Posted by: sweetpea | June 29, 2006

First new potato of the season :-)

I had my first home grown new potato last night and it tasted so good. It was a Red Duke of York I think! Strictly speaking they’re not ready for lifting for another week or so going on the 13 weeks from planting to harvest, but I couldn’t resist having a rummage under one of the plants to see if I could find one to sample, can’t wait until I can have a whole meal of them.

I went to measure the greenhouse last night so that I can send off the application for permission to erect it on my lottie. I hope they’re quick with the response, and surely fate can’t go against me now that I have my heart set on having it on the plot. I headed over to the plot after to potter about a bit. I did a little more weeding and sowed some beetroot, and thinned out the parsnips to one per station. Checked how the melons were doing in the greenhouse, and they seem happy enough, in fact I think they’re looking happier since they now have more room for their roots. My courgette plants aren’t looking that spectacular, I think I might sow some more, although there are a few fruit starting to develop on them. I also have some tomatoes starting to appear.

After inspecting my brassicas again I decided that I really should put up some protection before it’s too late! I have brassicas planted in two beds and one seems to have only been slightly attacked whereas the other has almost been stripped bare, have no idea why other than it is the more open bed that has suffered most. I had planned on using some net curtains for protection, having decided that fleece is a bit too prone to tearing at the slightest whiff of a breeze. I stuck pairs of short bamboo canes in the ground at intervals parallel to each other, then I used a piece of piping to create a half hoop between each pair. As the net curtains I had were too narrow I decided that maybe netting would be sufficient as I think it’s pigeons that are causing the damage rather than slugs being as there are no slug trails anywhere. So I covered the hoop structure with a piece of netting and secured it at regular intervals with some fab pegs I picked up at the weekend. So fingers crossed my brassicas can grow in peace now.

I’m hoping to do more seed saving this year to reduce the amount I spend on buying seeds. I have a book on what to do I just have to read it! Anyhow, I do know that with courgettes and squashes you have to tie up the female flower before it opens, then pollinate it yourself with the appropriate male flower, and then tie up the female flower again to prevent any additional pollen finding its way in and contaminating. Unfortunately both my courgettes are F1 hybrids so I can’t save seed from them, but I shall be giving it a go with the squash.

Also spotted a half nibbled pea pod so have decided to get some more poison, but this time I’ve found one that is even more environmentally friendly, it’s called Eradirat (I’m hoping the same thing will do for rats and mice) and it only affects rodents so safe to use with other wildlife around and doesn’t affect other creatures if they happen to eat the dead rat/mouse. And it’s biodegradable, and made entirely of natural things so good for the environment too 🙂 Hopefully I can get it down before all my peas get eaten!

It really was a lovely evening down at the lottie last night, and I’d have stayed until the light got too poor I’m sure if my stomach hadn’t started complaining! Hopefully tonight will be the same, especially since my TV finally gave in to old age at the weekend. I think I might see what it’s like without a TV for a while, especially since I don’t watch a lot anyway, might even make it until it starts getting too dark at night to pop to the lottie.

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