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, 31 August 2009

Football and Cricket

United are starting to come into form now after a tricky start to the season having got a couple of strong draws away at Millwall and Orient, and best of all turning Bristol City over in the Carling cup, earning them a lucrative home draw against Portsmouth from the premiership. It should be a winnable match as Portsmouth won't fancy travelling up to Cumbria on a wet and windy Tuesday night, last time we played premiership opposition it was in a pre-season not so friendly against Hull City who somehow sneaked a lucky win. On the sporting front I'm hoping for a dry night tomorrow as our youngest daughter has got Judy and me tickets for the Twenty 20 England v Australia cricket match at Old Trafford so it should be good entertainment under the floodlight's, and I made sure that I'm having the morning off on Wednesday so we don't have to worry about getting home early either.

Mud and weeds

Well, that was some bank holiday weekend it has hardly stopped raining since Friday afternoon and things are absolutely sodden and wet through, I would have liked to get on with some serious weeding as they have really taken off this month but when I walk on the ground it just turns to mud and it seems that I'm doing more harm than good so I have decided that I will just have to live with them until it drys up a bit, in fact it might be best to not bother till after most of the crops are lifted as they are at a size now that they can out compete most weeds, and then give the ground a good clean up through winter.

It seems that most of the country is having shows this weekend but round here it,s all quiet on that front which is a pity as I would have liked a day at a show. Next Saturday it is Milnthorpe and Sunday is Ingleton show, I have not entered either but may go and have a look round, I'm especially keen to go to Ingleton to see the Onion class and see how they should look as mine have been a big disappointment.

I was able to get on with sorting out some potatoes for my next show, the Kestrel turned out nice and clean but the Winston have suffered a bit of scab in fact some had suffered from too much rain and a few had grown big and had splits, Can't be sure why the Winstons only suffered from scab but I suspect that the Winston seed potatoes may have had a touch of scab when they came though I didn't notice it at the time, as both varieties were grown in buckets in a peat based mix and were not in contact with the soil, ( I will have a good look next year and might even get them from a different supplier ) I am thinking of trying NVS re introduced varieties Amour and Sherine supplied by Jamieson's of Annan next year and if they do well for me could save my own seed.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Just when things were going so well

A week ago every thing was looking rosy and going on just great now seven days later things don't look just so clever, the main problem has been the high winds and heavy rain that have been battering us for the last 5 days which has really smashed up my plants, probably the worst affected has been my french beans and dahlias that have in some cases been smashed flat. I have spent quite a bit of time firming and re staking them back and i,m just hoping that they will pick up quickly i,m fairly optimistic about the dahlias but the french beans look to be a lost cause just at the moment they were a bush variety and to be honest i hadn't bothered to give them any sort of support as they looked strong low growing plants even my parsnips and carrots are looking a bit rough up but i think they will not take a lot of harm once the weather calms down. I did notice that just one of the dahlias seems to be suffering what looks to be some sort of virus damage which is a bit disappointing as i had just bought it as a rooted cutting this spring and was hoping to be able use it as a stock plant and get a good few cuttings of it next spring I would think it likely that any cuttings might be carrying the same virus so it will probably have to be binned even though it seems to be going to flower quite well.

On the Tomato front i have what looks suspiciously like the first signs of blight on one or two leaves so i have taken what looks like drastic action and removed any leaves that had any hint of it plus a good few more of the lower leaves just to be sure, now it is just a case of watching carefully to see if it has been nipped in the bud as most of the tomatoes are now fairly well grown and i have been picking them for just over a week now i think they they should continue ripen OK in fact it may help them with a bit more air and light.

On a brighter note the Fuchsias cuttings that i got given at our NVS meeting ( Some that were taken as part of the demonstration ) at the end of April are doing nicely and are looking like having a nice cover of flowers, it might have been better to not let them flower this year but i was curious to see how they would look in flower hopefully i might be able to get some to show next year.The varieties are white ones Sophie Louise and pink ones Border Raider.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Day out at Rusland Show

After the wild and wet weather we had on Friday afternoon and night it was quite a relief that it all blew out by mid morning today (Saturday) and we were able to get outside and enjoy the show and sports that take place at the same time. It was a bit different as I said to the night before and which was absolutely no fun at all picking the crop to take and to be honest I made some pretty hasty decisions as to what went and what stayed but it turned out really well in the end winning the Blue Ribbon and cup for the best exhibit in Vegetable section with 3 leeks, not bad eh! they were pretty decent leeks but perhaps I could have blanched them a bit higher, still there's always next year to get it spot on. I also got a first with the carrots, parsnips and broad beans and a second with peas, but my marrow just scraped a third even if it was twice the size of the winner. I didn't take any onions as they seem to have done pretty poorly for some reason this year they grew well until the end of June then when it started to get in to July and it turned wet they seemed to grow lots of leaf then just flopped over next year I might try and plant them wider apart to give them more air and light later in the year, blimey I am thinking about next year and this year is still in full swing. I have some tomatoes now starting to ripen (them banana skins worked wonders Simon) and I managed to have just enough to get a set to take today but they just lacked a bit of quality and missed out on a ticket still there should be more to pick from soon. I had better give a mention to my granddaughters who took part in the sports section with Amy winning a third in the 200 m under twelves she got a cup to keep and that made her day, mind you she had already run the junior Fell race half an hour earlier and round here they run up proper Fells not just some steep hill. Jenny who's not just as athletic won the prettiest fancy dress competition so that's honours even in my book. Oh i nearly forgot Judy won a first with a knitted article and a second with a piece of sewing, she was robbed it should have won in my book.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Marrow day

Picked my first marrow this morning i have a few now getting to a decent size but this one was the biggest, unfortunately it has got scratched quite a bit by the leaves so i decided to pick it now for tea tonight, and let the smaller but better ones have more time and space, it was growing at ground level. I have started to train a shoot up off the ground and hopefully soon they will hang down out of the way of damage. I can't decide if I should have stopped it from spreading out in all directions and stopped it from fruiting at ground level and made it concentrate it's energy in to just one shoot sooner. I think i might try that approach with my second marrow which was planted about a month latter and see how it goes on.

Monday, 3 August 2009

School Holidays Are Here Again

Things have been quieter since the weekend when Simon and Natalie and family went on holiday to south Wales, though it was a bit hectic here just before they went, now that the school holidays have started we have had my 2 granddaughters spending quite a bit of time with us which keeps us on our toes they are quite keen on helping in the garden but it does make me a bit nervous where they are stepping at times, plus they are keen on picking the raspberries but unfortunately not too many make it back to the house. They had a bit of fun hiding under our Gunnera plant plus it made a good shelter from the rain showers that we have been having.

I still haven't been able to pick any tomatoes yet although some are just starting to turn but it will be touch and go as to whether I will have enough to make a decent set for the next show on the 15th August, I have trimmed some of them back to just three trusses to see if it helps to speeds up the ripening process, but at least I should have plenty by the end of the month. I did cover the glass with cool shade at the beginning of June when we had that heatwave and everyone was predicting it was going to be like that until September but it seems a waste of time now, still I bet if I wash it off things will get hot and sunny again! hum I might just try that.