This time last week it was windy and rainy, just for the day; early start today before the sun was too high and the day was too hot. A small list of jobs to do which included re-netting the sprouts, finish laying compost over where the potatoes and onions once were, and starting to clear ground to plant potatoes for Christmas (seed potatoes in a box waiting to be planted out)….
I started with giving everything a quick watering before the sun got on too it too much, a mixture of watering cans and hose pipe. A quick check on progress of the kale showed no new caterpillar damage, none dropped off when I shock them about and a couple of them looked like they were coping better – I shall continue to hunt for caterpillars each visit. To continue with the “no-dig” I spread some more mushroom compost over, removing stones and things before spreading it out.
The main job of the day would be sorting out the netting on the sprouts of which the plants have grown too tall and wide for it. I copied an idea from another plot in making a frame with spare bamboo canes and putting the netting over the top, usage of cable ties was required. The end result is a lot more vertical room which they should like. I took the chance to do some weeding, removing small bits of bind weed they were trying to find a way to climb up to the light. I found out, sprouts smell of cabbage even before you eat them…
A spot of breakfast when Rachael arrived with coffee and carrot cake, we sat in the shade. Then finishing off spreading compost over the old potato/onion bed, removing the path, putting down old newspaper before I did it. The idea here is the expectations that I might remove the raised beds for next year as they seemed to get dried out quite quickly hence no runner beans and limited success on other plants (although french beans have been happy). With the raised beds gone I have options for paths when it comes to it, and I never planned to have permanent paths anyway.
I had put it off for long enough and so the final half an hour was sorting out somewhere to plant potatoes. We have 10 Rocket seed potatoes in a box at home waiting to be planted, for a harvest in time for Christmas. The chosen site is where the second lot of raspberries are, the only bit of the plot that we have left to its own devices as we have no need for so many raspberries. It not only contains a lot of out of control raspberries but also a lot of bindweed and brambles – I had put it off for a reason. Even though it was coming up to midday I made a small start and got a quarter of it dug over. Not totally double dug but down quite a way and removing a lot of bindweed roots as I go. It will take a couple more visits to get it fully cleared.
Before we left we picked beetroot, french beans, a single runner bean, and a couple of odd looking broad beans (which have surely come to an end now). Turnip, salad, rocket, beetroot seeds sowed the other week have all started to show.
Sweet pepper plants at home all have lots of peppers growing, all looking good apart from one plant downstairs that has been suffering badly from greenfly. A gave it a third spraying of diluted washing up liquid, scrapped off a load of insects, rinsed off with plain water and gave it the weekend outside.
Radish planted in pots just a couple of days ago are all showing, you can almost see them grow as you watch them. Cabbage seed yet to show, swede sowings from the other week looking healthy.