Monday, 30 May 2011

Pottering about...

    Ive been focusing on my plot, but i thought i'd show you whats going on in the garden at home. Although ive got my plot im still growing things at home in pots like usual.

    i've got my salad potatoes growing in the grow sacks which have got the first buds appearing on them. My strawberries are fruiting, just need them to ripen up now.

    This is the small amount of ground ive got to grow in in my garden. ive currently got peas, beetroot- Bulls Blood (which are very attractive plants) and parsnips ( which ive never grown before).

Parsnips and leeks


sweetcorn (in desperate need of planting out at the plot)

my first runner beans emerging

my lemon grass which ive grown from seed (although my dog has taken a liking to it and keeps eating the leaves!)

Beans and peas

    Ive been on nights this week so i haven't had chance to get up to the plot. However last week i got quite a lot done. Firstly i finished digging over the bed. It was hard work as the soil was that dry and compacted that i had to jump on the fork to get it into the ground. Also the couch grass had knitted itself together which made picking it out take forever. However i felt pleased once it was done as it meant i could get on with growing!
    Ive never grown runner beans before as i didnt have room so i had to do a bit of research about them. I read that they normally like a trench to be dug which is filled with things like kitchen veg which rot down and release nutrients. However its a bit late for that, so instead i copied a method i saw on Gardeners World when Joe Swift had an allotment.

    I dug a trench then added a layer of rotted manure and soaked newspaper to hold moisture. i then back filled it and it was immediately ready to be planted.

    The next step was to construct some home made bean runs with bamboo canes and string. I just hope they withstand the wind. I also used bean netting for the peas so they'll have something to cling to. Once they were up i met one of my plot neighbours for the first time. He gave me some spare runner bean plants which i was grateful for. I just hope i like them because with his plants added to mine that i sowed at home means i'll have about 40 plants! I'll just have to get looking for chutney recipes!

     The peas im growing at the plot are a heritage variety called 'Alderman'. They are meant to be a tall main crop pea. i just hope they produce lots of peas, because i dont think its possible to have too many. Non of mine have ever made it to the kitchen in the past, they always get eaten straight off the plant.

    My next task is to get this bed dug and cleared by next week. Its going to be home to my sweetcorn and winter squash. Ive never grown sweetcorn before so im looking forward to trying something new. And im happy i finally have room to grow some squash as i love the vegetable. i grew one in the past before and it took over the the back garden!

Monday, 16 May 2011

A busy May day

     Ive been busy with work so ive got a bit behind with digging over the beds. The biggest bed is dug and planted with potatoes and a few sowings of carrots, beetroot, parsnips and radish ( however due to the hot dry April germination hasn't been the best).

    On one of the beds, its mostly taken up with gooseberry bushes. so ive cleared one end of it which just had weeds on. Ive then erected a make-shift wigwam. it consists of canes with string wrapped around them. This should hopefully be enough for the peas to grab hold of as they scramble up it. 

   The wigwam is going to be home to mangetout. Ive never grown them before due to the fact that the shop bought ones are pretty tasteless. However if they taste half as good as home grown peas then i'll be happy. I sowed the seeds at the base of the wigwam. Then i covered the ground with holly incase mice are a problem at the plot. The holly seems to have been successful too as the peas are just poking their heads through the soil now.

   At the moment I'm digging my way through another bed. As you can see from the picture its pretty over grown. It must have been the old strawberry patch, and i have to say it feels pretty wrong to be digging up healthy strawberry plants that have got green strawberries on them. However it needs to be done as its riddled with couch grass. I also need it dug ASAP as this bed is going to have my peas and beans in.

    I just have to take a second to acknowledge some of the gorgeous flowers that have burst into colour these past few weeks. There's a beautiful Peony at the back of my plot, however it has since been battered down by the rain ( I'll give it some support next year). There are also lovely bright poppies all over the plot, pinks oranges and reds. The one pictured here is unfortunately in the middle of the bed I'm clearing, so wont be around to admire for much longer.

   Meanwhile back at home ive been sowing some beans. These are Borlotti beans and ive never grown them before. i cant believe how pretty the beans are. Ive put one bean per root trainer. These will be staying at home though, destined for a row of canes in the back garden.