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Government Conspiracy

By delaying the late May Bank Holiday to take in the Queens' Diamond Jubilee, thus confusing the weather gods, I believe that the government is to blame for the recent bad weather, cos it always rains on a Bank Holiday, or so we like to think.

 This weekend has been warm and sunny here in Somerset giving me a chance to again resurrect the plots after my 3 weeks absence there, (apart from 2 brief visits).

I spent most of Saturday strimming and mowing the various grass paths, verges and banks around the plots. Its funny how grass and weeds continue to flourish even in wet cold conditions but most of the veggies and fruit don't. After 4 and a half hours of mowing, my lawnmower refused to restart so I finished off by strimming the last of the long grass around my parking area. The plots looked far tidier after the grass was cut and I had plenty of nitrogen rich material, to add to the compost heap, with one heap of cuttings kept separately for mulch.

Leeks & Onions
Leeks Thinned Out and Transplanted
 Sunday was again sunny and slightly warmer than Saturday so I set off down the plot. My Leeks (Musselburgh) and Brussels sprouts were long overdue for thinning out, so these were the first 2 jobs to be done. By midday I had thinned out the Leeks from 1 row and transplanted some of the thinnings to create 2 more rows of 15 feet each. I dibbed holes for each plant down to 6 inches (15cm) with each hole 6 inches apart (15cm) and the rows 12 inches (30cm) apart. Each hole was filled with water and 1 plant added to each hole directly into the water, allowing the water to draw, the previously hoed, loose soil, back into the holes.

Brussels sprouts Thinned
Brussels sprouts Thinned out & Replanted
 After watering them, I thinned out 1, 15 foot row of Brussels sprouts, replanting most of the thinnings into well watered, dibbed holes at the bottom end of my Brassica bed, spacing each plant 12 inches (30cm) apart. This done it was time to clear out 2 rows of Turnips which were going to seed from my "roots bed" at the same time hoing and weeding around the Parsnips and Onions. The Onions, although developing reasonably well despite the weeks of wet weather, had many leaves which had developed rust. These were removed carefully, as they were no longer useful to the developing Onion itself. Some of the Onion leaves were crushed and spread around my Carrot plants and the rest along with the weeds and Turnips were consigned to the compost heap.

Carrots doing well
Carrots (Norfolk Giants)
Next Batch of Carrots Coming

 It was then back to the Brassica bed for some more hoeing and weeding. The soil around the Cabbages was well compacted, due to the persistent rain of late, with few weeds in evidence, so loosening up the soil to allow it to dry more quickly and aerate it at the same time was the priority. By 6 p.m. I was almost finished but decided to leave the remaining few feet until Tomorrow. I expected to have this post finished last night but not enough hours in a day, funny that when the sun comes out.

Giant Pumpkins Growing at Last
Giant Pumpkins Loving the Sunshine

Runner Beans (Enorma & Scarlet Emporer)
Runner beans on Main Plot Not as Advanced as They were at This Time Last Year
Carrots in a Barrel
More Carrots (In Barrel This Time)

Webbs Wonderful
Webbs Wonderful
Welsh Onions (Sown 16th April - Germinated This Week)
Maincrop Potatoes (Desiree) Bottom of 2nd Plot
Maincrop Potatoes (Desiree) Top of 2nd Plot (Notice smaller Plants Top Right - This Area Not Weeded)??
Sweetcorn & Cucumbers
Sweetcorn & Cucumbers (3 from 8) Hoeing in Progress
Red Currants
Red Currants Ripening
Manure Underneath Toms & Pumpkin
Tomatoes & Giant Pumpkin Sheltered on Manure Heap

Monday night already, after another pleasant day down the plot with good spells of sunshine. The only downside is the continuing windy conditions which are playing havoc with quite a few plants. (Runner beans, Sweetcorn a few fruit bushes and my Cucumbers do not like the windy conditions). This morning was spent thinning out the remainder of the Brussels sprouts after which the remainder of the Brassica bed was hoed and weeded. The Sweetcorn area on my 2nd plot was in need of hoeing and several of the plants were being pushed over by the wind. These were earthed up and "heeled" back in. As I hoed my way through the block of eighty plants most of them were earthed up as I went along. The planned 250 I had intended to sow and plant earlier this year was cut to eighty due to bad weather, nil germination and rotting off of many seeds and plants. By 4-30 p.m. it was time for home after another fine day.

There's always tomorrow.


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