Monday, May 11, 2009

Now we're motoring...

A busy Sunday was had in the suburban veg plot. More spring cabbage was harvested - I think they're starting to go to seed so we may be eating cabbage rather a lot over the next few weeks. A few more radishes were uprooted and new seed sown in their place.
Excitement abound as the purple podded peas (Lancashire Lad) are seen to have shot up to 6 foot and are now in flower - in beautiful colours! So hopefully the cabbage dinners will shortly be making way for purple mange tout.
I've been hardening off plants over the last few weeks so took the plunge and planted out 2 summer purple sprouting broccoli, a Floridor courgette and an outdoor melon. With a few pieces of strategically placed fleece and one or two plastic bottle cloches in place everything should be fine if the overnight temps suddenly drop again. I've still got Defender courgettes, butternut squash and pumpkin in the greenhouse in large pots, so they'll make the transition to outdoors over the next week or so. At that stage I'll actually be able to move around in my little greenhouse and reach the tomato plants rather than flinging water in their general direction.
The flowering broad beans (Aquadulce) are now waving little baby pods around and the spring-sown broadies (Express) are already showing their first leaves in the same plot as the peas.
I have learned a new way of dealing with slugs - my preferred method thus far has been to scoop them up on a trowel and then catapult them at speed towards the laurel hedge at the bottom of the garden. Although it gave me great satisfaction to hear the little muffled thud as they hit the tree trunks, it was pointed out to me that given that they're made mainly of muscle, they were probably getting off with a bit of a headache before heading back towards my raised beds for another snack. So, with the aid of an upturned flower bucket, I'm now laying them out as fast as I find them as a snack for our friendly garden blackbird - who seems very pleased with the general arrangement.

Potato update 2009: The first bags of Mimi and Anya are almost filled up with soil with plenty of potato foliage (haulms, so I'm told) on top. Looking forward to the harvest in a couple of weeks!

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