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May 7 2009

Posted By: Paul 08/05/2009 07:24:00

Sad news to start the week with, the two chicks hatched last week have gone.

Not a sign of them anywhere, they have just gone. I suspect a cat has taken a liking to them and has made off with our snack sized morsels. Never mind, I'll increase the fortifications around the brood hut, and maybe next time we will be more successful. Meanwhile the broody hen seems to have taken it all in her stride and continues to sit on the remaining eggs, which I think will turn out to be infertile.

With the growing season exploding all around us, I have locked the remaining chickens in their run, well away from the tender salad leaves growing in the raised bed. Which in retrospect was rather cruelly placed within their sight. The Rocket and Spinach have been producing an abundance of leaves, and with careful picking I should be able to keep the production of leaves going for many weeks. A group of friends came round for a meal last week and the salad we had was all produced from the garden, with Spinach, Rocket, Baby Beetroot leaves, and Coriander. A lovely mixture of flavours and best of all picked minutes before they where eaten. Not stuffed into a poly bag and surrounded with an inert gas to keep them artificially fresh.

This week I am continuing to nurture the Beans, Squashes and Sweet corn for the 'Three Sisters' bed. They are all growing in the greenhouse, but I think the Sweet corn could have done with at least another weeks head start on the beans as they are catching up quite quickly. The Crown Prince Squash have had a 100% germination success, which I'm over the moon about as they weren't cheap. Which is more than can be said for the Butternut Squash seeds I saved from from a supermarket bought squash. Only one seed has germinated out of 30, but, hey they didn't cost anything. The Borlotto Beans have all germinated nicely, and are now streaking ahead, so I'll look for a place to plant them and then sow some more for the 'Three Sisters' bed as they will dwarf the sweet corn at this rate.

Elsewhere in the greenhouse, (that makes it sound like a large horticultural glasshouse and nothing could be further from the truth, trust me), the Tomatoes are all doing well and will need supports to keep them growing on the straight and narrow. I've various varieties, mostly large Italian 'odd' shaped Tomatoes, Ciliglia, Costoluto Fiorentino, San Marzano, Red Cherry and F1 Shirley, all of which were donated by my Mother as she was well ahead of me this year and had all the Tomatoes sown before I could even think about sowing mine.

On the Allotment, the Potatoes are looking healthy, as are the Broad Beans, Onions, Carrots, Turnips and Celery. No sign of the Comphrey seeds though. The fence adjacent to my plot was pulled down by a tractor earlier this week and narrowly missed taking out my Compost bin and Broad Beans. I just hope I'm there when it is replaced and save my crops from being trampled.

Finally this week away from the Garden, I have been playing with Twitter, which has turned out to be useful for marketing the website as well as a way to publish the daily moon planting guide. If you already with Twitter, pop by and give me a wave.

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