Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Having dug over and added compost to the small, square bed a few weeks ago, I covered it in fleece until I was ready to plant into it. This has had 2 benefits - warmer soil and more importantly, no cat poo! So today, I have sown mangetout peas "Delikta" directly into one corner of the bed. I plan to sow some more in a couple of weeks time, and fill the rest of the bed with French beans that are doing nicely in my patio growhouse for the moment. I have replaced the fleece for protection until I plant out the beans.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Maintenance jobs

Boring but essential, I spent quite some time this afternoon weeding my onions - they were looking a bit neglected. I was joined by the female blackbird who is nesting in our front hedge. She seemed quite happy, just inches away from me while I worked. After removing all the weeds, I watered and mulched them with homemade compost, so now they look much better.

I planted these as sets last Autumn as that gave me a fantastic harvest last year. However, this year they don't seem to be doing quite so well and I'm not quite sure why. I think some may have been dug up by cats and some may have rotted as the winter was so wet. When I planted them I had quite a few left over. I couldn't quite bring myself to throw them away, so I very generously free-cycled them. On reflection, I should have planted them in pots to grow on and fill the holes. Maybe next year...

The other job was earthing up the potatoes. I used more of my homemade compost, combined with some of the top soil which I'm still using up.

More sowing

Today I have planted some courgettes (All Green Bush). They did really well last year after a complete wash-out in 2012, so I'm trying again this year. I wasn't sure where I'd plant them out, but have now decided that under the sweetcorn should work. I tried the "Three Sisters" approach a couple of years ago, but it wasn't very successful - the pumpkin plant grew massive, but the fruit rotted before it ripened and the beans pulled the sweetcorn over. Hopefully I'll have better luck this year.

I have also sown some salad leaves, directly into the raised bed - spinach "Toscane", Rocket, lettuce "Little Gem" and a "spicy oriental mix"  from Suttons seeds.

Meanwhile, some of the chillies have germinated along with one of the pea shoots. The French beans and sweetcorn are doing well in the greenhouse, so I've started opening it up a bit more to harden them off.

The beetroot has germinated well, but not much sign of the parsnips or carrots yet. Time will tell.