About Me

Hi I'm JAMES 60 and married with three daughters all left home now, daughters that is not the wife.I enjoy Gardening /Football and working on my Farm.The picture above in the header slot is where i live and work.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Early season frustration

It can be a frustrating job growing vegetables it seems just as fast as i plant something the Jackdaws peck them out, quite often in the past i have had problems with them pecking out shallots so this year i carefully covered them with netting which is working well so they have just moved on to pulling out the onion and leek plants something that they have never bothered doing before, i have kept replanting them but one or two of them now look a bit tired so i'l give them a couple of weeks to see if they come good and if not i do have some in the greenhouse that i potted on that i had over when i originally planted out that i will use to fill in the gaps it was my intention to put the on freecycle if i hadn't needed them. The first row of stump carrots also went in on Monday night plus a row of beetroot . I also had the lawnmower out on Monday night for the first time this season and it and the strimmer started first pull which is always a bit of a relief, and i managed to get my hydrangeas trimmed and tidy up, they do seemed to have put on quite a lot of new growth on in the last couple of weeks even the one i transplanted January 1st is looking good showing no sign of stress with being dug up and moved. On the subject of moving and transplanting in mid March someone dumped a large Pieris plant in one of my fields, so never wanting anything to go to waste i found just the place for it in my garden as it had obviously been dug up quite a while i before i found it i wasn't totally sure that it would survive but i glad to say it is flowering and looking really well so if the person that dumped it is reading this thanks a lot, it's a lot better than the usual motley collection of old tyres and sofas that regularly get dumped.
This football season seems not to be going to the script United should be promoted by now but sad to say it's all gone pear shaped with a 3/0 defeat at Millwall leaving us with the distinct possibility of having to play in the playoffs and that will be tough.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

News Flash

At long last the swallows have arrived back, i saw the first one this morning so in my book that makes it official, that makes it the latest date that I've ever known previous latest date was 17th April and that was 1991i wonder why they took so long . Plus this morning the first of my long carrots poked through and they were planted on the 4th April, spring has sprung.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Starting planting

This weekend i managed to get stuck into some work in the veg plot and manages to get all my Onions /Shallots and Leeks planted it was pretty cold as it was blowing quite a strong easterly but i thought i couldn't hang about any longer when you don't get chance to do anything in the garden for about 3 weeks it's surprising how jobs start to pile up so although conditions were not perfect they should do fine the varieties that i planted are

Onions -Rijnsburger and Red Baron , Shallots -Red Sun, Leeks -Jolant

I all so potted up a dozen Mammoth Onions i like top grow some large onions just for fun, but Judy prefers the smaller types for use in the kitchen witch is the main purpose for growing them i suppose.
The early potatoes that planted mid march in a barrel are coming on well now although they did seem a bit slow to get going i have earthed them up once and lifted them out side so i will just have to keep an eye open for frost and cover them up if i need to and as i had the time i also planted out my main crop of potatoes in to the buckets that i set in to the ground last week they maybe could have been chitted a bit longer but i don't think it will make to
much difference.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Where are the Swallows

It's been quite a while since i last did updated but i've been working all daylight hours and some more with lambing, but today i left Simon to it after lunch as we are down to the last 50 or so sheep the pressure is of and with it being warm and sunny all should be fine. The weather has been cool and showery for the most part but things have gone quite well, maybe a slightly lighter lamb crop than we usual get but that's probably because i brought in a lot of younger sheep last September, the older sheep are the ones that have the most lambs but with foot and mouth last backend depressing prices i made a decision to reduce the age of the flock when young replacements were available at bargain prices.

The sheep in the picture is one that lambed this morning it is a Swaledale ewe with a greyfaced mule lamb which was sired by a Bluefaced Leicester ram. We don't keep a lot of Swaledales just enough to breed our own flock replacements for the main flock which is all Greyfaced mules that are run with Texel rams to produce lambs of supermarket quality.

I've been keeping an eye out for swallows this last week they are a bit later than usual we normally get them arriving in Cumbria the first week of April but their has been no sign yet if any one has spotted any swallows drop me a line. I hope that isn't a sign we are in for a late spring as the cows a fairly munching through the silage and we have just enough to last till the 6/7 May. We will be taking our first batch of store cattle (last springs calves ) to market on the 17th and as that's all so my birthday let's hope it is a good omen regarding prices. The cattle in the picture are the batch that we will select a trailer load from. The food in front of them is a mix of silage and brewers grains that are left over from making beer.

Anyway that's enough farming for one blog as i said i had this afternoon of and took the chance to get some work done in the veg plot mainly spent the time setting up some buckets with the base's removed and set in to the ground to grow potatoes (Kestrel variety) i put in six litre's of compost mix in to each bucket and come next weekend will plant one in each and just keep earthing them up with the same mix until it's full, normally i use large barrels and plant at least 4 per barrel but just thought I'd try it this way this year so we will see how it goes. I did manage to get the long carrot stations planted up on about the 4th April but as yet nothing has shown perhaps it's been a bit to cool for germination we will see. The greenhouse is bursting at the seams with bedding plants that Judy has been bringing on and i just found enough room to get some runner beans and Dahlias that i split and planted in pots in, neither will probably be planted out till end of may when we hopeful seen the last of the frost i had taken some cuttings of the Dahlias but they failed miserably probably because i didnt give them enough attention just to busy i guess.