Here are a few pics of the lottie last week, a little update of how things are going.
First up, the first bed that I dug for my early potatoes, Charlottes. I've earthed them up as they grew by about 10 cm or so. They are looking pretty healthy and are much taller already than I expected, never having seen potato plants before.
These have been in the ground for a couple for months, they will be ready to come out of the ground, all being well, in another 4 to 6 weeks after they have flowered.
I have also planted a large bed of asparagus plants, 4 different varieties, and am thrilled to see the first baby spears poking out of the ground. The asparagus arrived looking pretty strange, a mass of radiating roots called crowns all spilling out from a central little nubbin. I dug an 8 inch trench and piled a mix of soil and manure in two ridges along the length of it. I placed the crowns about 18 inches apart with roots spread out over the ridges and piled soil on the roots leaving the nubbins exposed.
There are 14 plants growing out of 16 so far which is better than I had hoped. The bed is still quite low, filled only to a height of about only 4 inches. I'll add to it over time as the plants grow stronger. This bed is a permanent one, like the well established Rhubarb and Comfrey beds on the plot. It will take 2 years for these plants to mature enough for harvesting but will last for about 20 years.
This bed covered by netting is full of brassicas, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Kohl Rabi that have grown from seed and also a fair number of savoy cabbages that were a gift from a lovely fella on Freecycle.The net is there to keep these baby plants safe from hungry pigeons that seem to love to feast on baby brassica plants. Below and below left show two bed full of baby runner bean plants. They were all originally planted in the bed below left but it became clear that they were planted far too close together.
It took a good few weeks to find enough time to dig the second bed for them, not least because I didn't really know where I wanted them to go. I've picked a spot for half the plants right in from of the new Asparagus bed. They are looking a bit puny and yellow here but in the course of the last week, with lots of manure mixed into the soil they are greening up again and those in the original bed that were not disturbed are starting to creep up their canes now too.
Above is a pic of my seed bed, it;s just a couple of square timber frames filled with potting compost. The plants growing here a peas and Chard seedlings that my youngest planted for me. Over the top is some recycled fabric net to keep the birds and butterflies away.
To the right is a home made slug house, and empty upturned orange skin. It is a top tip from a book called "50 ways to kill slugs" and apparently citrus skins are slug magnets, in theory they all pop by for lunch and invite all of their mates along too making them easy to find and chuck in your compost or otherwise dispatch. So far no catches but hey, got to be worth a try :-D
My last pic to show you is the second potato bed, this one has my main crop of Sarpo Mira potatoes which look like they are coming along well too, I will start earthing them up very soon.