The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Saturday, March 05, 2011

All Systems Go

The apple trees (aka big sticks) eventually arrived. We had been phoned on the Friday to say they had just been dispatched and would be here on Monday. I was a little peeved as they had missed the good weather window. Luckily we did not have a hard frost and the ground was not frozen so in the morning I went out and dug 10 holes ready for planting. They arrived in the afternoon. I needed Paul's help to hold them at the angle of the canes while I refilled the holes and tied them loosely in place. Once in I tied them to the canes more securely and after checking my bible lightly tip pruned them to a suitable bud. Last job was to get the chicken wire in place to protect them from Jen and Poncho. This will have to be done better in the future as it is not rabbit proof...

I have a good selection with a long cropping season of August right through to the end of the year, and some storing in to the next spring:
Keswick Codlin - dual purpose
Belle de Boskoop - cooker
Saturn - dessert
King of the Pippins - dual purpose
Katy - dessert
Scotch Bridget - cooker
James Grieve - dual purpose
Suntan - dessert
Laxton Superb - dessert
Ellison's Orange - dessert

However, it will be 2013 before we should get any as my bible says to remove the blossom in the first couple of years to let the trees put their energy into growth...

I started weeding the LBE on Thursday. This hadn't been planned but on taking the dogs out at lunch time I had stopped to pick out a couple of weeds. And then I handed Jen over to Paul and just kept going. An hour and a half later and it looked a lot better.

I can now see more and more wild baby primroses coming through - the fruit of my labour last year in transplanting clumps from the rockery area. The pansies also seem to have spread their seed far and wide.

Yesterday was veggie patch day.

All the dead runner beans were unwrapped from the wigwams and obelisks and pulled out. Beds were weeded and forked over.

Cabbages were assessed and I now have one that is pickable, four that look as if they are attempting to form new heads and the rest were pulled out. Any greenery on them was bagged up and given to Margaret to feed to her geese. The curly kale looks as if it is re-sprouting - I have left it in but am not sure whether it is worthwhile.

I still need to hand weed that bed and around my disappointing leeks. Some look as if they may be worth picking, but the vast majority don't look much bigger than when I planted them.

The nettles are doing better :(

On the bright side, all three clumps of rhubarb are coming through strongly...

And I made a start on clearing the leaves and debris from the raised planters.

I still have a lot of last year's carrots unharvested and it looks as if a lot have survived the winter. They are pushing themselves out of the soil. I pulled one up and it tasted absolutely fine.

It may also be worth my time harvesting some of the larger onions that overwintered. And plant the Red Baron onion sets I bought a couple of weeks ago.

And my requested cow muck from Margaret has just been delivered - perfect timing...

I am ahead of last year , and this March I do not need to spend 30+ hours sifting topsoil and loading the fruit tree bed. I just hope the weather keeps behaving itself.

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