Posts Tagged ‘sweetpeas’

Kitchen table nursery

This is the state of my kitchen table, covered with all my little seedlings growing away.

I have patio doors there so it is the place with the most light.  On there I have 4 types of tomato, 4 types of bean, rainbow chard, sweet peppers, 2 types of leek, 2 types of lettuce, butternut squash, peas, sweet peas, sunflowers, basil and cress.  The beans are way too early and will probably get chucked except the dwarf ones which are actually starting to flower!  The tomatoes got a little bit scorched when I put them out in the sun but have made a stirling recovery and I think they are going to be ok.  I’m a bit scared to put them out into the mini plastic greenhouse as they might all die and I’d be left with nothing.

I bought the packet of cress seeds in Morrisons, but it doesn’t look like the cress I’m used to…..these are like little umbrellas

I tasted some and it was quite peppery.

A lovely member of my local knititng group very kindly gave me some terracotta pots last week as she is moving away and can’t take everything with her.  I got quite a haul and am very grateful….thanks Sarah!

I ordered a few more seeds yesterday from MoreVeg who sell small quantities for 50p, cos I don’t need many.  I’ve got a couple of different squashes coming, some alpine strawberries and asparagus peas (and a few others, ahem!).  My veg patch is going to be absolutely heaving in the height of the growing season!!

In the next few days I shall be sowing some nasturtiums and pot marigold seeds which Flighty kindly sent me to use as companion plants and attract insects, and hopefully getting the rest of my seed potatoes into the ground as their chits are getting rather long now.  Looks like it is going to be warming up a bit again at the weekend although it could be a bit damp.

I shall also be going to The Chester Food & Drink Festival this weekend.  We go every year and my favourite bit is the lunchtime hog roast,  yum!  On Sunday, Eaton Hall is open to the public for the day so depending on the weather we may go along to that.  We went at the end of the summer last year so it will be interesting to see the difference at this time of year.

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!!

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.)