I am in my second season on the veg patch, and I am reaping the benefit of my mistakes from last year. I now know what I did wrong last summer , and how to make a better attempt this year.
I had some odd things grow and some things that didn't and then there was the first wonder of the world, the complete fail, that was dubbed "The Leaning Tower of Barton"
In this picture it was only listing to about 10 degrees, by the end of the summer it was over at nearly 45 degrees. The weight of the plants was just too much for a couple of weedy canes and a plastic connecting ring at the top.
This year, I am determined to do better. I am also growing lots more peas, which have germinated very successfully so I wanted to make sure that I had a rock solid frame for them to grow up.
Luckily last year in a moment of inspiration, I cut lots of long canes from a large bamboo bush on our property. They had dried out beautifully and were very substantial, so these were to be the main building material. The only other was a rather large ball of string.
I had a plan in my head and got on with it, This is the final result. My second wonder of the world, which this year has been dubbed "The Great Wall of Barton"
I think it would take a hurricane to knock this over. On that note, I am therefore glad that Michael Fish has retired from the weather service.
The great wall now waits patiently for the pea's to climb all over it. I shall be planting them tomorrow once I have had my first ever delivery of Nematodes..
Nematodes? I hear some of you ask. What are they.. In all honesty, all I know about them is that they are Roundworms. After reading lots of advice, they seem to be the best way to prevent slugs without resorting to the nasty blue pellets that I don't want Gibson or the hens, or in fact any other wildlife ingesting. So worms it is. They are arriving in the post tomorrow and I shall water them into all the beds before planting out. I will then top them up every 6 weeks through the summer and hopefully my vegetables will be slug free. I will let you know how they do. I was wondering if I should name them, but then saw that there are potentially thousands of them in the pack, so probably not!
After my first successfully building project, the bug had bitten me, so it was time to design another frame for the sweet peas. This one was not on the scale of the great wall but still pretty substantial.
It was pointed out, after I had finished, that I should have used the spirit level, But my plan all along was to build an homage to last summers leaning tower. This one is far less likely to fall over.
After another successful build, I felt the need to plant something. so I decided to risk the sweet peas to slugs.
They have been growing happily for a while in the greenhouse and are looking very healthy
There are four varieties, Winston Churchill, Beaujolais, Perfume Delight and Painted Lady. There is one variety on each side and the remaining plants I shall plant in amongst the peas for a bit of colour.
Even though I am risking them to slugs for 24 hours, I did protect them from Big Bob and Fat Dave, our resident pigeons. They were circling hopefully as I planted, getting lower and lower for a look. Out came the netting and with a few clips, the seedlings are now snug and safe.
The strawberry bed was also ready for a bit of bird protection, so after a nice thick layer of straw to help the berries stay off the ground, the bird net cage went on them for the season.
The Asparagus in the bed next door is also up and doing well. This is the second season it has grown, and I need to check, but I think that means we can eat some of it this year. Gibson has already beaten us to it, he nipped the top off one of the spears yesterday.. You can see it in the picture in the background. I asked him how it tasted, but he wasn't in the mood to chat .
After running straight through my potato bed this morning, after next doors cat, he has earned himself a summer long ban from the patch.
Finally on the planting front, my various trays of leeks have been planted out.
The ones I sowed in the toilet rolls were really easy to plant and had a much better root system than the ones grown in cells. I shall be collecting rolls again for next years planting.
I imagine, the entries will now become a bit more regular again as I get on with getting ready for summer. I leave you with a beautiful Pea in flower, Three chickens taking a bath and a small labrador having fun with his favourite treat, a frozen banana.
Enjoy the sunshine