Sunday, 8 June 2014

Some Wizardry Required

Early Saturday morning was bright and sunny but it wasn't long before the clouds rolled in and by mid morning the rain arrived. It rained on and off through until teatime when once again the sun made a bit of an appearance. After a couple of days without any rain had brought about a little bit of an improvement. another 11.2mm of rain won't do much to help the soil dry on the plot. A spell of dry weather would be much appreciated.

At least I didn't feel too guilty about a short trip out in the rain to photograph the Wizards Express hauled by steam locomotive 5972 Olton Hall, much better known as Hogwarts Castle from its appearance in Harry Potter films. This summer the locomotive is being used on a couple of charter trains “The Wizards Express” between Manchester and York. 
We were very lucky that it wasn't raining at the spot where I'd chosen to photograph the train as it headed for York. The train was also a little early at this point which was just as well because as we got back in the car to head for home it started to pour down.

In the late afternoon sun I decided it was time to transplant our sweetcorn into modules for it to grow on for a week or so before it is planted out on the plot. That’s provided it dries up enough for me to prepare a little bit of ground. The seeds had been spaced out in two A4 size seed trays and germination had been very good producing a total of 70 plants. 
Sweetcorn plants need to be treated quite carefully when transplanting. In general they are easy to handle but the growing stem can easily be broken from the root system. Teasing the seedlings from the compost by pulling with the leaves is not recommended. I usually separate the young seedlings at soil level carefully pulling the roots apart. Doing this I was quite surprised how cold the soil felt. Obviously it had been cool in the greenhouse as the day had been cloudy and the soil just hadn't warmed up.

Some better weather is needed so that the soil on the plot will have warmed and dried up by the time these sweetcorn plants are ready for the plot.


  1. I think the weather should turn nice very soon. Lovely picture of the wizard train, my little boys would have loved to see it.

    1. You're right there seems to be more settled weather on the way. One more chance in July to see the "wizard train" before it becomes museum bound for a while.


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