the garden this morning, I planted up the onion sets of Centurion and Sturon (50 of each) into 10 cell packs. They were just planted into straight, unadulterated MP Compost and then placed in the greenhouse, alongside all the perennials and sweet peas, all of which seem to be coming along nicely.
Then, unable to resist the temptation any longer, I set about assembling the new 4 Stroke (Deluxe) Mantis Tiller. After a bit of confusion over the handle configuration, it was up and good to go.
Having assembled it, filled it with oil and petrol and starting it up, I gave it a go on the small area at the far end of the lower long border. After a few false starts (it doesn't like stones !!) I mastered the technique and I have to say that it is a very impressive piece of kit. I have used one before on well cultivated soil but never on weed-ridden, root-infested virgin ground, which is what I decided to break it in on. Well, it's gotta start somewhere !
So it was off to where the veggies will be this year. Now this area is littered with the buried roots of a lot of the scrub trees that I cut down when I started the initial clearance, so I also took a fork, a spade and some loppers with me. The roots that the tiller got jammed on, I either dug or pulled up and the tiller did an admirable job on the rest of it. A big rotavator mgiht have been quicker but after the initial sod-busting, it would be redundant, whereas the Mantis will be a useful tool throughout the various garden areas, even when they are fully planted up.
These piccies above show the area under cultivation for this years veg crops - there is about the same sort of area after the pile of black polythene, so that should be sufficent for this year, whilst I work on clearing what will become the permanent veg patch.
The daffies in the border still aren't in bloom but are damn near to it -there are a few out under the holly tree down the bottom of the garden, but I reckon another fornight and we should have a decent display to photograph.
The rhubarb is going mental - the following pic is of three (yes only three) crowns that I transplanted
soon after I started in this garden - look at the number of heads coming through - ridiculous! (And please ignore the Ground Elder and Couch Grass - these plants obviously had troots that were entangled through the actual crowns themselves, hence the reason they are still there !!
So that's about it for this week, just one final thing to do - this weeks piccie from the Potting Shed...
See you next week.