Devon, specifically Exeter, doesn’t like us much. We’ve been there with Small Child and, as usual, the weather was pretty stinking. Saturday treated us to cold, fleeting sun and, to add insult to injury, hail. Which stuck in my hair, inspiring Himself to call me Hailhead all afternoon. I wasn’t best pleased.
Seeking refuge from the weather we found a really fabulous garden centre, Bernaville Nursery near Crediton with far too many tempting plants. Plus there was also the gorgeous church of St Cyr & Julitta.
Driving back from Devon Spring’s advance, or lack of it, was really visible. Down by Exeter there were bluebells out, plenty of blossom and the trees had a haze of green buds. That disappeared for most of the M4, reappearing as we got nearer London’s warmth.
I’ve come back with an Aldi 5L pressure sprayer, which has bumped up the plot expenditure a little, plus a lump of ginger with a growing shoot on it, which was free (thanks John & Trisha!). The ginger’s off to a new life in a shallow pot in the shady end of my greenhouse. The sprayer is going to be most useful in my anti-weed (read horsetail) experiments.
I’ve also realised I haven’t updated the harvest tally for March, so here it is. We’re officially in Hungry Gap country with no new harvests from the plot due for a while. At the beginning of this month I bought potatoes for the first time since last June – 10 months’ spud-sufficiency is pretty impressive I think!
Buying the Charles Ross apple tree did some damage to my harvest value, together with some supplies from Poundland. Sarah Venn wrote a handy post on the new Poundland gardening tools endorsed by Charlie Dimmock – I’ve tried out the cloche pots and they are great. The secateurs not so much. Mine lasted for a whole 5 minutes before the screw holding the little ‘latch’ keeping them closed (I don’t know what you’re supposed to call it) came off and vanished into the soil. I keep them closed with a rubber band now. For £1 they are still pretty good value.
Now spring has sprung it’s time to start playing with the big seeds – beans, sweetcorn, popcorn, cucumbers, courgettes, squashes, melons…all are on the horizon for the next few weeks, together with my possibly final attempt at parsnips.
And I’m off to the greenhouse to see what’s happening up there.
Categories: Diary 2016
Ten months is some going with the spud harvest. How do you keep them from sprouting?
I can’t. But to try and delay it I a) dig them up gradually and b) store them in a cool dark garage in as breathable an environment as possible, mice permitting. I rub off the sprouts and use the potatoes anyway. They also go a little soft, but you can’t tell that when they’ve been cooked.
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