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.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Spring bank holiday round up

Any one in the south who has had enough rain could they send it north .Last time i blogged we were ready for rain and so far not a drop in fact it's been really hot with strong winds drying everything, OK for washing on the line but it's making my clay soil dry into solid lumps and the beetroot and parsnips that had just come through seem to have wilted and died off, i have been watering them but it seems as if it not enough i will give it a bit longer to see if they do make it but if by next weekend things don't look any better i will scrap them and try again.

The Potatoes seem nice and healthy and to be doing really well although i

have been giving them lots of water, the variety is kestrel and were planted on the 18th of April and are now earthed up to the top of the buckets that they are growing in

On the right are some Brussel Sprouts that have been planted out about a week although they have been kept watered they do seem to be a bit stressed in the hot drying wind we have had over the few days, the wire netting round them is to keep out the local rabbits.

To the left are my Runner Beans i thought they were really growing well when i planted them out but they seemed to standing still at the moment ,probably need a cooler damp day or two so as to kick them into top gear..................................................................................................


And finally a look at some of the long carrots i am trying this year not sure quite how they are doing but a least they have got growing lately.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Please let it rain

I hardly dare i say it but we are in need of a few wet days, it's been very dry with just one wet day since the beginning of May and with temperatures in early may reaching 80 degrees plus things have dried out fast and i have had to do quite a bit of watering to keep things moving on. The short Carrots have come through nicely in the past week though the wild neighborhood Rabbit has eaten one or two, plus it takes a short cut through the Onions flattening some as it goes to and fro, still I'll leave it be as it's a bit of a favourite with my next door neighbour who feeds it porridge oats every morning, the Beetroot is also starting to show but as yet not a sign of the Parsnips which were planted at the same time. Last weekend I was even tempted to plant out some Dahlias and Runner Beans and surprise surprise tonight's weather forecast is predicting an overnight frost so its been a case of rushing round covering what might be at risk with a bucket, luckily i have an endless supply of old buckets that come with high energy feed for my farm stock during the winter months. The Broad Beans and Peas are coming along nicely in their pots and will soon be planted out I used to sow them direct but mice seem to bother them and i always had a lot of gaps so now i just start them in pots they were sown the same time as the Runner Beans which have just romped away and needed moving on so as not to give them a check. I decided to try growing some Brussel Sprouts this year and have got them well started and last weekend potted then on , it's been a bit since i had any Brassicas as i had some club root in the past but i have found some hopefully clean ground and splashed a bit of lime around to help so fingers crossed things should be OK.
Today Monday on the farm we have been dehorning and tagging the new born calves it's quite a fight with them as they don't like been handled and even though the are still young they can kick hard and fast and some of their mothers can be quite aggressive and protective of them so you have to have your witt's about you, thankfully it all went well and we should get the rest of them done tomorrow.
On the football front United lost out to Leeds in the promotion play offs which is a pity but it's still been a good season, hopefully they can kick on next year and get automatic promotion.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Bank holiday weekend

Half way through the bank holiday weekend and i have still lots of things to do that i had planed on fitting in, but yesterday i had a serious attack on one flower bed that had been overrun with weeds last year as i was busy with an other project in the garden that took priority mainly the re design of the south west side of the front garden which needed a lot of ground levels altering and realigning so as to support our entrance drive, it took most of my spare time during the summer months and during the winter i transferred quite a lot of plants from the bed i am now giving a serious weeding in to the new layout. Hopefully i will to get it cleaned up and finished by Monday night and ready to be able to plant out some bedding plants towards the end of the month to fill in the gaps, though today Sunday has been very wet with heavy thunder showers that started about 5/30 am and quietly rumbled on all day making our heavy soil a bit to sticky to work on but the warm moist air has really made the grass on the lawn grow and i swear our gunnera plant has grown a good 6 inches in the last 24 hours . In the veg plot the shallots have really put on some nice top growth and are looking really well. the onions and leeks on the whole are now getting established with those that were attacked by jackdaws starting to put up new leaves to replace those that were damaged with their pecking leaving only about half a dozen spaces to fill in at a later date. It has been so mild lately overnight that i have lifted most of the plants in the greenhouse outside it seems to do them good to get a nice breeze blowing through them rather than in the still muggy atmosphere of inside the greenhouse, i will just have to keep an eye out for any chance of a late frost and have to lift them back under cover if needs be.

On the farm our first cows have started calving and we are turning them out to grass for the summer as they do it is nice to see them born and sent on their way it's the start of our year really once the lambs and calves are here plus i heard a cuckoo calling Friday which is always a nice sign of the change of seasons. We managed to get the last of the N P K fertilizer spread on to the fields by Friday the price of it per tonne this year (£120 last year £280 this year) made us very careful not to waste any so we held back about 10 days longer than normal so as to be sure it was straight into action, and on Thursday coming we have about 40 acres of meadow ground to spread with lime in a high rainfall area like South Cumbria PH tends to get lower so we need to try and balance it a bit. It seems every body is having to cope with rapidly rising prices and it is going to be something we are stuck with for quite a time we have to question if we need to try a diffrent approach to all we do, if we were to reduce imputs we would have to lower the amount of food we can produce and were that to happen on a large scale it would push the price of food in the shops even more than it is now, and if grain grown for bio fuel was diverted into the food supply the price of petrol and diesel would shoot up even more, still Gordon Brown,s on the case so we don't need to worry do we.