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Busy (Not The Honey Bees Though)

My last post was 9 days ago and things have been very busy for me since then. The weather has been perfect for seed sowing many vegetable seeds, outside, during the past week or so, here in Taunton. Last Tuesday and today were exceptionally sunny and warm, although the persistent westerly wind is keeping temperatures lower than they would be, without it. Having visited my plots for many hours during the past week or so, with several evenings taken up checking out germinating seeds in my new poly tunnel, my blogging time has been severely curtailed. Having just read through most of the latest blog posts on my blog and following lists, (hopefully I will get chance to comment on them this weekend), one or two topics are well mentioned recently. The weather of course, mainly referring to the effects of the persistent wind seems to be one main topic. Everyone seems to be taking advantage of the warmer weather, enjoying sowing and planting a varied collection of seeds and plants, all of which are in a different stage of development, depending on which area of the planet the author is working. With the onset of the warmer weather bringing out a vast array of wildlife (including the Summer gardeners), I have only come across one post mentioning the sighting of the Honey bee. I myself have seen plenty of Bumble bees (approximately 6 different species) over the past few days, but as yet no Honey bees, to be seen yet.

Gooseberry Plants
Gooseberries Greening Up 19/4/2013
I completed seed sowing on this years "roots bed" on N1 Plot this afternoon having sown, (in 15 feet rows), 2 of Beetroot (Boltardy), 2 of Swede (Marion & Invitation), 2 of Radish (next to the Swedes to repel Flea beetle, hopefully) (Scarlet Globe), 2 of Parsnip (Gladiator & Tender and True), 2 of Carrots (Early Nantes), 1 of Chard (Rainbow), 2 of Turnips (Purple Top Milan) and 3 of Lettuce in between rows (B & Q Mixed and Webs Wonderful).

Peas Under Cloches 19/4/2013
Peas Doing Well Under Cloches 19/4/2013
Six 15 feet rows of Peas have been sown into the Legumes bed of N1 Plot (Hurst Greenshaft). 2 of the rows (under cloches) are currently well established, with the other 4 rows (not covered) still to germinate. The 5 large blue plastic barrels, situated at the lower end of N1 Plot have now been sown with Carrot seeds and covered with polythene sheeting to aid germination of the seeds. Hopefully this method will again deter any Carrot flies. General talk around the allotments recently, is that there will be a large rise in the slug population this year. That maybe true, after the wet weather we have had, BUT BE WARNED, take precautions against the Cut-worm this year, (i.e. plant collars around Brassicas).

Beer & Compost
Out of Date Alcohol for the Compost Heap (Not the Tins) 19/4/2013
 Most of yesterday was spent giving my plots a haircut. The grass verges and paths were strimmed and mowed all around, funny how grass seems to keep growing despite adverse weather conditions, although much of it around our allotments is yellowish in colour rather than green. There are several causes for grass yellowing, but on this occasion it is probably due to earlier water logging, over the Winter and earlier Spring. Nonetheless the cuttings will come in handy on the compost heap. Speaking of composting I decided to dispose of the contents of several old lager and beer cans onto my compost heap to help break down the compost. Good idea? Maybe, maybe not, but it can't be any worse than composting Walnut shells which can be toxic to some plants.
Plum Tree Blossoming 19/4/2013
Plum Tree Blossoming 19/4/2013
 Many gardeners in U.K. will know that this years growing season is later than normal due to the protracted Winter weather. I was glad to have erected a Poly tunnel recently, on N2 Plot. Although the ground inside the tunnel is only partially prepared for direct sowing/planting, (next weeks project), the tunnel has already been worth it's weight in gold. I've spent much time since last week sowing various seeds into pots, which were promptly placed inside the tunnel. This has allowed me to catch up with the germination of Runner beans and Sweetcorn already. I had originally planned to sow these 2 crops directly outside. The Onion sets, planted on N2 Plot have finally started to show good signs of growth, due to this weeks warmer weather.

Cowslip 19/4/2013

Onion Sets
Onions Growing At Last 19/4/2013

Carrots in a Barrel
Carrots Sown into Barrels 17/4/2013


  1. It has been too windy to sow seeds outdoors over the last couple of days but hopefully now it has dies down we should be able to do just that. Our plum trees were just in bud on Tuesday when we lat went to the plot so I'm looking forward to seeing if we have flowers now!

    1. I had a few near accidents with the seed sowing in the breezy conditions but got away with it apart from 1 or 2 stray seeds. Its always nice when the fruit trees start to blossom. I hope the forecast frosts for this coming weekend don't spoil things.

  2. You're well on your way now, such an advantage to have a polytunnel to keep out of that wind! It's very sunny but cold again here in Hungerford. A frost this morning, but it won't affect us as we've no seeds on the go yet!!
    We really should be able to get all our spuds in today though - phew. Feel like we may be catching up a little...

    1. I felt like I was making some progress after I got my spuds in. Although the weather has been relatively warm here again this week the temperatures are dropping quickly on an evening and night, so the poly tunnel is very handy.

  3. Sounds like everything is going great guns on your plots. For me this time of year is what veg gardening is all about - although the wind was a bit of a drawback I have really enjoyed being outdoors again doing what I love best. Happy gardening.

    1. Happy gardening to you too, this time of the year is usually the busiest but most enjoyable. I've managed to mostly catch up with sowing etc after the bad weather. I decided that my tired old front garden & drive needed replacing so I've started on that, could be a mistake at this time of the year. Just shifting approximately 75 square yards of turf, soil, tarmac, sub-soil & rubble.

  4. I know what you mean about trying to balance the gardening and the blogging. For me there is the added annoyance of having to go to work too! Like you, I have been trying to make up for lost time - sowing and planting everything in sight...

    1. I've failed miserably with the blogging again this week. After catching up down the plot I'm now replacing my front garden. I don't envy workers when there are other things to do, but although I'm retired it often doesn't seem so.

  5. You have been busy, we are all in a race to catch up now and I'm sure we will. So glad we have some warmth at last.

    1. Yes it's nice to have some warmer weather at last and lets hope this growing season is better than the last one. Good luck with yours.

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