The sun gods had seen fit to shine down on Merrybower this morning, Suz was out for the day and I had a day of garden ahead of me. There was a time when the prospect of a day of gardening would have filled me with dread, but whether it’s an age thing, a change of outlook thing or just the fact that I can relate to growing things we can eat, it’s turned out to be a hobby of worth. In fact it’s turning more into a way of life!
Yesterday a trip to Swarkestone Nursery, one of the few remaining Market Gardening families of South Derbyshire, with Penny (our flat coated retreiver cross working cocker spaniel puppy) brought me back with pea netting and bamboo canes for mangetout (snap peas) to grow up. The last two years has seen me using locally foraged crack willow for canes, but its habit of taking root easily and the fact it cracks quite easily (hence the name I guess!) means I’ve plumped for bamboo, against my better judgement. Once the hedgerow is planted I’ll have a hazel tree to coppice but that’s a few years away yet.
So up went all the pea nets I’ll need this year and I sowed one of them today, and will stagger the other two sowings every 6 weeks to get some overlap (early May and mid June). I also planted all of our onion and shallot sets, plus garlic cloves and onion seed. So far most of my seeds and sets are from Dobies of Devon unless otherwise stated – other sources are the usual gifts and fellow gardeners donating :)).
Varieties planted are:
- Shallot sets (random ones from Normanton allotments)
- Red Sun shallots
- Brown pickling SY300 onion seed
- Hercules F1 onion sets
- Sturon onion sets
- Solent White garlic cloves
- Oregon Sugar Pod (Mangetout) pea seed
- White Lisbon onion seed
I wanted to get round to sowing more peas and some broad beans but they’ll have to wait until during the week, assuming I get some time from work to get out there 🙂 The weather’s perfect though – nice and dry and the soil is starting to get less claggy – about time! The Merrybower winds are brisk though – my bouffant is coming along nicely 😛