Lots of rain so did a bit of weeding in the polytunnel but didn't quite get round to planting the pumpkins and the rest of the butternuts. It's a shame we couldn't start off more of them but there is no room in Espoo. The polytunnel is warm enough now for planting direct in pots or in the ground so will do both and hopefully they will catch up.
BTW, my ankle is much better thank you - no longer painful but still swollen slightly and painful if I press down on the skin around the bite. There are now two pin-pricks visible on the ankle, about half a centimetre apart. Quite characteristic of a snake bite.
So I'm back in my Muck Boots when I'm weeding. Even if it's +30 outside!
So today I planted out the globe artichokes which I had started off indoors. They won't give anything this year but we'll leave them in situ and see what happens next year.
I also planted out a few more runner beans even if I will end up eating them all myself. They are in the vegetable garden.
Also planted out the courgettes - these are "Eight Ball" which is a round courgette and great for stuffing. Will also plant a few regular shaped ones for ratatouille. Not bothering with growbags, they are outside in the vegetable garden just in the ground. They might crop less than with the growbags but we usually have more than we need anyway.
Then weeded all the onions and even took some of the worst weeds out of the carrot tunnel. I'm not sure why we have s many weeds this spring - Is it the lack of snow in the winter? Maybe it's the cow manure we laid down in the autumn. Or just the hot spell followed by the rain. Anyway... it is very, very annoying.
The beetroot are coming through, so are the carrots and the jerusalem artichokes (all over the place) and I'm still eating sorrel omelettes and asparagus risotto. We'll have strawberries for midsummer this year!
It would appear that I have been stung on the ankle though Peter's inspection has it labelled as a snake bite. Certainly the location just above the shoe line suggests it could be an adder as I was wearing boots when I was working on the bees, and if a bee had stung me I would probably have noticed it right away. But snakes are very quick and the reaction is a bit slower to develop - I was wearing Dockers when I was weeding under the fruit bushes and I can just imagine a snake would curl up and doze on the warm, black weed barrier as we always find lots of lizards hiding underneath.
So I am self-medicating: anti-histamine, hydrocortisone and Burana and as long as I keep moving it seems OK (swollen but OK). But as soon as I sit still for more than a few minutes it becomes very painful and I can no longer put any pressure on it. Colour-wise it's reddish but not turning black, green, blue or violet which would suggest something nasty is going on under the surface.
We took all the butternut and squash from Espoo and planted them in the polytunnel as it is so warm this weekend. We've had daytime temps well over 30C in the tunnel and the minimum are above 10C at night.
I also planted the aubergines in growbags.
It was a hot, sunny weekend so it made sense to do some weeding, even if it was hard work in the heat.
Planted some radishes and a few rows of french beans (Tendersweet). I also bought 10 'korona' strawberry plants from Tahvoset and planted those.
We put all the rest of the potatoes (Annabella) up at Rosendal, in one long furrow.
I watered the saskatoons - they will need regular watering now, the ground is rock hard and they are on a slope so even when it rains there is a lot of run off.
We picked our first asparagus this year. We've been really patient watching them grow for the past two years but resisting the temptation to pick and eat any until they were well established.
We should have started picking them a few days ago as unfortunately several have already grown to almost a metre in height!
We had enough for a risotto, it was really, really good. And then we had rhubarb from the garden (I cooked it in the Remoska) and ice-cream.
Just planted a few cucumbers and courgettes indoors. The cucumbers will go in the greenhouse and the courgettes will go in the vegetable garden in 2-3 weeks' time.
We seem to have a rabbit problem this year. As I was about to open the gate into the vegetable garden I spotted the cutest little hare? rabbit? hiding in the garlic. The camouflage was so good even Peter couldn't spot him. He seemed so happy resting in the old cold frame (the rabbit, that is) and in no hurry to move away. We will have to seriously reinforce the base of the fence now. We've never had a rabbit problem before but, then again, this was one of the mildest winters on record.
We planted five rows of carrots: two rows of early Nantaise and three rows of to store through the winter. We always use seed tapes as they are so much easier to deal with and it means we can cover the rows in a mini polytunnel (from Lidl) and forget about them, no need to thin out.
Also planted three different types of beetroot and some parsnips.
I found some jerusalem artichoke tubers sprouting underground so I moved them into one of the raised beds as I plan to put the globe artichokes along the fence next to the rhubarb.
Planted French tarragon (from Billnas nursery) and borage seeds in the herb garden in the space left where I removed all the mint which had gone so woody. Also stuck a few runner beans into the corners of the fence, I'm the only one who eats them in our house!
I still have all the french beans and broad beans to plant, the sprouts and the kohl rabi as well as all the salad veg. Also want to buy new strawberries and raspberries - but will probably get those from Tahvoset when they have their open day. It's full on now...
Peter has done an amazing job getting it ready for the squash. We will use the black sheets to keep the weeds down (removing them later when the plants start to spread out). We already have >40C during the day when it's sunny but it is barely above zero in there at night. In fact the temperature inside the tunnel at night is only two degrees higher than outside even with the doors closed.
Peter also installed a self-opening window on the north side of the tunnel.
The first batch is so lovely, such a beautiful colour. Forcing the stems inside a bucket makes them slender and pink. Now they are in the open, bucket removed, they will go dark red and the stems will get much thicker.
And the sorrel is going crazy too. First omelette this weekend.