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.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Todays Work

I managed to get some pictures taken on my trip to the Solway to collect more sheep today, gives an idea of the trip. They were taken just past Grasmere going over Dunmail Raise and along side Thirlmere i think the mountain is Helveyln but I'm not certain. There was not alot of traffic but it was good to see someone was getting on with a bit of muck spreading

If you notice in the picture above is the Main pumping station for supplying Manchester and surrounding areas with water, it is built like a medieval castle. I always think it looks a bit out of place. This last picture is of the Solway plain where our sheep have been for the winter if you look hard you might just see Scotland.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Busy Busy

Things are starting to get busy at work on the farm with the start of Lambing time which means most other things like gardening and blogging will have to take a back seat for 2/3 weeks. Most of today has been spent getting trailer loads of sheep back from the Solway coast where around a third of them have spent most of the winter and tomorrow i will bring home the the last of them it's a round trip of just over 100 miles going up through Ambleside, Grasmere, St Johns in the vale, Keswick and Cockermouth, it was recently voted one of the most picturesque driving routes in Europe by some driving organisation and today with the sunshine and not a lot of traffic it was looking at it's best, especially the stretch from Grassmere to Keswick along by Thirlmere lake where over the Winter most of the conifers trees have been removed and it was light and open like i have never seen it before. I will try and get some pictures taken if i can tomorrow.

I did manage to get my Parsnips sown over the weekend I tried chitting them for a week first as recommended by Smithyveg but by the weekend they had not sprouted so i planted them 3 per station crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The Sprouts and Tomatoes that i sowed 10 days ago are now all through and as i sowed them individually direct into decent sized cells they should be ok for a while till i have more time. Last Sunday i planted out some leeks that were not the best ones just so i could make some room in the greenhouse but by Monday they had all been pulled out and were left lying on the top of the soil i suspect that i had had a visit from the local deer population as their was some clear hoof prints in the new raked soil or they had just been passing through and the Jackdaws had been at them, anyway i just stuck them back in and we will see how they go on if they recover great if not well it,s no big deal just as long as my best ones get left alone when they go out. I'm hoping to be able to get my long Carrots in soon, but the weather forecast this weekend is poor so it could be the the middle of next week before i get a chance

Sunday, 15 March 2009

How things are mid March

After a few problems last week I'm back in business, it's starting to get a bit hectic now with all the bench space starting to get full in the greenhouse and still quite a bit to sow yet it might take some juggling to fit every thing in, every years the same i tell my self to just concentrate on fewer vegetables but then them catalogues come around Christmas and i think i will just try this and that.

I potted up my leeks on Wednesday night they are now in 5" pots and hopefully they will be OK until they get planted outside as i said in a previous posting this is my first time at growing Leeks from seed but I'm quite pleased with the way they are growing at the moment i had a go at starting to blanch the when i potted them on.

The Shallots are now staring to romp away with the mild weather all thought i did have to give them a all spray of last week I'm pretty sure one had an infestation of trips ( little green thing) so i sprayed the lot plus the leeks and onions and took the affected one outside until it was looking all clear though it still shows signs of being checked it is now picking up.

I put my Vento onions in the greenhouse on Monday as i thought they were getting slightly leggy probably with slightly poor light in the house , they will probably slow down a bit with it being cooler but hopefully they will keep developing a good root system and catch up when spring really gets here. I got some tomatoes brussel sprouts and the rest of my leeks sown just before the Rugby started I nearly didn't bother to watch but as it turned out i'm glad i did beating France is all ways good, in fact their was one or two surprise results this weekend with Liverpool wining 4-1 away at Manchester making the run in to the title a lot more interesting. It would be interesting if they met in the European cup final as Liverpool have beaten them twice this season, i sure i could hear Alec Ferguson screaming at them after the final whistle and i live 60 miles away. United managed a good 1-1draw against Scumthorpe and are edging closer to 50 points which should be enough to see them safe.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

St David's Day 1st March 2009

It seems hard to believe that it is March already the weeks since Christmas seem to have flown by and all of a sudden it time to get cracking with lots of jobs that seemed not to urgent only a week ago. With all the rain this weekend I got stuck into preparing the mixes for the Potatoes , Carrots and Parsnips, the Potatoes mix is simply moss peat that i put through Fred my shredder so as to get all the lumps out when I finished I had filled six storage boxes full which should be enough,its now stored in the greenhouse so as to help it warm up a bit before use,I will put it through my mixer just prior to planting out and add some slow release Phosphate and Potash and a few slug pellets just to be on the safe side then just give the plants a touch of Nitrogen when the leaves pop through, I might also incorporate some calc-sea-feed in the mix as well, as peat usually has a PH of about 4.5 -5 so it may be worthwhile but as potatoes don't like to be growing in an alkaline soil it will only need a small amount. Doing the Carrots and Parsnips was a bit more time consuming as it all had to be well riddled to get out all the rough bits,
I used a No 2 potting mix as a base to which i will add Some Maxicrop Cal-Sea -Feed at a rate of a hand full (3oz approx) per builders bucket full plus a bit of slow release Potash and Phosphate with a bit of luck i should get all my growing station filled by next weekend and be ready for sowing some Parsnips after the middle of the month.
The Rhubarb patch is starting to really get going now it got a good covering of FYM last back end and it seems to paying dividends should be able to pull a few stalks for a rhubarb crumble in about 3 weeks at the rate it's growing. Maybe we are in for a early Spring this year i certainly hope so as it been a year or two since we had one and we don't have a great deal of spare silage on the farm so it would be handy to have a good flush of grass by the end of April.