Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Aliens in the garden?

The mutant eggs continue to appear. Now, as well as the super huge double yolkers which I get every other day, one of the chickens is laying soft shelled eggs. 

The first time I saw one, was three days ago laying in the straw in the run. It had burst and was laying like a sad, end of party balloon or one of these squiggly children's balls with a little alien inside, in one of the three nesting boxes. The lovely yellow yolk was glistening in the sun as I opened up for the day. 

I didn't worry about it and thought it was a one off, until yesterday evening. I went out at dusk to close up the house and could see something laying on the ground in the run. I reached in to pick it up (With bare hand) and just as my hand made contact I realised it was another burst egg. The yolk was enormous and burst straight away. So there I was standing in the allotment with egg yolk running down my arm. Yuk!

Ok so now it was time to fire up the internet and see what was going on. A google search gave lots of results, but all seemed to think it wasn't a problem and would stop in a few days. The cause was also widely discussed on various sites, but most thought that it could be caused by a chicken having a shock. 

Gibson, the very bouncy puppy has been chasing the chickens every day since he moved in, so he obviously wasn't the cause of the problem. Then I remembered the day before the alien eggs started, we had the most spectacular thunder and lightening. That must be it. 

This morning there was another alien, but also another double yolker! I have made sure they have lots of calcium in the form of oyster shell grit and now I just have to wait for the soft eggs to stop. Lets hope there are no more storms. 

The impressive amounts of rain we have had over the last couple of days have brought the garden to life. I finally have Parsnip seedlings growing. 

These were the very first things I planted in my garden and I subsequently discovered that Parsnips are quite difficult to grow. I waited in vain day after day, as everything else was growing around them. I had given up and was just about to dig the ground over and plant something else when these little beauties appeared. There are lots of gaps in the rows but hopefully over the next few days they will all appear. 

The carrot seeds I planted have come up in a nice thick row, It seems a shame thin them but I know I have to or else they will al be weedy specimens. 

And today I really must earth up my Duke of York potatoes. I have been putting it off because as with all these things, I have never grown them before and so not really sure what to do. I have just found a very useful video at VideoJug. This site has loads of very good little clips showing how to do various garden jobs.  No putting it off any longer. 

I have also discovered completely by accident that I have some edible wild plants growing all over the garden. This week is Food Festival Week at Milford on Sea. I went along with my neighbour to a cookery demonstration given by a chef from a restaurant we would both like to visit. 

He was making something with scallops and started talking about a plant called a Three Cornered Leek. He described the plant and my ears pricked up. I thought that I had wild garlic growing by the gate into the allotment. Every time I passed it I got  an oniony garlic whiff. Now I wasn't so sure. After the chef had finished I went and had a chat and was then convinced that I had the leeks. Once home I found a picture on the internet and recognised them straight away. Here they are growing by my gate.

You can use them in salads and to make a pesto that you can mix with anything, so looking forward to using them over the summer, and best of all, they grew all by themselves!

Finally Gibson news. He is growing at an amazing rate now. we won't be able to call him a puppy much longer. So far no damage and he is very well behaved. He is also becoming a bit of a poser. We have taken so many pictures of him, every time he sees a camera now he stops and presents his best side!

The sun is shining, its a beautiful day so we are off for a long walk on the beach and then an afternoon in the garden for me. Enjoy your Sunday.


  1. Will you cover the carrots to keep the carrot fly away?

  2. Hi Sue

    I expect so, although I have been reading about companion planting and so put them next to the shallots which apparently helps, also I have Marigolds and Nasturtium in the greenhouse ready to go out around them as well. In your experience does that work, if not I will have to cover them up.

    1. Apparently for onions etc to work against carrot fly you need to plant 5 rows of onions to one of carrots and this is only effective whilst the onions leaves are actually growing.

      Our experience is that the only real way to keep carrot fly at bay is to cover with fleece or enviromesh. Fleece is easily damagaed and doesn't last as long.
      I have written about our methods on my website this page if you want to know more about what we do.

    2. Sue My enviromesh arrived today, but sadly if I get it out of the packet it will lift me off towards the Isle of Wight, once the wind has dropped it will be over those carrots..

    Welcome join my blog...Thanks

  4. Another great post. I love that HUGE egg!

  5. any answers to your alien problem? any sign of crop circles yet?