Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Battalion of the Kelvedon Brigade

The advance guard are out in force, standing to attention and ready for inspection.

I always plant my beans and peas initially in toilet roll tubes - it is just one of the many things that I ask my clients and friends to keep in their 'Monika' boxes. Planting them like this protects them from extremes of weather once out in the garden, as well as slugs and other pests, and the toilet tubes degrade naturally in the soil once transplanted leaving lovely healthy deep roots. When planting out, leave a centimetre or so lip of cardboard above the ground this does seem to deter a lot of pests.

My cucumber seedlings are looking lovely and healthy, they are obviously enjoying  being in the greenhouse, they just need another few leaves and out into the garden they will go.

 My  little Calabrese seedlings are coming along quite well too, and I planted another few out today - I plant according to the lunar calendar and today is a leaf planting day according to the biodynamic calendar.

Moon in Cancer: This is a Water sign. It is a good time to sow Leaf plants like Basil, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbages, Celeriac, Celery, Dill, Kale, Lettuce, Rhubarb, Seakale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, but it would not be a good time to sow Fruiting plants like Aubergines (Eggplant), Broad Beans (Fava), Cucumbers, French Beans, Marrows and Courgettes, Peas, Peppers, Pumpkins, Runner Beans, Squashes, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes - taken from :

These are the spinach, sprout and additional calabrese seeds heading out to the cold frames this morning.
I have grown Swiss and Rainbow Chard in previous years but have decided not to this year, after I found two bags full of frozen chard in the freezer - we or rather I, am just not using it enough to warrant growing any more this year.

One of my favourite things in the herb garden is horseradish.  I was very lucky when my father-in-law's partner sent me some a few years ago via the postal service.  I was not sure how it would survive after a week in an envelope but I planted it out and it thrives, coming back year after year, but getting bigger and bigger every year - it just means that I have to make more and more horseradish sauce, one of my favourite relishes and one I have not seen for sale here in France.  In fact if you mention that you eat horseradish (raifort)  they look at you very strangely - they consider it a weed and mostly inedible (or at least they do in this region anyway).

My herb garden is doing well, chives are thriving, I have garlic chives too, and they smell gorgeous, mint and marjoram are taking over a bit,  but rather than pulling them up I am more inclined to expand the herb garden to accomodate them.

Our garden is approximately 12 metres by 38 metres, which is a lot of ground to cover.  By about July I have abandoned weeding completely and only keep the planted rows clear and between rows I have learnt to keep a wide space - big enough for the lawnmower - more cheating I know, but life is short - too short to weed out every tiny bit of sorrel and yarrow and many other miscellaneous and unidentified plants otherwise known as weeds.

So after a lovely morning of planting out a few more of my leafy seeds like celery, after work I headed home for a bit of rotavating.  Luckily Brendan had been up and down the garden for the last cut before the storms forecast tonight and tomorrow, so I put up my guide lines and then went over the rows with the hoe for a clean till ready for planting.

I am actually hoping that the storms arrive because the ground is so dry, in fact I had to get the well pump running this morning for the duck pond which has dried up in the last couple of days.

This weekend is one of my busiest planting and seeding times, but in addition it is also the first big car boot of the season -  whoooo hoooooo - I lurve car booting.

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Kezz said...

I'm growing my peas and beans out of loo rolls too! I'm also growing Kelvedon peas alongside Rondo, Kelvedon are doing brilliantly while most of the Rondo have failed to appear.... :/

Absinthe Fairy said...

how long have your rondo been in? If they have not sprouted after 3 weeks, try digging them back out of the tube, if they are still intact and not rotted away, soak them overnight and try letting them germinate on a wet paper towel - sometimes they will sprout that way.

Kezz said...

April 8th they went in. I've still got some left in the packet, I might try soaking them and planting then. See what happens, cheers :)