A delayed growing season and LOTS of weeds!

There are reports that the weather in May in the UK is on track to be the wettest on record and the coldest in 25 years.

We grow as much of our own food as possible here on the smallholding and the growing seasons are dictated by the weather so we’re having to adapt!

In mid April I built a new fruit cage and we had heavy frosts as you can see in this photograph. We also had snow, hail and sleet at various time. All of this meant that we couldn’t start the planting seeds as early as we normally would.

To be honest it was a blessing in disguise as we had an unexpected commitment that needed us so it gave us some breathing space.

Although May is colder than normal but we have started planting. The ground is warm enough to support germination (whoo hoo!) and the rain is helping the seeds rocket into life.

This photograph shows our carrot bed. The carrots are sown in 5 regular lines….what’s that you say….you can’t see the lines? Unfortunately as the carrots germinate so do the weeds.

We have to pick our time with weeding. This onion bed is easy as we can easily tell which are the onions and which are weeds. Newly geminated seeds are a bit more challenging. It’s one of the reasons we plant in distinct rows so we have a better chance of locating the plants we want and identifying the weeds.

Even so, we’ll wait for the carrots to show their distinctive leaf shape before weeding the carrots bed.

Our gooseberry patch has been invaded by this weed. It’s official name is Galium aparine but I grew up calling it Sticky Bob. It’s insane! I swear it grows overnight and just appears.

This is where we have a massive advantage. We have an inbuilt weed disposal system here on the smallholding.

Many of the weeds we have including Sticky Bob can be eaten by the chickens. Sticky Bob has an alternative name as Goose Grass and it got the name because it’s a favourite of poultry. Of course we research before feeding any weeds to the chooks but it’s surprising how many they can eat. They are a true Weed Disposal System.

Do you think The Chicken Weed Disposal System could be patented? Probably not…

For more information on how we plan our vegetable garden for the year, store seed, extend our growing season and get our seeds to germinate watch our YouTube video “Planning & Sowing a Vegetable Garden for Maximum Yield”

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