Wednesday, 21 May 2014

We were waiting for rain

We need to get the  two beds of strawberries strawed and netted as they are already turning red. We gave them a good watering one day last week and then when rain was forecast for yesterday C said we'll wait until it's rained and then cover them. But yesterdays rain ended up being a 10 minute shower. Rain was forecast for this morning too, but it was fine. So I picked off the ripest strawberries anyway.  The strawbs I picked are pretty poor looking specimens, dry weather and ants have already affected them, they are from plants that are 3 and 4 years old and we probably need to make a new bed. The other bed has plants that are first and second year. We've been debating if we should  have new plants every other  year, planted in grow-bags on raised tables in the poly tunnels.This is how professional growers get good quality early crops. We don't sell strawberries at the moment mainly because the amount and quality are not good enough. But to have enough to sell we would need a large outlay for growbags, C could botch some raised tables/frames to put them on and we could use runners from our plants.Would it be worth the time and trouble to do this for just a few for us? Another problem is that they would be in the way for planting out tomatoes.
And we are NOT having a 4th tunnel!

C was gardening for one of his customers this morning and I had a big bake of shortcakes (recipe here) and plain buns with a water icing and sprinkles. These have been divided into boxes and popped into the freezer ready for C and should keep him in cakes for weeks.

Yesterday I noticed the Hollyhocks had yellow spotty blotches all over them and C's customer had some the same. She said it's a disease called rust and the plants need digging up and burning. Apparently overwintered plants now nearly always get this, shame, as I love Hollyhocks. I've now got 3 large gaps in the flower border.

On Sunday I put a picture on the blog of the herb chopper thing bought from the boot-sale. It's RUBBISH and USELESS! The herbs are pushed around the shallow bowl and  just fall out. I shall go back to putting herbs in a mug and using scissors and the herb chopper will go back into a boot sale - when we eventually get up the enthusiasm to do one. So £2 wasted - stupid woman!

Just as I finished writing this it started raining. Good, we need it and tomorrow we WILL get those strawberries covered.

Back Tomorrow
Sue