Wednesday, 30 May 2012

First courgette and flowers on the sweet peas

The courgettes planted the other day were so ready that they produced already! I had one dinky one with my dinner last night - first produce of the season (except for rhubarb, of course, which grows whether I do anything to it or not).  I think it was the one I tickled with the soft brush while in the greenhouse, so it works.
Weather still fine but cooler and cloudier in the mornings, which, though I don't like to admit it, is a bit of a relief from the relentless sunshine of the past week.
Dug over the bed where I'm going to plant the sweetcorn, which was hot work in this unaccustomed heat.
Some berries on the old strawberry plants, but none on the new yet.
Am watering the beans and peas every day even when they don't look as if they need it, as I read somewhere that if they are well watered at the beginning they produce better later, so I am walking about half a mile with the watering can before I even start the day.
Only the sweetcorn and the pumpkin to find space for, and maybe some surviving cabbages. (The cabbage seedlings all damped off as usual, but I ignored them for a while and they recovered slightly.  I then re-potted them and they have responded well, and are looking quite healthy, though small.)
Sowed a second batch of beetroot seeds.
Pak Choi is coming up, also the Florence fennel.
The runner beans are growing away nicely, the french beans are a bit less enthusiastic, but are coming on, might get more than 2 beans from them this year.
The warmer weather came just in time for the sweet peas, so they have gone from a bundle of straggly, yellowing leaves, to green and healthy with flowers on already.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

courgettes planted out

Continuing warm and sunny, so I felt it was okay to plant out the courgettes.  Course it'll probably snow tomorrow, but the forecast is good for the next few days.  Might even get the sweetcorn out.

Friday, 25 May 2012


Phew! Three hot days in a row! Emily's Granddad's greenhouse was up to 100F at 10 am and yesterday, at 3.30pm, it was so hot in there that the thermometer had given up and was registering an error.
The soil is drying out rapidly and any surface seeds need watering.
The runner beans are looking happy and growing nicely.  The peas aren't growing very well though.
The courgettes can go out soon. The sweetcorn is a bit small yet.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

runner beans planted

An absolutely gorgeous day today at last!  I might be being a bit hasty, but I've planted my runner and climbing french beans.  I'll just have to hope they will be okay.  The forecast is good for the next few days so that should give them a chance to get established before the next lot of rubbish weather comes along.
The top picture is of the tree paeony I put in front garden the year before last.  It only has one flower, but it is a beauty.
I've moved the courgettes down to the cold frame at the allotment. They were very big and one had a fully opened flower, so I made like a bee with the soft brush and I was amazed at how quickly it responded, the flower wilted and the stem started to fatten within a couple of hours.
Its good to get some space for the tomatoes and peppers.  I threw all the little pepper plants in the compost heap, there were far too many (they were grown for the plant sale at the allotments) and they weren't looking happy after all the cold weather. It has gone on just too long for them.
So now I've got space in the greenhouse for the perennial flower seeds I want to grow.

Monday, 21 May 2012

leeks planted

The weather is getting a bit warmer, a little bit.  We just need some sunshine to warm the soil so I can get the runner bean plants out into the garden.
I've planted out the baby leeks.
Re-sown turnip seed after the birds have eaten them all.
Sprayed the cabbages with soft soap and sown some more pak choi (something ate the previous sowings of those too) inside the same mesh tunnel. I sprinkled some lime on the soil to discourage clubroot.
High of 15C , low of 8C

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

At least something is looking summery!

A little glimpse of summer today.  I even took my coat off!  The runner beans are just about climbing out of the cold frame, they are so ready to be planted.

staking the broad beans
onions looking good
these too

apple blossom
Even the cabbages look good

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Still lots of rain and cold after a brief spell (2 days) of fine weather. I have given up on my sweet corn plants, they've gone brown and withered.  Too cold and too wet.
The runner beans are ready to be planted but it is still too cold.
Sweet potatoes continuing their recovery.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

sweet potatoes

I'm trying some sweet potatoes this year, so I sent away for 6 slips which came in the post yesterday and potted them up.  Without thinking too much (a failing of mine, not thinking) I put them in the mini-greenhouse which is inside the greenhouse and thought that that would be warm enough for them because I know they are a bit tender.  I didn't know how tender! There was an overnight frost, the water in the birds dish outside was frozen and my poor plants.... they looked so droopy and sad. I thought they were goners so I rushed them onto the kitchen windowsill.
Phew! Luckily, after a few hours in the warm they picked up and apart from looking a bit brown on the edges of the leaves they seem okay.  But I don't know if they are going to survive if they are that tender. I was warned, the instructions that came with them did say keep them in a warm greenhouse or in the house on a windowsill. But I thought I knew better obviously!
So I think when I come to plant them out, I will put them in growing bags in the back garden, and if it seems too cold I can drag the bags into the greenhouse.  That is if it ever begins to warm up at all this year.

The first nice day at the allotment for quite a while, I actually took my coat off!  I planted out the cornflowers and some pea plants.  Put my spare tomato plants into my cold frame and two spare courgette plants went into the shop.

The new tree looks okay, but it has decided to lean on its support post, which I think probably isn't good, not sure why, so I will have to try and straighten it before too long.

I will have to plant some more turnips and beetroot as the ones I planted in March seem too have disappeared.

Planted some more potatoes a friend gave me (Charlotte).

Friday, 4 May 2012

potted up the tomatoes

I was going to put the tomatoes in growing bags instead of pots, but the bags are huge and take way too much compost.  Compost is very valuable when it has to be carried every inch of the way from the shop by my very own arms and legs!  So I potted up the tomatoes into big pots and managed to get four tomatoes potted up using only one growbag. (Note: growbags are different to growing bags, the former are bought full of compost, the latter are strong canvas/plastic bags which need to be filled)
Also sowed some seeds: flat-leaved parsley, dill, echinacea purpurea, dianthus.  I've run out of space in the greenhouse now because I haven't been putting any of my plants out, it has been too cold.
Frost forecast tomorrow!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

first cut of comfrey.

Planted the new tree using compost from that I got from the bin in the back garden, mixed with the soil and dressed with bonemeal.
Made two trenches for some seed potatoes I was given (Charlotte) and laid some comfrey leaves in them to wilt a bit.  Comfrey is supposed to be a good organic feed for potatoes.  Let's hope they don't blow away, its got a bit windy.
Planted a clematis along the hedge, to grow up and through it.
Soil still pretty glutinous, my feet weighed a ton by the time I had finished planting and trenching.