Well it's been an exhausting week here at Moat Farm, shearing is done, the weather has not been the best and the alpacas wish they had their fleece back but the garden jobs keep coming.
Now the strawberries are coming on flower it's time to get them strawed up to help deter mould especially in all this wet weather and keeps the fruit clean.
Start to feed your strawberries with a weak solution of Paca Punch every 7 days We recommend 10 mls per litre. Keep the plants well watered.
With the slow cold spring we are probably about 2-3 weeks behind where we were last year.
The rain and warmer night time temperatures have brought things on especially the weeds. so we have concentrated on hoeing!
We are trying something of an experiment this year - we are growing loofas. A member of the cucumber family they have a long growing season and need to be well sheltered. The seeds were germinated on the windowsill and we have potted them on and staked them. They can grow to 7 meters so not for the faint hearted! We will keep you updated how we get on. Hopefully the triffid like plants won't outgrow us!
Watch out for aphids on roses particularly as they come into bud.
It is really important to deal with them straight away. A few will quickly become 1000's and can cover a plant sucking away all the goodness. If you spot them early then rub them off with your fingers or jet wash them! A cheap organic way is to use 1 tsp of washing up liquid in 3 litres of water and mist onto the aphids - do this on cooler days the soap also helps with sooty moulds. Wash off afterwards.
We have managed to get our sweet peas out and planted on wigwams with netting. They will really go ahead now and we will keep picking the flowers to make sure we have a succession of flowers through the summer.
Our runner beans are ready to go out but with the high winds here today we have not got the frame up so that is a weekend job which we will update next week.
If you still have some bean seed then start them going either in pots or direct in the garden for some extra beans later in the season.
We prefer to start in pots for better germination results!
These little mixed salad seedlings planted just a few weeks ago are now giving us a continuous source of salad leaves. We keep them by the kitchen door and just cut want we want. You can even use old packets of brassica seeds like beetroot, kale, broccoli and enjoy the leaves!
Our irises are coming to the end of their amazing show for this year. These are planted in a south facing border and enjoy baking in the sun (when it shines). Being close to the house they benefit from the walls being warmed by the sun.
We will be splitting these next month and will post what we do then.
Next weekend is the Helmingham Spring Plant Fair. A great day out and we hope to see you there.