Saturday, 20 April 2013

Life gets in the way again..

It's been a while since my last post so in case anyone was wondering if I'd been abducted by aliens or dragged off to some sultan's harem I have to say it was that bane of all It gets in the way of all of our plans, takes us from our beloved plants and forces us to 'look presentable'.

Anyway, with other commitments now mostly out of the way I can get back to where I feel most comfortable and where no-one cares if I've got muck under my finger nails.

Greenhouse potatoes are storming away after the recent sunny weather and should be ready to give the first crop in two or three weeks. That's a bit later than previous years but hardly surprising, given the cold spring.

All the outdoor potatoes are now planted in their tubs/polypots and some of the earlies are already poking through. This is the tricky period when frosts are still a distinct possibility but I have plenty of fleece ready to cover them. Last year's crop was set back as they grew well in April but were hit by frost in May. Then, of course we had blight. Best forget last year, I think.

We had our first pickings of radishes the other day. These were pot grown in the greenhouse, along with spring onions and salad leaves which are also now producing.

Parsnip germination has been excellent, as usual and I put this down to growing in deep containers started off the greenhouse. I'm sure many failures are down to sowing into cold wet soil. It might say on the seed packet you can sow in February but that's far too early for outdoor sowing in most areas, especially given the recent cold winters.

Had to take a family member to a hospital appointment in Keswick and got some pics of our local sheep breed. These are Herdwicks or 'herdies' as everybody calls them. They are supposed to have been brought over by Viking settlers more than a thousand years ago and are perfectly suited to survive harsh winters on the fells.

Cute, eh. The wool is coarse and hard wearing and the meat has a distinctive flavour not found in lowland breeds. 


  1. Blimey Colin, first crops already, even if it is radishes. I haven't even got round to planting any yet. Question. If you grow your parsnips in bottomless pots how do you get them from the greenhouse to the garden without all the compost falling out? Or do you transplant them after they have germinated?

  2. Jealous of your radishes! Herdwicks are my favourite sheep, the lamb is so cute!