Posts Tagged ‘maintenance’

Tuesday tiddlers

Hee hee, tiny little leeks sown last Thursday

I tidied up the herb containers outside today, and then transferred the tomato seedlings into bigger pots.  These are recycled cups from the water dispenser at work.

And we won’t mention the triffids

Someone didn’t double dig……….

My veg patch was created last September after the garden was wrecked during house renovations.  Where the patch is, it used to be just a garden border with a scraggy old Forsythia and basically encroaching grass.  In my eagerness to get growing edibles, I planted away after adding a bit of compost and chicken pellets.

I planted onions, garlic, broad beans, peas, cabbages and a couple of raspberry canes.  I did NOT plant these………

By “these” I mean the clump of things on the right.  It would appear that the very dormant tulip bulbs that haven’t shown their faces for years have decided that they will make an appearance right in the middle of my onion patch.  There are a couple coming up among the peas too!  There are quite a few little bunches popping up as you can see here……

I pulled one out from among the peas (the peas are coming out this week anyway as they are not doing well and I’m going to re-sow) and it is quite a healthy looking bulb…….

So what do I do?  If I dig them out will it disturb my developing onions?  If I leave them in will they take all the goodness away from the onions?  I think this is a question for the UK Veg gardeners forum!!

How quickly do daffodils grow?  Yesterday in the park with the dog I spotted a couple in flower, today there were dozens of them, seemingly popping up overnight.  They are the little mini ones and were very bright and cheery.

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.

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.

 

 

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 finished already!!

I can’t believe that the garden is finished!!  The guys worked so hard for the two days, a few times today having to make a run for it to shelter in the shed when the heaven’s opened.  I’m really pleased with it.  We just have to get some kind of dog proofing around the veg patch and get some decent compost dug in as the soil is pretty depleted.  And we have to water the new turf every day for at least a week and not walk on it.  So here it is……..(click each pic for larger versions)

If you want a reminder of the before pictures they are here

We are so pleased with the results.  Look at that veg bed!!  I should get plenty in there next year.  I’m really happy with the lawn edging too.  They have put them in level with the turf so the lawn mower should slide over them.  The gravel is a little bit dirty but a couple more good downpours like we had today and it should be fine.

I can’t wait to get planting now!!!

And if anyone has any tips on stopping dog wee scorching the grass PLEASE let me know!!

Garden re-vamp: End of Day One

Wow, these guys are hard-workers.  They arrived before 7.30 this morning and didn’t stop until the rain got too heavy at about 3.45.  The old lawn was in the skip before 9.30!  And they’ve even put my bird box up.

So here are the day one progress photos……(click each one for a bigger version)

Looks a bit of a mud bath after the rain but it’s definitely taking shape.  We are recycling some things, such as edging the path with left over blocks from when the patio was done, and some old slabs that were down in the gravel are going round the back of the shed to put the grow house on.  The rocks will go round the bottom of the holly to make a bed for comfrey.  And at the risk of reintroducing self seeded weeds were are reusing the gravel.  There will be weed membrane underneath so nothing will come upwards but we’ll just have to keep on top of the ones that grow on top. Unfortunately there isn’t space to have kept the old turf and composted it down.  So that went in the skip with the forsythia and the holly prunings (and an old gate).

So we shall see what tomorrow brings…..