5 May 2021

Early May cover up on the plot

 So far I've managed to resist the false starts to the growing season and all of my recent direct sowings  seem to be doing ok ,touch wood.Over the last few years for my cool weather crops I've been moving back to sowing direct rather than using modules. It seems to work if the drills are pre-watered,the seeds firmed down to get good contact with the soil and then everything covered up with fleece/Thermacrop mesh to keep out the wind and pests but retain the moisture.

Potatoes planted no dig style and broad beans and tall peas in ,plus a first succession bed of shallots/carrots/chard and lettuce mixed with radish and another catch crop of turnips and radish in one of the pole bean beds.

Also I've moved back to using a brassica seed bed rather than sowing in trays then pricking out etc ....we'll see..... partly due to my window sill space being full of Dahlia seedlings.

Looking down the plot

Top section with covers

One of the no dig potato beds with cover

Looking up the plot

A permanent home for the small redcurrant and gooseberry bushes that have been sitting in pots

Newly sown pea trellis and a catch crop under cover below bean supports

Healthy looking fruiting spurs on the mature redcurrent bush - so far so good

1 May 2021


Photo album from my recent stay a few miles inland from Aberystwyth.The pubs had just reopened but it was too cold to sit outside.


On the two best days I did rides on my new mountain bike and when the weather was more uncertain I visited the coast and Tregaron Bog nature reserve.

A lovely varied area of Mid Wales mainly out of the blanket forestry. 

View towards Plynlimon


New Quay back gardens

Coastal path south of New Quay

Bijou cottage

Syfydrin Trail

Tregaron Bog



20 March 2021

Plot plans 2021

I've been making use of the fine weather to spruce up the plot, while so far not getting suckered into planting or sowing too early.Just some leek, spring onion and salad leaf seeds sown in trays on my windowsill. 

Looking back through my records anything sown in mid to late April will outdo stuff that was sown in mid March, at least where I live,but sometimes I get caught out.

I've been fine tuning my planting plan but as always things will change about depending on the situation on the ground.

Top half

Lower half

24 February 2021

SI New Zealand 2009

I'm doing some catch up posts on past New Zealand trips and photo albums from before I started this EFTU blog in 2011. Some are the product of newly scanned slides from the 1997 to 2004 period before things went digital.

This one's from the digital age in October/November 2009 which was an  earlier season trip compared to previous visits.Their late spring/early summer in the bottom half of South Island with snow avalanches closing the Great Walks tracks in Fiordland but no problems for me mainly choosing quieter spots (although I did spend a very pleasant couple of days at the half empty Queenstown YHA with it's fantastic lakeside location).

Here's a link to the photo album

I flew down to Invercargill via Auckland and then went by ferry to Stewart Island where I did the Southern Circuit. The mud lived up to it's reputation and made for slow going at times.Even the dry bits were wet.

Fred's Camp Hut

Rakeahura River "track"

Doughboy Hut

Freshwater Hut
North Arm

Halfmoon Bay (Oban)


Returning to the mainland I rented a car on a very good $25NZ per day deal for the rest of the trip spent mainly in Southland,Otago,South Canterbury Coast and High Country.

South Coast near Riverton

Lake Marian

Gunn's Camp, Hollyford

Aparima Huts,Takitimu Mountains

Dart River near Paradise


Mount Aspiring Hut , West Matukituki Valley , rebuilt since my first visit here in 1997 over Cascade Saddle

Liverpool Hut newly replacing the Bivvy but a cold place to stay as no stove or fire place


West Matukituki River - my third time in the area,in from different ways

Meg Hut on the Cardrona Cromwell Pack Track

South Temple Hut and Valley,NW of Lake Ohau

Yellow Eyed Penguin near Oamaru

Catlins Coast and Sea Lions

Rabbie Burns,Flagstaff Hill and Dunedin Botanic Gardens

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