Tuesday 17 June 2008

Hoeing, mowing, sowing

Some lovely sunny weather has made it possible to spend some time tidying up the vegetable plots. Hoeing is easy enough if you keep on top of it but I still find it hard not to swipe away a little too hard and cut off wanted plants along with the weeds.

An example of this was a beetroot plant, just one that I had left to flower, partly because I wanted the seeds and a bit because I wanted to see the flowers. With my mind well out of its orbit I'd chopped off a couple of flowering stems before I'd even realised it was something I was trying to save. The whole thing is now loose in the soil and will probably die instead of seeding.

That aside, it was a reasonably effective exercise and along with a bit of hand weeding around the peas and runner beans in the heritage bed everything looks much neater than before. It's not just for the sense of pride in a tidy garden, it removes places for slugs to hide and aphids to cluster, not to mention ensuring that resources of air, food and water go where they're needed and not back into weed seeds for next year.


The dry weather has also meant that I can get on with the twice monthly task of cutting the grass. Each time I cut I try to extend the boundaries just a little bit more and I'm now taking in patches behind the cider house (making it easier to get to the apples!) and around the tractor shed, hopefully this will assist the builders if we ever manage to get any.

I've also cut down the grass and removed quantities of brambles from the raised 'dog exercising area' which I'd love to make into a herb garden but which I think will have to be put to potatoes or something next year so that we can get a grip on the perennial weeds infesting it. I've been about to cover this patch with plastic for nearly a week now and might even manage to do it tomorrow now that I've stated the intention for the whole world to see. Well, some of them anyway.


Tonight I've sown some more seeds. It's a bit late but I've found some old marigold and borage seeds and I hope I can get some of each going in time to set seed this year. They usually self seed prolifically and I've never had to replant anywhere they've got going but I can only find one marigold seedling this year and I don't think borage has ever been tried here before so that needs to be addressed.

I've also made repeat sowings of rocket and basil and started a few plugs each of red mustard greens and dill. I'd far rather sow those in position but I'm running out of space (!) and will have to drop things in when an opening appears.


Janelle said...

whoops. left a comment miles away...so i write it again here! LOVE THE PICS..deep colours...and the site...oh and just so you know, used my hat this evening...rhino the horse was much better behaved..still head chucking but not as dangerous as last night! will be back for more of your blog! its GREAT! xxx janelle

Catofstripes said...

Janelle, you are so sweet, so nice you said it twice :)

Glad you like the pictures and everything. Blogging is a weird way of interacting with the world but you do meet some great people.

Give that horse a carrot from me. I have your blog on my Reader list so I never miss an entry, keep on writing and good luck with that enormous house party, you're going to have such fun.