Sunday, 17 April 2011

Potting on, sowing & tantrums.

Managed to pot on our Tomatoes and Aubergines this weekend, which was just in the nick of time I think, as they'd massively outgrown their small pots that they were sown in.  Thankfully you can repot Tomatoes deeper [they'll root from the stem as a bonus, providing more stability in the final pots], so they all got planted up to their seed leaves (and some, erm right up to the necks!).  The Aubergines weren't too bad, so they were sown roughly the same level as they'd been in their previous 3" pots.  Only 1 of the type that I really wanted to germinate has done, and as they need a long growing season I think I've missed the boat.  There's still 4 others (Black Beauty), plus the Listada de Gandia means we've 5 plants - hopefully this year we'll get a crop off them as they'll be in the greenhouse rather than outside (the greenhouse wasn't really ready last year).

These are now making the daily trek in and out of the greenhouse as it's still dropping below 10°C at night in there.  Shouldn't be too long (hopefully!) until they can stay out over night though..

After taking part in a squash "seed parcel" from some gardening forums I'm part of (which is seeds are donated to a parcel, and then sent around a list of members, who take out what they fancy, and add something back into the parcel and send it on to the next member - a great way to try things so you can see how they work out/taste/etc) we've around 10 types of different squash..  So as the last frost date is supposedly late April where we are they were sown this evening:

Two of each of the following were sown:
  • Butternut Squash (Hunter)
  • Crown Prince (tastes amazing!)
  • Golden Nugget
  • Green Acorn
  • Jack Be Little
  • Jarrahdale
  • Little Gem
  • Red Kuri
  • Squashkin (a mix between a butternut squash and a pumpkin)
  • Turks Turban
Fingers crossed they all germinate - as this lot will see us right through winter, and probably even spring next year.

I'm planning on training a few of the small fruiting squash up over an arch/fence/whatever (if I get around to building one! - and knowing how fast these grow, they'll probably just trail along the floor)

Seren is really enjoying being outside now, and when I was washing the above pots, she was bringing over the labels, and throwing them in the bucket, then her play cutlery set, and then finally a doll... bathing the lot in the mucky water. Come dinner time having to go inside to eat she was kicking, screaming, arching her back, banging her head, biting (the usual tantrum thing) in protest.  I pretty much was carrying her back in, upside down by her little toe, at arms length to keep from injury!  Toad in the hole + green beans / peas soon sorted it out though, after we just ignored her and got on with our food.  Terrible twos?  More like terrible twenty months!

Found a nice surprise today at the allotment.  Moving some tarpaulin/plastic sheet/rubbish I came across a nest of slow worms.  There were probably about 20 in there (didn't realise, until I tried picking up the "stick" to lob across into the rubbish pile... said stick decided to wrap itself around my hand.  I don't think I've ever sworn so fast, and in rapid succession as then).  Great to know though, at least they'll help  control the slug population!
That's all for now!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

...and we're done!

We've finally got the new run sorted - with the chickens moved in.  The broody one wasn't too impressed, but seems to have calmed down a bit now.  I've decided to leave them in there for a couple of days, whilst I get rid of their old coop, and to give them time to get used to the new coop/nest box (one has already got the idea, just waiting for the other one to pop an egg out now as she didn't lay yesterday).

I think I've put deep alayer of shavings on the floor as they've kicked it all in their water and feeder, but here's some photos anyway:

Still need to get rid of the mountain of soil...
Chickens exploring their new run

New coop - opens out fully for ease of cleaning

Next project.. too many to list.  Looks so far to be the bedroom, but I've not been back down to the allotment in a couple of weeks now.  I plan to this coming weekend.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Chicken run update

Just in from working on the run again today, here's a few pictures so you can see the progress:
Panels created

Roof frame put on

Some cross-supports put on, photo from back bedroom

Roof trimmed and fixed on

There's still the mesh to staple to the panels, and the back panel to build (ran out of wood).  Hopefully should be finished by next weekend, so the chickens can move into their new home!