Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Everyone else's rain

This is what my soil looks like after a month when we got not only our own rain but, seemingly, everyone else's as well. I think that's algae, never seen anything like it. This soil is between the potato rows and is the worst as the rain ran off the ridges.
I decided I needed to finish earthing up the potatoes and deal with the algae covered soil as well. Great thought, but it was like concrete and the three prong cultivator you see above is now at a different angle as the soil was so hard. After three rows my back and shoulders had had enough. Unfortunately the gap between the rows isn't quite big enough to get the fork in safely.
Not sure whether this is parsley or coriander, as labelling things makes gardening way too easy, why label when you can forget and then practice your plant identification skills later? Whichever it is, germination has been poor so I'm going to buy some more seed - these tend to be a bit slow to get going, but they coulda lso have been drowned.
But at the top of the same bed, the spinach and chard has germinated extremely well, I went out with my packets of seed to resow in the gaps, but didn't need to. So that's good news.
The early carrots are growing, there's also some beetroot in the left of the bed. But what you can see here is that the carrots at the top of the bed are bigger than those at the bottom, though some resowing does confuse the issue. Clearly the soil lower down is poorer, so once these carrots are out I'll need to put some manure on this soil. This bed is dryer because it was under cloches for a long time and it's under a tree, so gets less rain.
Talking of cloches, my bush tomatoes are doing well and have flower buds growing. I left the end of the cloche open at the weekend as it was warmer, but with more rain and cold weather I closed it up again yesterday, likewise the marrows and courgettes. I only noticed after I downloaded this picture that I was also growing a nice crop of grass under here!

Finally, as I was writing this post I was watching soot and ash falling down the chimney into the grate. It had been happening since the morning, but was becoming an avalanche. At first I thought it was just that I hadn't had the chimney swept in a while, but as the torrent increased I suspected it might be a jackdaw chick which had fallen down the chimney. One last avalanche and I spied some grey "sticks", peeked up the chimney and saw a pair of legs standing on the ledge. I grabbed a towel, went for the bird but it anticipated me and flew out, straight into the window which I should have opened instead of the door, thinking about it. Anyway I gathered it up in the towel and took it outside, where it flew off to rejoin its parent on the rooftop, leaving behind a very bemused cat who can only dream of catching something like that! Now I don't need to get the chimney swept and I have loads of coal soot for my roses...
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