Thursday, 7 June 2012

Flaming June

Thursday 7th June 2012
The moments just before the sun comes up often give the most dramatic skies
as the light bounces around the clouds.
Today was one of my favourites of the year so far.

Flaming June is to be taken as a mild expletive, not a description of the weather!

Talking of flames, that reminds me. Where are my carrots? I've sown about six different types (not all orange) at three different times in several different places and they're now long overdue. I can only think that they are all lying dormant and will take me by surprise, or that the seeds have lost their viability since last year. But all of them?? Could be the slugs, but again, all of them?
Anyway, I'll give it another week and then I'll sow new ones, much more thickly and forget successional sowing! The same seems to have happened to my Hamburg Parsley and Spring Onions. Maybe a hot, dry few days came at just the wrong time, especially with the hosepipe ban still in place.

Well, June has not exactly been flaming so far. In fact, there's been enough rain to make weeding a delightful task. And boy, have those weeds grown! Today was the turn of the soft fruit patch to be cleared. Rhubarb, gooseberries, currants of all colours, raspberries, blackberries, tayberry, honeyberry, blueberries and strawberries - all were beginning to be engulfed by dandelions, docks, sowthistles, proper prickly thistles, nettles, mayweed, fat hen and a host of other invasive plants.
But sometimes, if you time it just right, conditions for weeding are perfect. And today was the day. The soil was not sticky or clogging, but was so soft that even the likes of dandelion and dock with their deep, tapering roots, if grabbed firmly at the base and tugged gently, yielded their whole root. Such was the task that, after a late start, it took most of the day and resulted in four barrowloads of weeds for the pigs to pick through. 

And now we have raspberries again. I can even work out which are the summer fruiting and which the autumn fruiting. We just need some sun to ripen all those fruits nicely.

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