Summer Spuds!
0 comment Tuesday, July 8, 2014 |
Are you planting your spuds for winter? I'm doing so soon! As I've been taking up the first and second earlies (which have grown rather well) I'm now planning for some big ol' bakers, and that means placing another order to put into growbags and get outside. Now is the time for October/Christmas potato planning and that's what I'm sorting out at the moment; I've placed an order for Maris Pipers and Charlottes to get us through and maybe even have some for Yule dinner.
Pumpkins? *sigh* what can I say? I lost another vine! So gutted, but I've decided after three years of trying to grow the things, I just don't have the right conditions. It's a shame but leaving it at that and I'll continue to just buy them from suppliers I trust.
The berries are coming in, very slowly! Which is fine, as it means every time I go out to water I can nibble on a few raspberries, loganberries and strawberries. I'm encouraging some stronger canes on the raspberries for next year, and the loganberry in its pot is already looking to need a bigger one shortly.
After much faff and fuss, broadbeans and peas are finally starting to set - took AGES for these to get with the programme, but they're finally doing it and I'm looking forward to a bit of variety. I'm also going to be planting a few more seeds off each this week, and maybe some more runner beans. This has been a bit problematic however as a local cat used my bed as midden and was apparently rather ill :( . I therefore decided to remove contaminated soil and replace it with compost from my compost bin, just to be safe - this however meant digging up quite a few plants as well but couldn't be helped. I now have another layer of sliced garlic and chopped lemon to try and encourage the cats to do their business elsewhere!
Toms and peppers are now trying to set as the weather has finally taken a turn for the better! My compost pile is crammed but hasn't broken down sufficiently enough to give them another topdress as I used quite a bit of it on the beds already, so I'm resorting to liquid compost feeds instead, as well as a bit more fish, blood and bone meal.
The weed/sapling/overgrown situation is proving eminently frustrating right now. The strimmer I have has been with me for years and while it works just fine, the spool feed is too difficult for me to untwist with my hands in their currently completely-borked condition. I'm also really not keen on fighting with many cords at the moment so I'm looking for a battery-powered strimmer with an easier spooling system. I'm also going to be looking into a drill/screwdriver (yay powertools!). I think I may need to look into a strong set of loppers or something which also takes into account borked hands, as the saplings on either side of the fence desperately need to be dealt with before they get too big to cut. This is when Carry On Gardening comes into handy as they give reviews and insight on tools to help you keep working in the garden.
Decluttering of house continues! It's a long job, to be truthful - I dumped a load of junk from child's room and re-installed a more sensible storage system in his room, but let's see if it gets used! The shelving he had went into my craft room to help tidy that space up and it certainly does look a lot nicer in there. Now, if I've got the energy to actually do any sewing/painting/crafting, then more's the better, but I am struggling mightily at the moment; in a bid to try and sort out my arthritis before it gets worse, I have been placed on chemotherapy drugs - I thought the fatigue was bad BEFORE; I was wrong. I am absolutely shattered beyond belief, and while I keep getting encouraged to "rest", "resting" does NOT work when one is the sole housekeeper with an autistic child in the house. There's no time for rest, so I just slog on best I can; hence the lack of pictures lately as I am literally too tired to even try to make the blog look remotely interesting. It's a huge effort just to type.
As a result, I have been trying to straddle the sufficiency gap with the energy conservation issue; food gets ordered in a bit more than I would like, I don't get to the market. I don't sew as many clothes right now or work on as many crochet projects. But I do bake cakes when I can, I eat the veg I have growing (and this is rather important at the moment, fresh veg is something of a luxury for me when it's right outside), and I have lovely flowers to brighten my house when I need to pick-me-up of colour, iced tea made from my own herbs with local honey, and Connect Four games interspersed with hours of child watching videos because I desperately need to rest and nap and need him to be safe. I'm having to adapt again to the current situation which means spending a bit more on locally made ready meals if I want quality rather than packaged supermarket stuff, but I'm also very aware that what I'm doing is infinitely preferable than suffering from malnutrition due to rigid principles.
On the woodburner front, I have someone coming round next weekend to have a look at the chimney, which means I will have to take the board off and clean out what will probably be a mess of pigeon droppings (and probably a few pigeons as well). Not a fun job, but if this means I can get the fireplace sorted soon, more the better. I suspect the mantle will have to go or at least some of the brick surround as the opening is too small to fit a stove unless I go with something absolutely TINY, but I'm not too bothered about that. I've got a fair few funds allocated for the heating project though I am still on the hunt for someone to do the front path before winter sets in.
Oh...and as a total aside because quite honestly this stuff just doesn't register on me, it's my birthday. Whoopie. A friend is coming over with some takeaway tonight but to be truthful I have zero energy for major parties or fuss so I'm coping right now.

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