I am beginning to prepare the beds for Summer crops now, starting with the one on #145 where the Tomato plants will be. They will not fill the whole bed though, so a third of it has been sown with other crops: Beetroot, both round and cylindrical,
Mooli, Milan Purple Top Turnip and Florence Fennel.
Every year I leave sowing Fennel too late for those succulent, aniseed flavoured, juicy bulbs to form, so this year, not only have I sown it as soon as is reasonable weather-wise, I have sown it directly
too, rather than in modules. I shall try to transplant any thinnings, but they have never done well in the past. This may be the year I have decent Fennel: we shall see!
There might be space for Dwarf French Beans in that same bed as well: hope so,
as they were a real success last year, although if not , they do well in large pots, perhaps alongside the new shed
Thisone is the hardest of the beds to get ready, hardest literally, as it is the bed which housed the Winter Cabbages. Cabbages
like very firm soil around them to their stem stays still and not rock about in the wind. Only then do they make those tight, spectacular heads of leaves we all love. Soft soil equals loose-leaved heads. Of course now I cannot sow seeds into that solid surface
so it has to be broken up, and mulched well with compost, to be viable for the next crops to thrive
The beds that have been covered since the Autumn will be just lovely underneath, ready to get another layer of compost added that the worms will help
incorporate. Oh , there is the bed the Winter Broccoli was in to break the soil up. I almost forgot about that one, where the Squashes will be planted. Thye do like a nice rich soil, so more compost will be neeeded there. Luckily Bin No 2 is good to go when
The Onion, Shallot and Garlic beds on #145 are weeded again, and have been well watered
Potatoes are all up. I have constructed wooden frames around the beds to retain compost, and have added this on about a quarter of one bed. It
is going to take a while, as Bin No 3 is the one with an Apple tree partly across the front of it, but with some judicious pruning, I can now actually shovel out the compost. It is very dry, but a very good dark colour, and once it is soaked it will be
a great mulch for the Potatoes
The Hotbin experiment hasn't yet been that successful, because in my enthusiasm to fill the bin, I didn't realise that a strong strap is needed to hold on the front hatchway, and it keeps coming off with the downward
pressure of the compost. I need to empty the bin, put on the strap and start again. The contents are part rotted, and I can put part of this load into Bin No 3 once this is empty, and part back into the Hotbin with some extra grass cuttuings to help it heat
The recently sown Carrots are all now coming up, including the purple variety, and I noticed some Parnip seedlings just breaking through the soil surface yesterday too. THat moment when I see Pransip plants starting to grow is a sort
of milestone into proper Springtime for me. Some years they seem to take for ever to appear, but this year getting on for four weeks, which isn't too bad really. Glad to see them!