Pruning and Planning

February 4, 2015

Holly and Noddy

Holly and Noddy silhouetted against an evening sky.

 

Vegetable plot planning starts again. To grow or not to grow, The inevitable decision of which variety of vegetable seeds to purchase and plant is coloured by previous years’ experiences;, Last year we grew more squash and marrows than we have been able to use. The germination rate for ‘cold’ crops was poor last year and we had to resow some crops or even resort to purchasing plants from our local garden centre. Gardeners are eternal optimists, so we have spent evenings perusing the seed catalogues.

February and the hours of daylight are lengthening so we have torn ourselves away from the fireside and the books received at Christmas. Vegetable plot planning has taken over. The first seeds have been sown, tomatoes and peppers are sown in the propagator. Some may say that this is too early; however, we have hedged our bets by only planting half of the Moneymaker seeds. The balance may be called into play later in Spring if today’s planting is unsuccessful.We have chosen varieties which have provided a good crops past years. Tomatoes are used for guests’  breakfasts,  sauces and of chutneys.

Vegetable plot planning is important as we try to grow a range of vegetables for the table and chutneys. The garden may seem large to some but its is amazing how quickly  it becomes filled with potatoes, beans, and various cold crops. Shallots, garlic and a few onions were planted last autumn. However much vegetable plot planning is carried out we still find ourselves looking for space for an extra row of beans or peas. We try to grow batches of peas and beans three or four weeks apart, so that crops don’t all come in for use at the same time.

A sudden spell of exceptionally warm can allow seedlings  to catch up with plants seeded earlier, resulting a plethora of vegetables. thus allowing us to send guests home with offerings of fruit and veggies.

Pruning and Firewood

The willow trees which self seeded in the area we call the Culleenagh  have begun to fall as they become mature. So by judicious pruning we have a source of firewood and the trees then regenerate. Giving us a source of sustainable timber for use in the house.

The old fruit trees in the garden have also benefited from regular pruning, with larger fruits and heavier crops resulting in the past few years.

On a visit to The Apple Festival at Harlow Carr R.H.S. gardens in Yorkshire some years ago we were advised to prune old overgrown trees a little at a time. This has paid off handsomely. This year we do need to spray for scab. We hope to use an organic solution. We must consult our gardening guru- Warwick.

 

IMG_20141227_165345

 

 

The Stable Development at Mornington

For a development which was meant to take 2 months when it was started 16 months ago the end is finally in sight; as flooring is being put in . We are tiling the ground floor having due regard to the rules and regulations which govern such a facility. When completed this will be available to guests for small functions or courses. We will take more photographs as we progress with the finishing tasks.

Andy tiling the floor of old stables

From cobbles to tiles.                                Andy tiling the floor of old stables

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