Because I only work part-time in my rundown to retirement, my Easter break was a full 6 days. This coupled with the excellent weather forecast over the long weekend, meant that I would be spending a fair bit of time at the allotment or working in the garden at home.
I had a few ‘construction’ jobs to do so that I was in a position to start planting out crops germinated at home in the greenhouse or cold frame. I had environ mesh cage to finish off, the tall bean support to build and the tap to sort out on the 1000 litre water butt.
Friday 15 April – For a few days at home I had been stripping and sawing up bed bases with the aim of making them into Environ Mesh Cages for the carrots. Well today I transported the frames to the plot and attached the environ mesh with the staple gun. See separate blog post.
One happy discovery was that of the Slow Worm. Neither a worm or a snake, it is in fact a legless lizard. but more importantly, it is a muncher of slugs.
Saturday 16 April – today had to be a very short trip to the plot as we were expecting a visitation from our Son, his partner and stepdaughter and along with the wife’s step mum. They were coming over to deliver and collect easter eggs as well as dropping of my wife’s birthday present – a Hermann tortoise!
All that I achieved today was to build the first 6 bays of the Runner Bean/Climbing French Bean A-Frame. Using 2.4m bamboo, this was quickly completed along with bracing struts before having to head home for a shower before the arrival of family.
Sunday 17 April – Two jobs to do today. The first and easiest was to put a new tap on the 1000 litre water butt. The old one had sprung a leak and I had lost about 15 litres of water! The new tap was fitted but then I realised that I would need and extension section to bring the hose connector clear of the water butt!
Second task of the day was completed back home in the garden. I had approximately, 40 French Borlotto and Canelotto beans seedling to pot on. They had caught me by surprise by going from sowing the bean to being 15cm high in just over a week! It was a warm afternoon and sitting out in the quiet of the back garden was the perfect way to spend an Easter Sunday. Tomorrow was going to be an admin day.
Tuesday 19 April – This turned out to be a two-phase day with the morning at the plot and afternoon in the garden. At the allotment the main crop potatoes Lady Balfour were planted out along with a couple of rows of Parsnips. The first row of Parsnips was ‘Imperial Crown’ whilst the second was ‘Tender & True’. This sowing was covered by the newly built environ mesh cages to prevent the bird eating the seeds.
The afternoon was spent at home planting out the bare root strawberries ‘Sweetheart’ that had arrived that morning. I also took the opportunity to plant out three Dahlia tubers that had been delivered back in February. The final act of the day was to pot on the cabbages and cauliflowers that I was planning to take to the allotment the tomorrow.
Wednesday 20 April – The final act of the long Easter weekend was to plant out the first of the brassicas into the hooped bed. I had three varieties ready to go out Cabbage ‘Mozart’, Cabbage ‘Golden Acre’ and Cauliflower ‘All Year Round’. due to the restricted amount of space available to me this year, I only had room for 3 cauliflower plants and 4 of each of the cabbages.
Once all planted up, it was time to bring out the fine butterfly netting for the first time. Following on from last year’s disaster at home where the entire crop was eaten by caterpillars, I had decided to go for a fine 5mm x 7mm mesh and hopefully this will prevent the butterflies entering the net and laying their eggs on the cabbages.
The final job of the day was to extend the bean A-Frame by a further four bays. I still have more A-Frame to build but have now run out of 2.4m bamboo until I can get back to the garden centre. So with that, the long weekend break was over and it is back to work for a week and a half before I commence a 2 week break!