Saturday, April 29, 2017


The early broad bean crop is in flower, but the growth of both the early and late plants appears to be a bit stunted and the early ones have started to get blackfly: The whole point of an early crop, sown in November, is that they're supposed to flower before the blackfly are around. Marigolds / calendula, which deter blackfly, aren't in flower yet and there don't seem to be as many ladybirds around as usual. It's possible that they all flowered early on short stalks because of the unseasonally warm and dry spring. As usual, the leaves have been chomped by weevils, although it never causes a problem with the crop.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thirsty for a brew

The strawberry bed's not as packed as it's been in previous years. Quite a few of the plants are in flower and like everything else, they need a good watering a couple of times a week. They would probably benefit from some potash to encourage fruit formation or some of the first batch of comfrey fertiliser, which is brewing in a bucket.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Clinging to bristles

The peas seem happy, although they're not keen on climbing old raspberry cane sticks because of the bristles. Scattering a few fennel leaves deters slugs and snails, although it's been so dry, and cold, that there's been no major mollusc appearance yet.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waiting in the wings

The runner beans germinated quickly on a window sill and are raring to go. Need to gradually accilmatize them to being outside and then plant them out once the cold snap passes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The north wind doth blow

The dry spell continued for most of the month and then, just as the potatoes pushed through the soil, a cold snap blew in on a north wind and ruined them. Should have given them some protection, but the temperature wasn't supposed to drop so low - and hasn't done at this time of year for at least a dozen years. Just as well there are a few seed potatoes left over with which to have another try.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bloomin' early

The Cox's apple tree is in blossom early and unlike in previous years, the weather's good for flying pollinators.

Sunday, April 02, 2017


Loads of lovely purple sprouting broccoli around now, hidden away from the pigeons all winter under nets and wire mesh. It grows back after harvesting if you leave a few young shoots and produces more if you give it lots of water.