Posted by: sweetpea | May 30, 2006

Anyone for squash?

I spent bank holiday Monday down at the lottie. I’d made a list of all the jobs I’d like to get done before heading off to Italy. The first and probably the most time consuming was planting the squashes. I gathered all the necessary tools, bottles, watering can etc. together and started on the mammoth task.

The plan was to plant the squash through the black membrane at the back of the plot to make use of the space. I marked out the positions with canes and set about cutting crosses in the membrane and pinning it back ready to prepare the ground. I was a bit surprised to find bindweed happily growing away under the membrane in places, so rather than being suppressed it seems to be spreading! I shall have to put some newspaper down in the Autumn to try and cut out more light.

Next job was to dig over the exposed square and remove couch grass and bindweed roots. Then I dug out the hole, placed some leaf mould and grass clippings in the bottom and positioned a plastic bottle in the hole before filling it in again mixing in some organic fertilizer. The idea with the plastic bottles is that they have a pinprick in the bottom of them so when filled with water they will gradually water the plants roots. Putting a tiny pin prick in wasn’t going to be sufficient so I actually put 3, but soon discovered how fast the water runs out. Luckily I managed to replace the bottle with another, this time with a smaller single pin prick. I’m thinking of trying to make a small hole in the lid and replacing it to see if that will slow the flow down a little as it’s still faster than ideal, but I’m not sure whether it would be better than having no lid at all. Once the hole was filled in I planted the seedling in the middle before pinning the membrane back around the seedling.

I repeated this another 11 times between sheltering from the rain in the greenhouse. .which is still standing I might add and very cosy….before deciding that I’d had enough for one day. So that means I still have another 6 to plant plus all the other jobs I wanted to do. Hopefully I’m taking Friday off work to get them done.

I also showed Maria around so that she knows what might need watering while I’m away.

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