Tuesday, 8 May 2012

and then there were seven.

Tuesday 8th May 2012
After a night of rain, the smallest hole in the clouds hints at a sunrise.
And then there were seven...
Life after the childcatcher.

A night of heavy rain created a quagmire in the pig enclosure. Just imagine if I'd had to catch them in this!

First job of the day was to move all the seedlings back out, indoor to greenhouse, greenhouse to coldframe, coldframe to sheltered outside position.

Just as I finished that job, I heard the beeping of a lorry reversing into the yard.
The polytunnel! ... All 28 packages of it. Now I just need to wait for a warm, sunny weekend with no wind. Should be up by August then!

The calendar reminded me, too, that today was day 19 for the incubator eggs. Two days to go before due date. This is important, since now they need to stop being turned and I need to raise the humidity in the incubator. With a bit of luck, we'll improve our hatching success rate this time.

The weather was nothing to shout about today, but it was nothing to shout at either. It actually stayed dry enough for me to get out and plant a few more seeds in the veg beds.

I've always achieved 100% success with germinating broad beans, but this time it looks like I'm down to about 50%. It seems a long time ago that I poked these seeds into the ground - I seem to remember them sitting in very dry ground for a couple of weeks, since when they've been sodden. No real surprise, then, that they didn't all get through. So today I filled the gaps. This will count as my second sowing of broad beans, ensuring that they do not all crop at once.
The pak choi seedlings have not fare at all well either. I suspect slugs this year. This is one vegetable where seed packets do not seem to contain a century's supply of seed! Anyhow, I have resown the seeds and applied a liberal sprinkling of slug granules (not the type which poison everything, but clay pellets which the slugs shouldn't like to crawl over). As I trimmed the (now very long) grass edging to the bed, it became apparent where the slugs were living. They have clearly enjoyed a month of rain, as well as my pak choi plants. 

Last seeds to be sown today were some of the quick growing brassicas - radishes and turnips, which get sown every few weeks to give a constant supply.

I am painfully aware that there are more seeds which need to go in soon (well, last week really) but a small delay won't do much harm. They won't get far until the weather improves anyway.
But the native weeds have really been enjoying the weather. Their seeds have been laying in the soil since last year and got off to an early start. Now they are racing ahead of all useful plants. That reminds me, I must do a post soon on "weeds", some of which I actually encourage in the right place.

The soil today was perfect for weeding though, even the most deeply rooted dandelions and docks coming straight out, roots and all. So that little job kept me busy till 8 in the evening, when I only stopped because the builder came round to discuss our forthcoming upheaval.

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