Archive | June, 2012
10 Jun

It has been a week where if it could happen it has happened, although the 9 sq/mtr project is beginning to come into its own and is now supplying us with about 20-25% of all the vegetables we are eating: there is even enough for guests, and to trade with a near neighbour.
Purple curly Kale and Chard are currently the most prolific followed closely by Leeks and spring Onions, and an awful lot of Chinese spicy leaf and other leaf crops, and a few very early Carrots. The herb planter is also prolific and again with enough available for friends and neighbours to pick. We have planted 4 of the sweet potato slips in to one of the new planters (the south planter in the shade) and all 4 have taken and are thriving. Courgettes and squash seem to be doing well as do all of the root crops and potatoes.
We have eventually decided not to embark into the realms of Chicken keeping this year, and may choose not to keep any next year. Mainly because we are starting to spend time away from home, that will include several weekends away, and we think it is unfair to burden our neighbours with the necessary tasks that chicken keeping entails. To this end we are going to extend the ground level vegetable plot by approximately 1.2 metres, prepare a new vegetable plot for the autumn where the chicken pen would have stood. Another reason for not keeping chickens is the recent damage we have sustained during last Fridays storm. High winds have damaged a section of fencing which will need all of the panels replaced, and an inspection of the post indicates they are beginning to rot and we might as well be replace all of this section. The chicken pen would have backed onto this and it would have been a major obstacle when replacing the fencing.
The storm also took away approximately one third of the workshop roof during Friday night and the rain lashed in, ruining a Tig welder, Stick welder and the plasma cutter, falling debris took out my small radial arm drill and felled a set of shelves. About 15 litres of paint fell with these shelves and the lids popped from the tins covering a section of floor with a mixture of primer and gloss. Fortunately my Mig welder, pillar drill, chop-saw and compressor remained unscathed. To make matters a little more complicated I was also to be Godfather to Pilsbury’s son; Aaron, and as the damage was already done to the workshop and my equipment we decided to go ahead with the 100 mile drive down into deepest, darkest Essex and fulfil my duty as godfather, leaving the majority of the post storm clean up for this (Sunday) morning.
I have an appointment later this week with the insurance assessor regarding my claim for a new roof and the damaged equipment, but ironically I had scheduled two weeks in August to have the roof completely refurbished; hopefully the insurance company will payout for a new roof, or at least make a serious contribution towards it, which will lessen the impact upon my wallet. I have not taken any photos of the project this week, but Lois has. When she has sorted through them, I will post them up. But here is a couple of photos of Aaron’s Christening:
Tony, Aaron and me:

And Aaron with Lois and I:

1 Jun

It has been two weeks days since I last posted in my blog, and what a busy time it has been for Lois & I.
The weather broke on Wednesday the 23rd. It was 8⁰C and raining on the Tuesday, and then 23⁰C and dry on the Wednesday. Ironically enough on that evening we began watering the plants in the garden; 60 continuous days of rain and we have to irrigate the garden within 24 hours of it stopping! Fortunately we have almost 5cu/mtrs (5000 litres) of rainwater stored in three IBC water tanks and several plastic barrel water butts dotted around the garden.
Here are the photographs taken during the weekend of the 26th and 27th of May
With the dry conditions, it allowed me the opportunity to get the two new planters for the 9sq/ mtr project filled with riddle through topsoil from the heap at the bottom of the garden.

Both of these new vegetable planters required 13 trugs of soil; 26 trugs in total, each one of them filled with approx 50 kg of riddle through stone free soil:

The ratio was approximately 60% soil to 40% stones & gravel: it’s a good job that this will be required for another aspect of this project and various other jobs around the garden:

Our new garden truck proved to be ideal for this job. However, the low tipping height excluded using it for tipping directly into the planters:

But it managed the full capacity 200kg loads with ease:

Now I have the planters filled, it is down to Lois to populate them with the vegetable seedlings and young plants:

The Sweet Potatoes now have viable slips for planting up on them:

We also have several pots with Oca planted in them, and they are now beginning to show through:

Our herb planter is currently overflowing:

And there is an abundance of chard, and leaf vegetables in the 3 tiered vegetable Planter:

The ground level vegetable patch is also doing extremely well:

The wild Horseradish is doing very well, and will soon be ready for separating the roots into other pots for further propagation; it has to be kept in pots on top of the water tank to prevent Oz getting at it …he loves to chew fresh horseradish root:

In the conservatory the seedlings are coming along nicely and some of the plants are almost ready to transfer out in to their final positions:

The vegetables in the old galvansied steel water tank are beginning to show some promise. The leeks have taken almost 1 year to grow to that size due to being shaded out by last years crop of Wonderberries (Please don’t bother growing these, as they are virtually tasteless).

Now that I have the structual and hard landscaping work for our 9 sq/mtrs project more or less done, Lois will take over the majority of the planting, tending and harvesting allowing me to concentrate on the the other aspects of this and other projects for our garden …. look forward to lots more posts folks. _________________