Mostly weeding this week. Strawberries picking, redcurrants nearly ready. More overcast than sunny with rain Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday, plus other odd showers - water butts full again.

We actually had a bit of rain this week, not much but enough to put some in the water-butts and mean I haven't had to do any outdoor watering since Thusrday.

Monday and Tuesday hot and sunny continuing the May theme - away in Bristol on Tues. Then on Weds we had intermittent light rain showers and on Friday. Saturday it actually rained a bit more.

Have mostly been tidying up, did a bit of mowing this morning along the top hedge and in the top garden, yesterday between the sheds. Also weeding - although plot 4 needs doing again.

Strawberry harvest has been continuing - have had about 4lb++ so far - ice cream is made :-). Loads of lettuce. Some french beans and runners up and recoverring. Leeks remain tiny. Onions look ok, parsnips are rubbish but swede has come up ok.

Monday: Mel melons, Tyson Sweetcorn and Black Beauty courgettes all appearing in pots. Sunny with a light breeze and forecast says remaining the same for the week - no sign of rain. Water is becoming an issue. Mowed around the currant area but a bit late in the day and noticeably tough going.

Tuesday started earlier and got a good couple of hours mowing in before 10:30 - getting a pain in my right side chest as well as the grumbling elbow :-(. Did the nut bank, Sunset Garden, Beths Garden. Sowed a short line of greenshaft peas in plot 7 and 2ft of webbs lettuce to finish the saladbowl row in plot 6. Limes now both in full leaf. I think I identified an enormous Norway Maple on the other side of the Kensey near the centre.

Wednesday - weeding in plot 4, picked a small bowl of strawbs (about 6oz). Sowed some frnch beans in the final gap in plot 2 at the end of the sprunions. Sprunions and leeks not doing well - too dry I suspect.

Thursday continued work on the tractor house frame - just about ready for me to get some timber for sides and roof rafters etc.

Friday - planted out 12 x Tyson sweetcorn, and six greenhouse-started runner beans given by No6 Winsor Terrace in plot 7. Another 8oz of strawberries.

Today spent most of the day there as Jane brought picnic lunch. Has been a very sunny dry week. Done no mowing since Tuesday as too hot and dry. Weeding in all plots. Picked elderflowers and 1┬Żlbs strawberries :-)

Planted out 4 butternut squash and 4 black beauty courgettes in plot 7 and 7 more courgettes in a row in plot 4. All plots pretty much full now. Planted aubegine and pepper seedlings in the tunnel in the gaps. That must be nearly it for the sowing and planting until some space is cleared. Just the MelMel melons to find a home for.

3 loads of water today - also did the currants and some small trees. Forecast still looks like no rain for the next week, and longer term they are saying a dry summer. Strem is still refilling the dipping pool, but flow rates are well down.

Monday - sowed Enorma Runner Beans around frame in plot six and more french beans to the south of it in plot 6 to replace the ones lost to frost. Also sowed another batch of sweetcorn (Tyson) and courgettes (Black Beauty) in individual pots (about a dozen of each). Using tractor to collect 2 dustbins full or water at a time from the stream - about 6 buckets in each so around 120 litres at a time - 12+ watering cans. Two loads most days.

Tuesday was overcast in the early morning so cracked on with mowing around the bottom and plums. Noticed all young/small trees very stressed - oaks particularly. Sowed 1/2 row Nantes carrots and 1/2 of white gem Parsnip and 1 row red and white onions in plot 4. Used salad burnet as a marker in the parsnip row. Managed to tip the water trailer over on way to do the currants - mustn't pull in over bumpy ground!

Wednesday Sunny again - found a seed sachet labelled MelMel - presumably some kind of melon from last year so sowed them. Planted out the LaviGal melons (4 of them survived) into the S corners of the tunnel. Manually watered currants and blueberries.

Thursday - possibly a very light shower last night. Mowing around cherries and chestnuts and down to the willows.

Friday - definitely a small shower last night but sunny again in the morning. Did peening and work on tractor house frame. Elderflowers are out (not fully open). Picked more Salad Bowl lettuce.

Saturday - mowed across to quinces

Today raking up grass and planted out the second batch of sweetcorn which were in the tunnel when the frosts hit - sowed runner beans between the rows. For some reason two of the first batch managed to survive the frosts when all the others were killed off, I wonder why. Picked 1st strawberry - delicious.

Monday got an earlyish start for some good easy mowing at the top. Really enjoying the 85cm blade now, maybe the tang angle is better than the one that broke as it seems much better. Also have started using a slightly coarse stone for honing which makes a difference. 

The first post for the tractor shed has been planted, there was a cold North-easterly wind which should have been a clue, but it was sunny.

Monday night there was a blooming frost - a week later than the last frost last year, which was itself unusually late I thought. All the potatoes hit, and the sweetcorn and courgettes that I planted out on Sunday thinking that we were past the risk. Aaaargh. Followed by more frosts on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night. WTF?. I covered the spuds with grass clippings on Wednesday to try and protect any recovery, but the runner beans and french beans are also gone. Did more mowing and raking up mostly on Tuesday and Wednesday around the top and down towards the cherries.

Away to Bristol Thursday and Friday - back to work on Saturday replacing the netting on the fruit cage with a proper length that Gardens Naturally finally were persuaded to send. Plus hand weeding around the veg, fixing up pea climbers and much watering - we seem to be in another dry spell, so I started using the tractor to bring up dustbin loads or water from the stream.

Today cleared the nettles down near the stream - tomorrow will add them to the compost bin. Also planted the second front post for the tractor shed and measured out the remainder. Will need to buy timber for roof rafters and sides plus some form of roof sheeting - probably a couple of hundred quid. 

 

A week of reasonable weather for early morning mowing, and a bit of tidying up and planting on the side.

Monday was overcast and warm. Filled in some gaps where shallots and garlic had failed to show with spare onion sets. The first sprunion and leek sowings have started to show so sowed another 2ft of sprunions. One row of swede in plot 4, and 18more pots of conqueror sweetcorn (the first batch are hardening off) plus 4 each of butternut squash and marketmore ridge cucumber. And a short row (6ft) of Ferrari French Beans in plot6. 

Tuesday dawned with it having rained in the night, and windy and cloudy. Good for getting on with some mowing. Now using the 85cm effectively. First runner beans are showing.

Wednesday and Thursday and Friday were spent cracking on with mowing with an early (well 8am) start, pear orchard, barn alley, central cherry area, and apple orchard all done. Also bodged together the rubbish bit of butterfly net that Gardens Naturally had sent to make up the 1.2m shortfall in the fruit cage net and got the roof on. Pretty crap result - fired off an email complaint.

The beech hedge, which had no leaves on Tuesday was in full leaf on Thursday. That just leaves the two Lime trees, a first leaf was noticed on the top one on Friday.

Friday planted out first 11 sweetcorn and sowed 4 pairs of runner beans between to climb the corn aztec style. On Saturday added 5 courgette Black Beuaty and 3 di Nizza to the mix in plot 7. It was sunny still and hot.

Today warm again with hazy sun and high cloud. Planted out 4 more diNizza courgettes in plot 7 and sowed a row of Sunflowers (Russian Giant) in the NE corner of plot 7. A couple of french beans have shown, but that is all.

The week started badly when I tried to fit the netting to the fruit cage frame over the redcurrants (which have set and will attract blackbirds shortly) and discovered that blooming Gardens Naturally had only sent me 10.5m instead of the 12m needed. Grrrr - emails phone calls ensued.

Sowed another set of Black Beauty Aubergine to replace the ones from a month ago which never germinated, also some peppers.

Its not been as sunny this week, in fact it rained Monday night and drizzled most of Tuesday which replenished the water butts. A bit more on Wednesday morning. Pulled some rhubarb and plucked some lettuce leaves.

Thursday I did more sowing - a row of Webbs lettuce and half a row of Salad bowl in plot 6, a row of perpetual spinach in middle of plot 3/4. Earthed up first two rows of spuds, moved some spare broad beans to replace gaps in the first row. Planted out another batch of, now overgrown, cabbages in plot1. Transplanted some peppers in the tunnel and did much general weeding. 

Rained again Thursday night but got much mowing done on Friday and Saturday.

After getting up at (literally) crack of dawn to hear the Dawn Chorus I failed to come back later to do any more work. Got a bit of mowing done whilst enjoying the birdsong - which stopped fairly abruptly as the sun rose.