Posts Tagged ‘peas’

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!!

Sowing again

I’ve been seed sowing again this morning.  I put a row of beetroot in the veg bed outside and also re-sowed the peas.  In seed trays I have done leeks, sweet peppers and Swiss chard.

Hopefully these are in at the right times.  As for the beans they are now over a foot tall!

Can anyone tell me when I need to plant my Dahlia roots?

And if you are interested in what I have been sewing then you can have a look here!!

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.

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.

Late November roundup

Yesterday I received two raspberry canes from a “free if you pay P&P” offer in Grow Your Own magazine.  Basically they sent me two sticks with roots on the bottom!  Anyway I’m not really sure where I want them to go but I obviously needed to get them in somewhere for now or they really would end up as just two dead sticks so I have put them in the veg bed against the fence.  One is called Polka which is an autumn fruiting variety, and the other is a summer fruiting Glen Ample.  I don’t know if I will get any fruit next year but we’ll see.

While I was outside I took a few photos of the late November veg patch

Overwintering veg

I got some of those FlexiBalls to build a low cage over the cabbages because I think the pigeons will start eyeing them up soon.  And also threw some organic wool slug pellets around them because something has already had a go.  These pellets are completely safe and made from the clinkers off a sheep’s bum! Nice!! They ponged a bit when I opened the bag. They are a good fertiliser too but whether they keep the slugs off is another matter.

Cabbages and new raspberry cane Glen Ample (back left)

There is a mystery with the garlic.  Quite a few of the organic Vallelado are coming up, but so far not one single shoot of the Solent Wight.  This is a photo of the onions with the garlic on the right, and the Polka raspberry at the back.

Onions, garlic and new raspberry cane Polka

These are my peas and broad beans, the peas are just starting to curl their little tendrils around the sticks

Peas (front) and broad beans (back)

And finally the sweet peas in pots in the growhouse

Sweet peas in growhouse

And that’s about it really.  I did have a quick look at the rhubarb and it looks like there might be a big shoot developing on the top of the crown.  I hope it doesn’t start growing yet.

I am currently reading a book a friend recommended to me called Cabbages & Roses Guide to Natural Housekeeping.  It’s amazing what you can do with a bit of Bicarb of Soda and some white vinegar!!  Haven’t tried any yet but will do soon.  It’s all much more eco-friendly than the cupboard full of poisons most people have in their houses.

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!!

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.

Quick round-up and a yummy dinner

I’ve not done a lot in the garden since the last post.  Tomorrow I will be planting the peas and cabbage that are in the jiffys and coir pots into the ground as they are doing well.

Pea Meteor (front), Cabbage Advantage F1 (back)

None of the ones in the ground are showing through yet but I did buy a cheap plastic cloche on ebay.  1.2m long with three wire hoops – £3.49. It probably won’t hold up for years and years but at that price it was worth a punt. Although now I think about it, it probably wasn’t a good decision eco-friendly-wise!

Next to the peas in the growhouse above are the sweet peas with 3 to a pot, all of which are starting to show

I think I’ll sow some more sweet peas as I had another free packet on Grow Your Own magazine this month, Tall Mixed, and I could put them along the boundary fence in the veg patch to encourage the bees.

Remember I repotted the blueberry?  It has decided to produce flower buds!! (apologies for blurry photo!!)

A friend of ours is complaining that her spring bulbs are coming up and she only planted them two weeks ago.  A couple of my onions have started to make an appearance

And finally I have been reading Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new book River Cottage Veg Every Day, and during the week I made Chachouka.  Here is my effort and very tasty it was too served with warmed crusty French stick!!

More planting

Yesterday was another planting day. I got 40 onion sets planted.  I have gone with Radar and Electric (a red onion) and have planted them in 2 blocks of 20 each.  However I have 30 of each left and have been advised by members of the UKVegGardeners Forum that they cannot be kept and planted in spring.  As I don’t want to plant any more of these, some of them are up for grabs if anyone would like them.  I’ll offer some to my neighbour too.

Also to go in were peas.  I have the 7 that I put into the pots and Jiffys but as they are starting to grow now I thought I would just get on and put some straight into the ground.  I dug over a patch and then made 4cm deep holes with a pencil and dropped one pea into each hole.  I have no idea of the spacing but I put in a total of 46 seeds in a large block.  They are Pea Meteor.

The turnips I sowed in the patio grow bag are doing well, however the roots were starting to swell above the surface.

Once more I took advice from UKVegGardeners and Flighty said they should be covered.  So a combination of thinning out, pushing down and earthing up now has them covered and on their way.  There are only about 5 or 6 in there but I don’t think I have ever eaten a turnip so I’m not sure if I will like them.  It is all experimenting at this stage!

And look…….the anemone must have been listening yesterday and has opened one of its flowers…….

A proper gardener

I got quite a few things done yesterday.  I’m afraid Morrisons’ plant section managed to ensnare me once again but I only spent a fiver and got 2 perennials and 2 different types of bulbs.  The bulbs were £1 a packet for 6 snowdrops or 10 fritillaries.  There were various others there too but I just chose these.  The perennials I got were 2 for £3, a Heuchera Ruby Bells and a Penstemon Picotee Red. They also had good size Cordylines but I left those for now.

So the bulbs are now in the lavender bed.  It doesn’t look much yet, the lavenders are very small and the bulbs are obviously underground but you can see the Japanese anemone!  I’m hoping the 3 buds on it will open before it gets too cold.

I then checked on my cabbage and pea seeds in the growhouse.  All 7 cabbages have germinated and 3 of 7 peas so far.  There doesn’t appear to be any difference between the Jiffy 7s and the multipurpose compost in terms of germination.

I have put my three strawberry runners in there and the four large pots in the middle contain 3 sweet pea seeds each, also sown yesterday.  I’ve planted 2 pots with Spencer Waved Mixed and 2 with Butterfly Kisses.

And then I did some real planting!!  I put in my garlic!  I planted one block of Vallelado from the Organic Catalogue.  I had 3 bulbs which gave me 20 decent sized cloves.  And I had 1 bulb of Solent Wight from SimplySeeds from which I got a block of 16 cloves but some of them were quite small and may not be viable.  Here’s a picture but it is just of a bed of soil and a few lolly sticks!!

I’m not sure if I have planted them too deep but I guess all will be revealed in due course!  The skies were darkening for a rainstorm at this point so my intentions of planting the onion sets were scuppered but that is a job for today.

In other news…..it seems my rescue efforts on the blueberry worked, it has produced the first new growth since I’ve had it!!

And my yellow dahlia has finally produced a flower……(sorry about the blur!)

I’m starting to feel like a proper gardener now!!

(All photos can be clicked to enlarge.)