News from the vegetable plots

16th Jun 2015

Time for a catchup on progress in the vegetable beds this year. We started early a usual with the poly tunnels rapidly filling up with seedlings whilst we waited for the ground to warm up.

   As soon as we could, we started on the roots down in the far field. Parsnip, carrot and beetroot were sown by hand whilst Ian and Rachael used the ancient push-along seed drill for our fodder beet. We also tried a new crop of turnips for our sheep this winter, just broadcasting the seed directly.   

After a lot of success with brassicas last year, we’ve done more of the same, planting seedlings through weed supressent fabric and covering with enviromesh supported on hoops made from water pipe. The picture shows some early cabbages, Hispi and Greyhound which we are already harvesting for veg boxes now.  

Our first veg boxes of the year always rely on rhubarb which was a little late this year but plentiful once it came through. Caroline has taken over responsibility for the salad crops in the poly tunnel and has produced fabulous lettuces every week so far.   

This weekend we started netting the fruit bushes as the gooseberries and red currants are ripening quickly and if we’re not fast the birds will get them all before us! 

  The over wintered broad beans have finally reached the veg boxes, more than three weeks later than last year! This seems a common problem, the nights have remained cold for longer  this year, despite the occasional warm day.  

Top jobs still remaining are to get the last if our squash plants out and to keep on top of the thistles that are dominating the potato field and roots beds. Things to look forward to are the first soft fruits and early courgettes which are small but growing fast! In the greenhouse, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers have started to set and it won’t be long before they’re adding some variety to our salads.

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