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Bees Wont Be Happy
The first two days of June have got the month of to an excellent start with some long sunny spells and feeling warm.
I’m not going to be popular with the bees this week. My over wintered green manure which is a mixture of winter tares and phaecelia is flowering well and the bees adore it.
The green manure has done a good job of preventing any weeds growing but this bed needs to be dug over ready for planting out this year’s runner beans and sweet corn. The green manure will have to go and the bees find some pollen from elsewhere. I admit to feeling a little guilt just strimming this crop down when the bees are so obviously enjoying it. They’ll get a couple of more days of feasting though as my runner beans won’t be ready to plant out until next week.
Bees Taking Over
The fine spell of weather continued on Monday with plenty of sunshine and the temperature reaching 21.8°C in the afternoon.
On the plot we got some more planting out done. Our sweet peas are planted out using more of our coppiced hazel branches for support. I’m hoping these will be strong enough in any gale force winds.
Whilst Sue was planting out some cabbages and Brussels sprouts I decided to do a bit of tidying up around the greenhouse. Under the plum tree in front of the greenhouse had become a bit of a dumping ground for old bits of timber and the like.
No sooner had I started before lots of bees were buzzing around. I think they’ve a nest under the old tree ring in the centre of the picture. I carefully removed some rubbish from around the rotting wood and decided to leave the bees to settle down a bit. I think a bit of careful strimming around the tree ring will leave the area looking tidy and hopefully won’t disturb the bees too much.
The moral of the story is -
Another excellent day weather wise with almost unbroken sunshine throughout the day. It’s difficult to locate my sunshine hour measurer somewhere in the garden that doesn’t get shade at some part of the day. Tuesday provided a pretty good sunshine trace for most of the day.
The chart shows the sunshine trace for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday all sunny days but only Tuesday has the unbroken curve due to cloudless skies.
Bonfire night came early or late on the plot depending on how you see it. Our flower bed which will consist of dahlias and annual flowers has been a dumping ground for old raspberry canes and blackberry canes together with some other bits and bobs of rubbish that can’t go on the compost heap. It was time for a clear up and that meant a bonfire.
This is how the bed looked when I arrived early in the evening. In about half an hour the rubbish had been burnt and all that was left was a pile of hot ashes.
A little bit of weeding, strimming and digging to do and this part of the plot will be tidied up and ready for sowing and planting up with cut flowers for home and plenty of annual flowers for the bees.
The sun more or less disappeared on Wednesday and only managed to put in an appearance for 50 minutes rather than 10 hours on Tuesday. It was dry and mild though so not too bad a day.
I decided to finish the job I’d started by having a bonfire on Tuesday night and get this part of the plot ready for planting up. The pile of smouldering ash left on Tuesday night had totally burnt away and there wasn’t even a pile of ashes to spread around.
It certainly was in need of a tidy up and perhaps it was a good thing that the sun wasn’t out as it was pretty hot work clearing away the weeds and cultivating the cleared ground. In the end the area didn’t look too bad and it was much tidier than it had been a few days before.
There’s some areas that still need a sort out but at least they’ll be hidden once the dahlias and annual flowers are growing.
I’ve always understood that irises have to have their roots baked in the summer sun to make them flower. I don’t know when these were baked last summer but they’re putting on a spectacular display on the plot.
After a dull start to Thursday the sun returned for Thursday afternoon. Although the last few days have been very pleasant through the day we’ve still had a couple of cold nights with the temperature falling to around 6°C which isn’t particularly good for those more tender plants.
Early Tuesday morning and again overnight Thursday into Friday it was cold. At least this is only for a short time as the early morning sun quickly lifts the temperature.
Our mint bed on the plot is in need of renovation and I think the whole bed will need to be cleared to give us a fresh start. We’ve bought a few new mint plants and planted these up in a large pot at home.
Mint potted up never seems to have done too well for us and mint just planted out on the allotment does just the opposite. It takes over growing into the paths and becoming uncontrollable. Hence the need to renovate the bed on the plot. It will be interesting to see how our mint performs in this giant sized planter.
Fine Weather Continues
The spell of fine weather continued into the weekend with some long sunny periods and temperatures reaching the 20°C mark during the day.
The bees have now lost their supply of green manure nectar as I got round to clearing away the crop leaving the bed ready for digging and planting up with this year’s runner beans and sweet corn. Maybe now they’ll concentrate on pollinating the strawberries.
Unfortunately the rather chill nights have continued too with temperatures falling to around the 7°C mark, a little on the cool side for some tender plants.
This phacelia and winter tares were strimmed down and the top growth added to the compost heap. The bees followed some of the flower heads all the way to the compost heap so they could continue feasting.
All I need to do now is get the cleared area dug over ready for planting. Funnily enough it looks a much bigger bed now that the green manure has been cleared. A job for my trusty cultivator to take on.