Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Bursting out all over

Cripes, where did the time go?  Over a month since my last garden update and everything has gone bananas!  And these are almost the size of bananas……….

…….and growing at a rate of knots!!  These are the broad beans that I direct sowed last October.  They survived the winter and are about 4ft tall.  The larger pods are almost ready to pick, I tried one a week ago but the beans inside were still quite small.

This morning I have finally got around to planting my tomatoes into their growing bag.  It is a two sided patio bag and I have filled it with part homemade compost and part New Horizon organic peat-free.

In each half I have put 3 plants, one each of Gardener’s Delight, Moneymaker and a cherry plum called San Marzano 2.  All grown from seed, I’m happy with them at the moment, we’ll see how they produce!  The Tumbling Tom Yellow, I have also grown from seed and have put two plants in each of two large pots.  One of them already has a couple of flowers on it…

A couple of weeks ago  gave my step-dad one of each of the above 4 varieties and he is growing his in conventional grow bags so we shall see how his compare to mine as the weeks go by.

A few days ago i caught sparrows eating the leaves of my peas so we had to rig up a Heath Robinson style net using some canes, “BuildaBalls” and netting. There was much frustration from me as it kept falling over but in the end a bit of parcel tape and some clothes pegs were employed and at the moment it is still standing – just!

Thise are Meteor peas but I also sowed some Feltham First in a pot just outside the patio doors.  They aren’t growing as fast but there is already a flower.

The square foot patio bag is going great guns, and I’ve been cutting salad leaves from the front left square for over a week now.  The rainbow chard has really taken off too and everything else is catching up.  I have two types of kale, leeks, carrots, kai-lan, chard, asparagus peas and salad in there

I think there were some tomato seeds in the homemade compost I added as there are two rogue tomato plants coming up in the back right square amongst the kale!

The potatoes are doing well and were earthed up on Saturday, and the onions and garlic are swelling nicely.  One of the onions produced a tall flower spike but on advice from UK Veg Gardeners I cut it off as apparently onions that flower don’t store as well.

I am really pleased with the amount of blueberries on my two plants, but will need to net them soon to keep the birds (and dog!) off them

And finally the two non-veg beds.  In this one I just scattered some wildflower, cosmos, echinacea, and poppy seeds back in March.  I don’t know if anything is a flower or a weed at this point!!

And this one I call the Purple Patch because by pure coincidence I realise I have planted (mostly apart from the snowdrops and a white-ish lavender) all purple flowering plants – lavender, allium (which I seem to have cut out of the photo!) and a Japanese anenome.

Last but not least I bought a strawberry pot from Morrisons a couple of months back and a pack of 6 very tiny herb plants.  Since I planted them in the pot they are starting to get going

So that’s my garden round up for the beginning of June.  Hopefully the next post will be of my broad bean harvest!!

Speedy seeds

Last Thursday was such a lovely day that I just could not resist any longer.  I sowed some seeds!  Over the past year I have collected rather a lot of seeds from freebies on magazines and I have bought a few as well.  Also Flighty from Flighty’s Plot very kindly sent me some borlotti beans, nasturtiums and marigolds.

I wanted to grow several different tomatoes this year so I have sewn 4 varieties – Gardener’s Delight, Tumbling Tom Yellow, San Marzano 3, and Moneymaker.  I do have some others which I’ll see if I have room for later.

For the beans I sowed White Lady (runner), Montano (dwarf French), Cobra (climbing French), and Lingua di Fuoca (borlotti from Flighty).

I sowed them all in a module tray, which may have been a little small for the beans so I might have to transplant quite soon.  I sowed 2 of each tomato seed per module and one bean.  5 modules per variety.

As you can see, in only 5 days most of them have germinated!  They are covered with a lid and left on my kitchen table for the light from the patio doors.

And just for you, Flighty, this is one of your Borlotti beans!!

I also threw a few chives and basil into a couple of pots, the basil is showing but no chives as yet.

AND……..huge news……….something went into my bird box this morning, woohoo!!!

 

Still harvesting tomatoes in November!

In my last post about my tomatoes, I really thought I would be taking them all off and getting rid of the plants into the compost.  But it is still so mild that I have left them to it.  I’m still getting a few tomatoes ripening up every few days and these are the few that are left now

I was going to try this recipe from The Little Balcony’s blog but I don’t have enough tomatoes and was very reluctant to buy any in the supermarket today.  Hopefully I can hang onto the ones I have picked and when the rest of these are ready I’ll try it then.

The various things I have planted are all sprouting nicely now

Onions & cabbages

 

Broad beans

 

Peas under fleece

 

Sweet peas

The new water butt is settled in on the patio and due to a couple of downpours in the last week is now completely full!!

New patio water butt

Until I started growing things I’d never eaten Swiss rainbow chard, but I have been buying it in a small greengrocers for the last few weeks and really like it.  So that will be on the list to grow next year.

One thing I have noticed is that I still have no birds in the garden.  The holly is covered in bright red berries and I have hung a bird feeder and fat ball in it too.  But nothing has even nibbled anything.  There were a couple of pigeons around last week and the magpies are kak-kak-kaking in our neighbour’s huge conifers but no little birds yet.  I hope they haven’t all got the hump because we disturbed their garden and took out the forsythia!!

Watch out seeds!

Half an hour of slotting poles into holes and this is what I have…………

…..my growhouse!!  It was really easy to put together, you just slot everything in and give it a good push and it’s done.  When I stood it up I leaned all my body weight on each corner to make sure everything was fully in place.  The cover ties onto the frame and there are zips to hold the “door” closed.  It is fairly lightweight so will have to be fixed to the side of the shed somehow.  The wire rack shelves are a little flimsy but once they have some pots on them they should be fine.  It is about 5’6″ tall, perfect for me at 5’1″, and if it is raining I can throw the cover over my shoulders to keep the worst off if I need to.

My order from SimplySeeds arrived this morning so I may start off some cabbage and pea seeds in the growhouse.  From the Veg Patch book I learned about Jiffy 7s, little discs made of coir (from coconuts and peat-free) which expand when you wet them into little modules large enough for starting seeds off.  I’ve ordered some from ebay, so I’ll give those a try.  I know you can sow peas directly but this way I can give the new bed another couple of weeks to settle in and possibly deter the pigeons from the tiny shoots.  We have a pair of pigeons who spend all day snogging on our back fence!

We’ve had a lot of drizzly rain this morning so hopefully it is helping the new lawn, but we are watering it every day too.  So far (3 days old!) it is still green.

 

It’s all happening this weekend

Tomorrow is a big day.  The guys come in to do the garden.  So today I have been trying to finalise what I want them to do.

A couple of days ago I signed up to Garden Planner for their 30 day free trial.  They don’t ask you for any card details or anything so a subscription won’t automatically kick-in at the end of the 30 days, which is good if you forget and then wonder why there is money going out of your account!

I played around a bit with putting various types of veg into a virtual veg patch and lining everything up in lovely straight rows.  But there is also a feature called “square foot gardening” where it will show you how many of each type of plant you can fit into a square foot of soil.  (There is also a book available on this type of gardening which I may or may not have ordered – ahem!!)  Then I realised it didn’t only have to be the veg patch you could design.  So I went out this morning and took all the measurements of my garden, size of the shed, position of shrubs that are already there, and did a whole garden plan.  There are still some pretty vague areas such as how much lawn to have and how big the non-veg beds will be but I printed it off so I can scribble on it as things come to me before tomorrow.  So it’s pretty useful.

As you add veg to the plan it will give you spacing information and sowing and harvesting dates and you can set frost dates. You can also get it to remember what you planted where so that when you come to plant your veg the following year it will tell you where NOT to plant things because you had things in there this year.  Great if you forget to make a note of it and then don’t know where to rotate your crops to!!

So the heavy digging and renovating is happening this weekend and just in time because I got my garlic this morning from Organic Catalogue.  They only had one variety called  Vallelado so I ordered the smallest amount – 150g.  It wasn’t until a few days ago that I realised I didn’t know how much 150g of garlic was so when it arrived I was very pleased to find that I got 3 whole bulbs plus 1 clove.  Should be plenty enough for us if they all grow.  Plus I also have some Solent Wight coming with the onion sets from SimplySeeds.  I’ll be interested to see if I can taste the difference between different garlic varieties.

I also bought a bird feeder and bird box last weekend, so I’ll ask them to put the box up in the holly while they are trimming it.  We seem to get a lot of blue tits in the holly so hopefully one will take a shine to it for next spring.