Blimey! Can't quite believe it's June already - the year's half gone!!! In three weeks it'll be the solstice then it's all downhill to winter. It's only 205 days to Christmas, dagnabit.
Anyway, apologies for the delay in updating the blog - I've no excuses really, just haven't had that much to pontificate about although I've been working like a Trojan at the site.
As you can see, the makeshift brassica cage has now been properly constructed with net that fits and everyfink, plus I've also extended it and planted it up a bit more. It's now got the original Red Cabbage and Early Sprouts - which are looking very healthy indeed - and I've just added Late Sprouts, Broccoli and half the Kale (the rest aren't quite big enough to plant out yet). Within the next few weeks I'll extend it further and pop in the rest of the Kale and the Savoy Cabbage and that'll be it! I'm hoping that the holes in the netting will be small enough to at least put off any Cabbage White butterflies that decide to have a go at this tasty buffet. I've also found what are purported to be organic slug pellets so I've scattered those liberally around the plants. I'm sort of semi-organic-ish - I don't use fertiliser and pest control is limited to the plants that really get attacked, such as blackfly on the broad beans and slugs pretty much everywhere. However if nothing gets attacked, such as my onions, raspberries or climbing french beans, then I leave them well alone.
I've also finally got round to putting some lettuces in the ground. This year I'm growing Salad Bowl which is a loose-leaf, 'cut and come again' type of lettuce - you just take leaves as and when you need them. Seven have gone in so far and I've put a small polytunnel thing over the top of them until they get established. Hopefully this will keep the pigeons off 'em too. I've also just sown some Lollo Rossa (the red crinkly leaved lettuce) which will go out eventually too.
What is new at the site is that The Husband and I this past weekend built a Plop Corral! I found a company selling through Amazon who make wooden slatted compost/manure bins for the surprisingly reasonable price of £27 and, being a lazy sort and unwilling to trawl skips for unwanted pallets, I coughed up and it was delivered last Friday. It's pretty good - slots are pre-cut in some (fairly rough) planks which you just slot together and, voila, job's a good 'un. I now just have to start filling it up with horse manure from the stables where I go riding (small plug here - www.sariaharabians.com), leave it to rot down for the best part of a year and then start digging it into the ground next Spring. One downside is that it looks like I'll have to dismantle it in order to get the manure out but I don't mind. I also took delivery last week of a 330 litre compost converter. If you go to www.recyclenow.com/home_composting/ and enter your postcode, it'll tell you whether you're eligible for a half-price converter! It's a good deal - I paid £15 for the one in the picture and they're easily twice that, if not more, at garden centres. Unfortunately the little square door that covers the hole was missing when delivered but I'm following it up. So there we have it- Plop Corral and Companion Dalek!
Finally, then, this is how the plopment is looking at the moment - all is well and doing pretty much what it should. I've only lost one Sweetcorn and one Climbing French Bean plant so far, which is an acceptable level of collateral damage. I think the next thing I'll be doing is starting to dig the long side bed where the Leeks are eventually going to go - I may start this afternoon...watch this space!