Posts Tagged ‘dog’

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!!

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Quick veg patch update

The new growing year hasn’t properly started yet but my patch isn’t bare.  Somehow the things I planted in the autumn are surviving – some just about!

Here is the bed near the end of November

22nd November 2011

And here it is today

25th January 2012

Not a HUGE difference but there is definitely growth there.  The onions and garlic have put on a little spurt since we had a hard frost.  I’m not sure if the peas (top left) are going to flourish so I’ll sow some more of those in pots to transfer later.  At the far end is where my spuds are going to go.  I’ve ordered them today – 6 tubers each of Arran Pilot, International Kidney and Desiree.  I’ve only ordered a few because I don’t want them to take up too much of the remaining space, I need some room for my beans and carrots and whatever else I want to have a go at.  I think I’ll stick with containers for the tomatoes.  I’m going to put herbs around the outside of the fencing as the dofg doesn’t seem inclined to eat those.  And also some companion flowers to attract insects.

I finally got round to phoning the council at the beginning of the month and have got my name down on the allotment waiting list!  It is at least two years long but the way I see it is that by then I’ll either really want it and have a bit of experience, or the novelty will have worn off before investing a lot of effort in a whole plot.  In the meantime I’ve got this little patch and my containers to practice in.

For those of you who have a Kindle (or other means of reading Kindle books), I got hold of these two ebooks recently.  I haven’t actually read them yet so can’t vouch for them.  They were free at the time I got them, but I’ve just checked and they are now £2.55 each

Organic Solutions to Everyday Garden Problems

Organic Compost Guide

I’ll review them when I’ve had a chance to read them.

A short local walk, first turnips & last tomatoes

Chester has a cycle path that runs between Connah’s Quay in Deeside to Mickle Trafford a few miles east of Chester.  It is along the route of an old railway track so is very flat and ideal for strolling along.  I have walked a couple of miles of it from the nearest access point to our house before but had never been to the Mickle Trafford end, so yesterday morning we packed the dog into the car and parked at the far end.  There is no official parking area but the owner of a nearby industrial unit allowed us to park on his forecourt as long as we didn’t break an ankle and sue him as a previous person had done!!

We walked for about half an hour along the track to where it goes under the A55, and then the skies were darkening a bit so we headed back.  Along the route were some interesting pieces of art…

This morning I had a mooch about the garden and found that the last of the tomatoes are ripening up finally, possibly because I gave them a good drenching after not watering for a good 10 days.

I picked the ripest and I think I’ll give the rest another week.

In the patio bag I noticed a couple of the turnips pushing back up through the compost I had earthed them up with a couple of weeks ago, so I investigated and pulled out these two

I don’t remember ever having eaten a turnip so this will be a new experience for me.  I’ll probably just roast them in some olive oil this evening.

My onions are coming up quite well now, there are about 20 little green shoots, but no sign of the garlic yet.  The peas are doing ok and the cabbages now have collars.

I picked some of the French bean pods that have been drying in the shed and shelled them.  I’ve got plenty of seed to attempt to grow in the spring now.

Finally I sowed a few more sweet peas in the growhouse, Tall Mixed this time, and that’s about it.

Edging suggestions?

This is my new veg patch, with it’s lovely dog protection trellis all the way round!

When the edging blocks were laid, they were set in cement which is wider than the width of the stones themselves.  So when we came to push the bamboo poles into the ground we had to move them in a bit in order to avoid the cement.  This means I have a strip of about 4-6 inches all the way round outside of the trellis………

I can’t grow anything obviously edible here because the mutt will eat it so I’m open for suggestions!  I was thinking herbs, borage or companion flowers but I don’t want anything too large, or anything that is going to use the water and nutrients intended for the veggies.  With the cement below, the soil layer is quite shallow there too.

Help!!

Tidy toms

I had a new commenter today, Alison who blogs at House, Chickens, Eggs & Cakes.  As I scrolled back through a few of her posts to see what she gets up to, I noticed a post from about 10 days ago where she said that Monty Don on Gardener’s World was cutting all the leaves from his tomato plants to direct the energy into ripening the last of the fruits.  I still have a lot of green tomatoes on my plants so this afternoon I have been cutting all the leaves off.  I only had one mishap and cut the wrong bit, so I now have a small bunch of green tomatoes in with my bananas.

But this is what I am left with………

The whole thing is leaning rather precariously!  The red tomatoes belong to two plants, one is a Gardener’s Delight and the other is supposedly a Sweet Millions, but I have my doubts about that because the pictures I’ve seen of SM are round cherry tomatoes, whereas mine are more of a plum tomato.  It’s possible the labels got mixed up when I bought the plants.  At the very bottom of the picture you can just see my yellow tumbler which also still has loads of toms on it.  I picked this lot before I did the tidying…..

Exactly two weeks ago I planted a supermarket clove of garlic in a pot, and look what I found today….

The dog was allowed back into the garden this weekend and has peed on the lawn, and walked all over the borders!  Not the veg patch though because we have put up some trellis all the way round it just high enough for me to step over.  She could jump it if she really wanted to but hopefully she won’t work that out!

Stopped reading and started doing

So for the last 4-5 months or so I have been buying magazines, reading books and generally learning about the theory of veg gardening.  Ok I’ve grown a few things in pots this summer but now I have a veg patch.  So it was time to stop reading and start doing!

I was a little bit wary of doing anything too physical as I haven’t really done any kind of exercise in years and wasn’t sure how it might affect by blood sugar levels (I have diabetes).  So I didn’t go mad.

First thing I did was move the growhouse from the kitchen, outside to the side of the shed.  I put a couple of bricks on the bottom shelf to give it a bit of weight until I can secure it to the shed itself.  It seems ok there.

Then I decided to spread my organic chicken manure pellets on the veg bed and work them in.  Phew-eeeeeee, no-one told me they stank so much but the clue is in the name I suppose. It is, after all, poo!!  I threw them on and then used my cultivator to rake them in really.  It was quite difficult as I had to reach over the fencing we put up to keep the dog off as I didn’t want to walk on the bed.  The soil has broken down a bit and is getting finer now.The sun was out and I was quite warm by the time I finished.

My Jiffy 7 discs came in the post so I thought I would put some seeds in and see what happened.  I decided to compare them against peat-free multipurpose in cardboard pots.  I’ve planted 4 pea seeds and 4 cabbage seeds in Jiffys (left) and 3 of each in the pots (right).  The Jiffys are quite fun when you add water and watch them swell up.

I really have no idea what I’m doing so who knows what is going to happen.  But guess where I have put them?

If any of this looks wrong to you, please tell me, ta!

My copy of All New Square Foot Gardening came today too, so back to the reading again I’m afraid.

 

 

One week to go…..

Take a look at these pictures of my garden.  Drink them in because in one week’s time it isn’t going to look like this anymore.

All the gravel is being taken up and the perished weed membrane underneath is all being replaced.  The Forsythia on the right is coming out and that is where my vegetable patch is going to be.  The whole lawn is being taken up and re-turfed, and everything else is going to be given a blooming good tidy up.  The old shrub stumps are being dug out, the holly re-shaped and the borders prepared for new plants.

The water butt and compost bin will stay in place but the ground in front of them will be levelled out and my small growhouse will go against the shed to the right of the water butt.

I am so excited about it all.  I’ve been reading all the magazines and books I can get my hands on, but now I just want to get on with it.  The onion sets and garlic should be on their way in a couple of weeks so they will be the first veg to go into the veg patch.  I shall need to put up some lattice fencing around the patch to keep the dog off, but hopefully that shouldn’t restrict anything too much as the light should get through the gaps.

Roll on Friday at 8am, that’s when the men are coming to do all the work.  This week I need to really decide on the final design ideas.