Saturday 24 May 2008

The spuds are all in, and I'm partway through mulching them. They get six inches of grass cuttings, but I don't earth them up at all. As long as we don't get a 'summer' like last, when everything susceptible succumbed to blight early on, they do well.

Most of the asparagus is now up; it's been taking its time, but once it gets going, it comes up really strongly. The tender veg are mostly ready to go out, but given the fluctuating temperatures recently, I'm not taking the plunge yet.

The bees are doing well; one hive now has six frames of brood, whille the other is still on three, and quietly building up. The stronger one should soon get to the pont where it has enough foragers to bring in a surplus of honey.

I got back last night from a two-day examiners' meeting in london. Not my idea of fun, it's boring and exhausting, cooped up all day in a too-hot windowless room. But it's over, I managed some time at the British Museum, and saw my daughter. So it wasn't all frustration.

Sunday 4 May 2008

Both hives are still expanding fast; the native hive is up to five frames, with a full frame of drone brood. The hybrids are on 2 1/2 frames. All the tomatoes are potted up, and the squashes are starting to germinate. I'm still waiting for Lord Anson's Pea, a blue perennial Admiral Anson discovered in Patagonia in the 18th Century, to show, but Lathyrus belinensis, a rare Turkish species discovered 20 years ago, is up. It's like a small sweet pea; I only have a little, but hopefully it'll set seed.

Meanwhile, I'm well ahead on the digging, for the first time ever, and that means I've got time for necessary weeding. That should make an enormous difference; in so many years, things have got on top of me, and I've never really caught up. If I've finally got to the point where I can stay on top, then I'm winning. There are still some weedy bits, but a lot of it is just a matter of digging out individual weeds before I plant it. That's not too much of a job.

D T Brown, who have been sitting on my potato order since mid-March, have promised to get it to me next week, which is still in time to plant. I've put spuds in this late before, and had a decent crop.