April 14 2019

Temp: 11.9˚ – finally got a new temperature gauge for the outside of the polytunnel!

Rainfall – 3cm

At last the french beans are on the ‘bouge’. I cleared the last of the winter lambs lettuce and other leaves that have gone to flower to make way for the aubergine plants. I’ve covered them with cut down Coca-cola bottles to act as mini-cloches, re-used from last year. (I also use cut down cola bottles upside down as water reservoirs.) Although good weather is forecast for the forthcoming Easter weekend, the nights are still chilly. The indoor thermometer shows the tunnel got down to -1.1˚. Unsurprisingly the cucumber seems to be sulking and the tomato plant nearest the door is showing signs of stress, despite protecting them with an extra layer of net curtain. Gave them a feed – a dilution of  ‘tea’ I made last weekend. Dear God, it reeked…

At long last I’ve got some reasonably priced timber to start replacing my raised beds – I’m using some ‘deck joists’ from The Range. This is Hubs’ Good Friday task! Eventually the beds will be two joists deep (if that makes sense) but as five of my ten beds need replacing and I have to top the beds up with compost, I must pace myself, financially speaking. Charles Dowding, the founder of ‘No Dig’ gardening and all round vegetable-growing marvel, doesn’t use raised beds as they harbour pests but I like the defined edges…

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I started digging trenches ready for the planting of seed potatoes next weekend. Harvested a couple of radishes, the usual lettuce leaves, some carrots and thinned out some parsnips, which had self-sown amongst the shallots. We’ve just had them for dinner and they were delicious. Speaking of which, we discovered a cherry pie languishing in the freezer, which I made last year. I’m off to see if that is as delicious…

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