|Mark, Ellis and Dan plant up the pumpkin bed|
There are things we can do to help them. The first is to plant them deep. We make quite a big hole, then put the plant in up to it's first seed leaves. If these aren't there any more, we plant up to the first true leaves. This helps the plant in several ways - it supports the stem better, so they don't collapse, also so they aren't so likely to get bent over in the wind, and it gives them a chance to make more roots higher up the stem. Leaving the plant in a bit of a dip also helps to make sure any water goes down by the roots. Then we add some kind of shelter. The preferred one is a car tyre. This warms up in the sun and also keeps the wind off the plant really well. Once the plant starts to outgrow the tyre, the weather is usually good enough to allow it to be taken off without the plant growth being checked. We put tyres on some and not others, and it's clear that those in tyres are growing much better. As we don't have enough tyres, we are also making "castles" of earth around the plants without them. These help keep the wind off a bit, though not as well. All these will also get mulches of compost and well-rotted manure because they are heavy feeders and will enjoy it.
|Ray using his special carrot seed planting technique|
|Helen potting up.|
Whenever we had a break we enjoyed watching the wrens feed their 2 chicks. They are a little nervous around us, but seem able to cope if we aren't within about 5m of them.