I arrived nice and early - for me - at 8.30 this morning as I am way behind and have lots to do. However, as I came in the gate someone was leaving and wanted the gate left open for them!
Having emptied the kitchen waste into the compost bin I pulled out my hose and started watering the newly planted climbing French beans and then the runner beans using my 'watering stick'. This is the title I give to an aluminium tube (the handle from an old window cleaning brush) with a push on connector that fits on the end of my hose. It enables me to put lots of water right at the roots of plants so I only need to water from time to time, not every day.
I then put lots of water in between the ridges of my potatoes, enough for the week however dry it gets.
I then set about planting my five curly kale plants in the second brassica tunnel. (This tunnel will stay longest on its station so I plan to plant my late winter brassicas in it.) (Method. Scrape the grass cuttings mulch of a 9 inch patch, carve a spade wide 4 inch deep hole, then plant a plant from a 3 inch pot in a hole at the bottom of the hole using a bulb planter and lots of lime (to help avoid clubroot).
Moving on I used my plough attachment (Wolff tools) to carve a trench on my legumes bed. A bit of tidying up with the spade and I had a wide trench, 4 inches deep and a spade width to sow my peas. I had one packet of this year's seed from D.T.Brown via the RHAA seed order system, to which I added two packets of two and three year old seed. I hope the mice will eat a selection and leave enough seedlings for me. Covered with a net tunnel and, with a Lidl sonic mouse scarer at the end of the row, I hope for a good row of the variety Hurst Greenshaft.
I then noticed the weeds growing in the patch next door destined for my sweet corn and squashes. I spent quite a while digging them up concentrating on those tallest and those about to seed. Halfway through I realised the time and left the rest for my next visit and started harvesting.
I cut the last few spears of asparagus, having found and killed just one asparagus beetle and one larva. I will now leave the shoots to form the feathery fronds to enable the plants to strengthen ready for next year's crop. Spraying with Pyrethrum against the beetle may be necessary.
I then moved on to thinning the rest of the row of mixed Ruby and Swiss Chard. The thinnings make a lovely tender spinach-like vegetable. I left alternate red and white young plants where possible to give an interesting crop in the future.
Next I dug out a row of garlic as the tops looked dead, ready for harvesting. While they were not as big as in the shops my wife tells me the flavour is more intense which is as I like it.
While doing that I put a fork in under the neighbouring row of onions to break the roots so they begin drying off. Every single one of my autumn planted sets has gone to seed this year, probably due to the weather. They will not store whole and strung up in the usual way so there will be lots of chopping and freezing in the next month or so - unless someone advises differently!
While putting everything away I noticed the Loganberry growing at the end of the plot, mixed in with nettles, Comfrey and various junk, had started to fruit so I picked a few ripe fruits to see if I like them.
Tidying away the hosepipe took as long as all the other tools but I got home in time for morning coffee at just after 10.30 pleased at how much I had achieved.