Thursday, 24 June 2010

A change in the weather

Despite warnings from United Utilities that we will have a hosepipe ban next week it has been much cooler here and a little breezy.

Keith came and finished the second support frame for an IBC tank. Once the guttering is altered we will be able to collect lots of rainwater, but no rain is forecast!

The soil where he dug for this frame is great, 18" of silt-based topsoil, hardly any stones, it will be fabulous growing space once the log piles are gone.

In the greenhouse, an aubergine has flowered. It is many years since I grew them and had forgotten how pretty the flowers are.

I did something I should have done ages ago - put lots of water on the potager wind-break hedge bed. Happily the addition of numerous barrows of rotted cow manure earlier in the year means that the soil is retaining moisture far better than I expected.

I then took a large hammer to this poor holly which we inherited with the house.

It has been settled at the road end of the hedge bed accompanied by most of the yew plants which have been in one of the raised beds. I saved them all from Extinction By Fencing and Tree Felling many months ago. They have put on great root growth since going into their nursery bed and once in their permanent home looked considerably better than I expected. More watering and a handful of chicken manure pellets and they looked quite at home!

The remainder of the yew plants are not suitable for the hedge, a couple are golden and the rest are a columnar variety, possibly Taxus baccata 'Standishii' and will do better as specimen plants somewhere else. I've put them in good sized tubs for the time being.

Finally gave in to the nagging of a friend and harvested our first pot of new potatoes. I didn't think they were ready because the haulms have not started to die back and I confess, am a little disappointed in the results. Not as many tubers as I expected and the flavour, whilst pleasant and definitely 'fresh', was not as distinctly 'earthy' and new-potato like as I would have preferred. Not remotely surprised by this - Flummery and Hazel had warned me that this variety (Rocket) was known for speed rather than substance.


  1. I grow rocket first early potatoes. There is nothing at all quite like your first feed of potatoes. Hope you enjoyed them!

  2. Oh, the thought of new potatoes and peas!!! Yum. In our part of the world, we didn't remove the potato plant until we were ready to harvest in the fall. We simply looked for a "crack" in the soil and then dug down with an old spoon (or trowel) to find the lovely potato that had displaced the soil and caused the crack! Then we patted the dirt back into place so the plant could continue its job of producing more potatoes. Been a very long time since I've done that. Fond memories.

  3. 'Once the log piles have gone' no need to rush then!!

  4. Rush CB? What is this "rush" thing? Ah yes, that's what you young 'uns do. Those of us who are a little bit older take things at a more leisurely pace, pfnar, pfnar, pfnar

    Matron, FFG, thank you for your comments.


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