Gone are the towering artichokes, tiny peas and failed onions from last summer’s beds. As of last week, in trays in the potting shed, we have cauliflower, broad beans and chives, and he’s also chitted our potatoes; a verb I wasn’t even aware of until last week. It means setting them out in the sun to sprout ready for planting (for the uninitiated, like me!).
March is apparently a good month to get stuff planted, so we’re setting up for that now. Barry’s next plan is to put sage, two types of chillies (Pot Black and Numex Twilight) and Padron peppers in the propogator I didn’t even know we had. Two types of thyme – Old English and Orange – need to go in the potting shed under polythene.
He plans to plant in drills the carrots, potatoes, borage, beetroot, Hamburg parsley, along with the cauliflower if it’s far enough along. Spinach needs to go in the greenhouse. He’s planted some garlic as an experiment, which seems to be working. He’s then got even more planned for April. As you can imagine, he has a checklist.
He’s also cleared a section at the back to allow us to establish an orchard. We already have a plum tree in that area, and he’s going to add a few more, buying trees a couple of years old that can cross-pollinate. He’s decided on a walnut tree, Laxton and Elstar trees (both producing sweet eating apples), a Concorde pear tree and a Merryweather damson tree. Apparently, five fruit trees makes an orchard, and this will make six, plus another plum and pear tree further towards the house.
In other news
The poor chickens have been subject to a ruling by DEFRA which means they’re having to stay in the coop for ever-extending periods of time because of the risk of bird flu. Initially, it was supposed to be for one month, which was then extended to three months, and they’ve just added another two months onto that, which officially makes them caged birds. I feel really sorry for them – I don’t think we would have bought them last year if we’d anticipated this. We’re trying to keep them busy with bits of fruit and veg, and Barry’s hung some bits up. They’re still laying so far, so I think it’s working. Good job he made the run!
Despite it looking a bit dead in the garden at the moment, there are little flashes of flowers coming back now. There’s even a little bunch sprouting up through the turf after Barry thought he’d got all the bulbs out of the flowerbed that used to be there! Scarlett insisted on watering them all individually, yesterday…