Thursday, 2 June 2016

Summer time

The latest arrivals
Summer has come to Scotland. We haven't had any rain for two weeks and temperatures in the low 20s - yesterday we put up our sunbrella because it was too hot to sit in the sun! Perfect timing for the hatching of our new chicks. We got seven fuzzballs out of the ten eggs incubated, three black ones and four white ones. We're referring to them all as 'she', but we won't know until the wattles and combs appear how many males and females we've got.

Still spending most of the time under the brooder
It's incredible how fast the chicks develop. 21 days to hatch and then walking, drinking, eating on day 1 and today, their third day, they already briefly ventured outside and were flitting around inside, pecking at this and that, scratching around in the shavings.

The big squash and brassica plant out
The wonderful weather meant it was time for the big plant out: 30 squashes and 16 sweetcorn. This time, I'd sown the squashes in the first week of May so they only had a couple of true leaves each and suffered virtually no transplant shock. Hurray! I also put three-litre pots without bottoms around each one as an individual windbreak as they don't like the wind at all. Eventually these pots will also get a bit of copper tape around them as anti-slug defence.

Super pak choi in the polytunnel
The visiting season has also begun and we've had several helpful visitors doing jobs such as gathering grass clippings for mulch and weeding the strawberry patch, which had been full of couch grass.

Thank you, Marian and Gordon
We've also divided up the top paddock a bit more and planted two black mulberry trees. Now this is a seriously long-term project: seven years to fruit!

The tiny mulberry trees are in between the windbreak fabric fences
Inside, tomatoes are setting, the first melons and okras are appearing and chillies and cucumbers are flowering away.

Female melon flower needing hand pollination
The veg garden is now totally full. No space to plant out the celeriacs until the Swiss chard is finished.

Full house
Jim's started digging the new bed, in anticipation of the quinoa needing planted out. His rate of progress is four wheel barrow loads of stones per day removed from the bed.

Looks like a weed but is quinoa seedling
The comfrey has been going great guns and it was time to harvest it today. I used the sickle, which was very handy. Now the comfrey is accelerating our compost and being used to mulch the potatoes.

Time for a haircut
The roses are on the cusp of blooming, but the poppies and irises have beaten them to it.

Yellow iris by the pond
Today I saw the first pea pods on the overwintering peas. Not long now until bonanza time!


  1. Your pak choi really is super! Would be a lovely advertisement for the cultivar! How are your strawberries - our half-wild ones (something called Alaska - hasn't been on sale for donkey's years now) are flowering madly despite the present +4.

    1. That was after I'd harvested the outer leaves of the pak choi! It loves the polytunnel. We're having lots of pak choi stir fries. Lots of berries hanging on the strawberries already. Could be a bumper harvest. Our cultivar is called 'Symphony'. It's a Scottish one, very tasty. Hope it'll warm up there soon. It's going to cool down here on the weekend.

  2. You have my sunshine! Oh, Sonja it all looks so perfect you must be pleased with the results. I love that you have planted mulberries such commitment.

  3. Thanks, Jen. It is all coming together this year and we are very pleased. It is so satisfying.