Monday, May 28, 2007

Straw for Strawberries

Today we went and bought straw for the strawberries, pvc piping (like the kind used for electrical cabling) and netting.

I've erected one hooped cover for one garden bed (ironically, for the cauliflowers which still have an undetermined fate, but whom the ducks seem to think are extremely tasty), and covered it with netting. It looks really professional and quite tidy too. I'll take some photos and update tomorrow.

The pvc pipes cost 89c each and I'll be going back tomorrow or Wednesday and getting enough to do all the beds. I think it's the only sensible way to keep the ducks out of my plants!

The straw comes in 5 kg compressed vacuum sealed bags for about 5 euros a bag. You can buy uncompressed bales, but they're much bigger and I'd need to have the car commercially cleaned to get rid of all the dust!

I used one five kg bale to do both strawberry beds and give each squash and courgette plant a nice warm base. The gemsquash look like they grew about 5 inches since yesterday! The other bale is waiting to replenish the berries later in the season.

Vertine has some nice photos of all the 'protection' methods used on her allotment site to keep the birds out of the berries.

Today I'll be sowing some more dwarf beans here at home in 3 inch pots, transplanting some of my tomatoes to bigger pots. The ones that I showed you a week or so ago now have at least two flower trusses showing.

The difference in growth after they are transplanted to their final growing area is just incredible! The ones at the allotment are also looking pretty good.

Finally, my garlic looks as though it might be ready to harvest in about 2 weeks.


..Vertine? said...

is your garlic ready allready? i have that in my planning for july.... you must have a supersport for them :)

Magic Cochin said...

Hi Ashleigh
Yes the purple flower on your allotment is Salsify. It's a kind of Goat's-beard also known as Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon, a plant with yellow flowers that's common on roadsides in England (the flowers usually shut at midday). The seedheads are enormous - each seed then takes off with it's own little parachute and they plant themselves all over the garden. Try picking some unopened flower buds with about 10cm of stalk attached and add them to a stir fry.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Matron said...

I've found the main pests on my strawberries this year (apart from my dog!) are slugs. Despite all precautions and protection. Isn't it wonderful that everything is growing so fast at the moment. My beans are growing about a foot a day!