Run Rabbit Run

Yesterday, while clearing the veg garden of unwanted plants and weeds, a small rabbit darted from its cover and ran towards the end of the yew hedge that separates us from our neighbours.

Ah…this is what’s been munching some of my veg and flowers in the main border, I thought.

I was quite despondent – rabbits are so hard to get rid of and they have a habit of multiplying fast!

I found the hole in the fence which it bolted through – I will try and fix it tomorrow.

This is where the rabbit got though from next door

And if that fails I’ve been offered a live humane trap by my friend Caroline.

Talking of pests – I have to net my cabbages, broccoli and kale from pigeons who love the tender leaves.

So I was surprised to find a rogue cauliflower that’s overwintered (the only one that survived)!

The interesting thing is while the pigeons have stripped back the leaves – the curd has remained untouched!

I hate clearing the veg garden of self seeding “intruders” like lemon balm and parsley as it means chopping them back or pulling them out and composting them.

This is one of about half a dozen large lemon balm that have self seeded over the past year and that I failed to weed out when they were smaller.

This year for the first time I decided to pick, wash and dry the lemon balm for tea.

The monstrous seed head is already rising above the leaves! Maybe it’s because of the lack of rain. Some gardeners cut it back.

The rhubarb’s ready to pick.

As part of my next post I’ll write up the recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger Jam which seems to be popular amongst friends and family.

And here’s a link to a previous post a couple of years ago for Rhubarb and Lemon Chutney which is from the excellent book, Rhubarbia by Mary Prior.

In other news

I have continued to plant out seedlings from modules that I sowed at the beginning of March – the reasoning behind this is that it gives us a head start of a month or so rather than sowing direct.

They include calabrese, spring onion and swede (a gift from Caroline) and spinach and pea shoots that went in earlier today.

As I’ve said before the only things I sow direct are carrots and parsnips as they hate root disturbance.

The others are the self sown wonders/intruders (depending how you look at them) that pop up everywhere like calendula (marigold), borage, lettuce, lemon balm, coriander, parsley and marjoram.

I’ve sowed my Turks Head Turban and Crown Prince squash and courgettes which are varieties I haven’t tried before – a yellow one called Atena Polka and a green one called Defender.

Swapping and Sharing

Gardeners are renowned for their generosity – and in these times that’s even more important.

Many of my friends have been unable to buy seed after the suppliers experienced unprecedented demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

Here in Strumpshaw we’ve been swapping and sharing seeds and plants.

Seed packets

My friend Maxine has used social media to encourage fellow growers to share any excess plants.

I’ve given away some lettuce and rocket seedlings.

And as well as the swede, spring onion and calabrese I planted out today I have been given a couple of tomatoes and cucumbers!

And finally the owls are out tonight.

As I write a tawny and it’s mate are calling to each other.

According to the British trust for Ornithology we’re right in breeding season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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8 thoughts on “Run Rabbit Run”

  1. I wish our hungry sandy soil was as productive as yours is Cath! We’re keeping to leafy salad crops and beans this year, with tomatoes in the greenhouse (once the young plants arrive from our local nursery – we’re trying to support them during lockdown). Keep growing! Love the stool, btw…

    1. Our soil is quite sandy. Lots of compost mulch as part of no dig is the key. It holds moisture in the soil. I’d love to see your garden….

  2. Thanks, Cath. Great to hear what is happening on your veg plot. Amazed that you are harvesting asparagus already. No sign of any activity in my asparagus bed!
    I miss seeing you but will send you photos of my veg…
    xxx

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