More from the dairy 2011

 Thursday 03/02/11
 Warmer but still cold and damp. Fitted shelf unit inside shed utilising old greenhouse frame. Will be used to set up seed potatoes for chitting. Strimmed paths, weeded beds, tidied shed and found roof felt. Had an idea to convert old compost bin to wood store. Very bright and sunny but nippy day.

My diary for February ends there with just the one submission. Sadly, things happened in February that took my mind away from everything else.
I won’t go on about it here but I have posted elsewhere about the loss of my Father.
Needless to say, March was the next time I wrote anything garden based.

 Friday 04/03/11a.m.
 Cut Raspberries down
 Weeded and hoed around Raspberries
 Filled tubes for Parsnips and watered.
 p.m.
Planted out broad beans from home, 14 plants next to Purple Sprouting.

As you can see, March saw the start of the early action. Planting out early crops raised at home gives me a head start. The soil was evidently warm enough to support life as there were still plenty of weeds to tackle.

 Sunday 06/03/11
 New cover for greenhouse proved to be too small. Apparently there is a vast difference between different
 manufacturers sizes. Made trench with draw hoe and planted out Rocket, Pentland Javelin and Charlotte   seed potatoes.Leek seed sown in pot in a bucket for protection, as a cold frame are germinating. A pane of  glass placed on top let light in and helped keep temperatures up.

 Monday 07/03/11
 Sowed Kelvedon Wonder Peas. Used an X formation to see if makes harvesting any easier. (it doesn’t)
 Sowed Broad Bean see next to plants from home.
 Pruned back Gooseberry bush to avoid crossing diseased or overcrowded branches.

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to fruit bushes or trees. Better to lose a diseased branch than keep it in hope of more fruit. You’ll only get poor fruit and a spreading disease.
It’s the same with crossing branches. They will rub and expose the branch to infection. Lose a branch now and prolong the health and vigour of the remaining ones.
 Wednesday 09/03/11
 Dug more Leeks, weeded part of the Leek bed and watered Peas and Beans.
 Breezy and grey.

 Thursday 17/03/11
 Brighter and warmer.
 Cut lawn and paths with push mower. Works very well. Cut some Purple Sprouting. Sowed ‘Tender and
 True’ Parsnips in prepared tubes.

The lawn mower was an old model that had been replaced with a swish new electric rotary mower. I gave the cylinder mower a new home and it still serves me well. Sadly it came minus a collection box. The tubes for the Parsnip were toilet roll inners. The aim being to see if they could be started in those then transplanted out complete with tubes to avoid disturbance.
(The tube idea failed miserably for me. The seedlings stalled at seedling stage then promptly died despite lots of TLC, fortunately the conventionally sown ones did spectacularly well)

 Sunday20/03/11
 Started out very bright. Dry and warm. Could this be the start of Spring?
 Raked and levelled a bed and sowed 3 rows of Autumn King Carrots, 3 rows of Tender and True Parsnips
 Collected grass clippings and composted.
 Leek seedlings in cold frame / bucket doing very well. Past ‘hair pin’ stage.
 Filled new raised bed with fresh manure for the Squashes. Watered Parsley seedlings. One shoot of Asparagus visible.

The hair pin stage is the point at which the seedling pops open from the base and looks much like an open hair pin or safety pin.

 Thursday 24/03/11
 Hand weeded old Parsnip/Cabbage bed.
 Watered all seedlings and seed.
 Sowed 1 x Little Gem, 1 x Red Salad Bowl, 1 x Saladin (Iceberg Type)
 3 rows of Lettuces
 Covered bed filled with manure after watering with saved water. Used old black PVC sheeting.
 Another brave spear of Asparagus showing through.
 Sunny, warm with slight breeze.

 Sunday 27/03/11
 Bright but cold with nippy breeze. Overcast
 Weeded Asparagus. More tiny thin shoots.
 Sowed Cabbage Greyhound (Spring greens) and Lyon Leeks.
 Planted up remaining Onion sets Stuttgarter.
 Harvested carrier bag of Purple Sprouting and handful of Spring Onions.
 Watered Potatoes etc.

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