Tuesday 14 May 2013

Lush Growth

At last I am making more progress on the land with mother nature doing most of the work. My runner beans are up and starting to climb, for once I appear to have parsnip seedlings, slugs are on the move but I am hoping that some plants will survive the onslaught. Lettuces and herbs have continued to crop throughout the winter and garlic is slowly making progress. Peas are shooting up but no sign of the asparagus crowns that I planted over winter.
The red currents are looking promising although they were transplanted this winter, the copious rain seems to have revitalised them. It seems to have suited the other currents and immature gooseberries are in abundance. The weather at the moment is hugely variable, hot and sunny one day, dull and cold the next but the use of my hosepipe extension is helping seeds germinate and transplants establish.
This year I am trying straw mulches around suitable plants to try to conserve water and improve the soil. Yesterday was very hot and whilst planting young basil plants between my tomatoes in an old builders sack, in our south facing courtyard,  it was amazing how much difference there was between the surface of the straw and the cool moist soil beneath.
The lemon tree continues to thrive, the largest lemon has been hanging on the tree for nearly a year now and will soon be ripe enough to pick, meanwhile the tree continues to flower profusely and is covered in more lemons in varying stages of development.
The comfrey is just coming into flower, much to the delight of the bumblebees. We seem to have a huge variety of bumblebees here, small ones, some with orange bottoms, some mostly yellow. The native honeybees are completely black.
The biomass and basket willow slips we planted this winter are sprouting well but they are going to need some competing vegetation cutting back regularly until they establish fully. They are in a very wet area of land with a cardboard mulch around it but competition for the light is intense.

Chard is one of my favourite vegetables and the few plants I grew in the tyre tower over winter have given me so many delicious meals and they are just beautiful. I love this time of year.

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