Saturday, April 21, 2012

First harvest!

 My salad leaves are coming on really well. I sowed a wide row outside on the 26th March and have kept the bed covered with horticultural fleece quite a lot of the time. They are doing almost as well as the ones I planted in my mini greenhouse 3 weeks earlier. I decided to pick a few (!) to have with our lunch today - mostly decorative, but they tasted great!

You can also see how well the spinach, onions and peas are coming on:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Running out of space

I pricked out the cell grown salad leaves and some of the onions yesterday. I even remembered to pre-warm the compost by putting it in the sun for the morning!

I've run out of space in my mini-greenhouse, so have brought the more tender seeds (which still haven't germinated) inside the house. It has been pretty cold since I planted them and my greenhouse doesn't get the sun until the afternoon. Maybe I should move it to a sunnier position? Hopefully the seeds haven't rotted, but are just laying dormant - only time will tell...

PS I took these photos yesterday and the seedlings looked a bit bedraggled - I'm glad to say they look suitably perky again today!

Potato bags

The seed potatoes I bought have been chitting on a window-sill and are now ready to plant. I put a few in on Easter Sunday (here) but they take up more room than I'd bargained for! As I just can bring myself to throw any away, I've bought some potato bags. With 4 seeds per bag, you gradually fill them with compost as the leaves break through. It will be interesting to see which do better - these or the ones in the bed...
Chitting Sante potatoes

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pricking out seedlings

 These are the cabbages I sowed a few weeks ago (08/03/12). I forgot to take a "before" picture, so here's the "after" one!

And here's the brussel sprouts. Before...

And after...

More sowing

We had some spectacular weather last week, with lots of hailstones and plenty of thunder rumbling around. Dodging the showers, I managed to get out and plant a few more rows of veggies.
I'm trying a different way of planting the parsnips this time. I've used the dibber to make deep holes, which were then back-filled with potting compost. Into each hole I have put either 1 or 2 seeds and covered them up with more compost. I'm assuming that a few won't germinate, so the doubled up ones can be thinned into the spaces. My Dad tells me that Joe (his father) used to grow his this way and it does make alot of sense. I've also put in another row of carrots along with some garlic chives - supposed to be good to deter carrot fly! Finally a row of rocket and some more lupins (as green manure where the cabbages will go later on in the year).

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Lupins (green manure)


Spinach and speedy salad leaves
Everything's beginning to grow! Here's a selection of how they're coming on...


Ready for raspberries and strawberries
My fruit patch has expanded! I thought I'd done enough the other day (here), but after browsing the garden centres and seed catalogues (a dangerous hobby unless the credit card is hidden!) I decided to expand it a bit.

The brick edging previously stopped about halfway along here. I'm not entirely sure why, although at one stage we had a missing fence panel which our children thought was great for playing with next door's children! I think it was around that time that my Dad helped with a load of tidying in the garden, including installing the brick edging. Maybe he ran out of bricks? - or time more likely. Anyway, I found enough to bridge the gap up to the compost bin.

I have ordered 6 raspberry canes and 12 strawberry plants for the time being. Depending on how well these grow, I may put more in later in the year. The rhubarb will have to wait until the Autumn. The garden centres charge a fortune at the moment and it is supposedly better to plant it later anyway.

Apple blossom
Apple blossom
The existing fruit trees are all bursting into life compared to just over 2 weeks ago (here) and judging by the number of bees around we might even get enough cherries to feed us as well as the birds this year!
Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom