Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

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!!

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.

Quick catchup

Wow, what amazing weather we are having.  I’ve taken advantage by having a good tidy up of the veg patch and got rid of as many weeds as I can.  Unfortunately there is bindweed popping up around the edge and the tulips have firmly established amongst the onions!

In my beginner’s eagerness I thought the tomato and bean seedlings on my kitchen table would like a bit of sunshine and put them outside during the day on Saturday & Sunday.  But they have gone all pale and some of the leaves have wilted.  I’m thinking that although it was supposedly something like 20 degrees out there, that there was a cool breeze that they didn’t like.  I’m hoping they will recover otherwise it’s back to square one!  Lesson learned: don’t be too keen!!!

I have a small flowerbed next to the shed……

….into which I put my free* lavenders, a Japanese Anemone, and some bulbs in the autumn.  I had a grand total of 2 snowdrops come up but in the last couple of days I have 2 yellow fritillaries and this lovely one…..

A few weeks ago I received my 3 free* asparagus crowns, and am growing them in a patio bag which came with them.  I keep having to top it up because this stubborn fellow keeps making a bid for freedom…..

Although it is very tempting to cut it and eat it, I’m not allowed to have any for at least a couple of years!  I’m am really going to have to learn some patience in this ‘grow your own’ game.

(* = free if you pay P&P in various magazine offers)

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

Is there a giant at the top?

My beans are growing so fast I’m wondering if they are magic beans and there is going to be a giant at the top shouting ” Fee, fi, fo, fum!”  Here they are as of this morning, 12 days after I sowed the seeds…….

I bought some bamboo canes at the weekend, I think it might soon be time to construct some wigwams.  Although saying that, there was a ground frost this morning so these are staying inside for now.

The tomatoes are slower growers but coming along with a germination rate of almost 100% (the beans have been 50%).

Outside, the broad beans are just starting to flower

and the cabbages, onions & garlic are ticking over. (The camellia flowers are dropping in from next door!)

The rhubarb crown I planted in the autumn has two large stalks now and plenty of new growth.  Would I be able to eat the two larger stalks or just leave the whole thing be until next year?

(click photos to enlarge)

I’ve gone too early!

The warm weather went to my head and I think I’ve gone to early on the seed planting.

This was yesterday’s photo…….

And this is the same tray 24 hours later!!

They are like flipping triffids!!!  The bean roots have already escaped the bottom of the modules.  There is going to have to be some pretty swift transplanting in the next couple of days into larger pots.  At least I know the seeds are healthy but whether these will be too spindly to survive I don’t know.  Fingers crossed for beginners luck, otherwise I’ll have to do what Flighty said in the comments and sow into the ground in May.

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!!!