Monday, 10 March 2014

Spring efforts.....!

The photo shows the state of play on Tuesday after clearing up the winter cover on 6 of the beds.
I am happy to be getting to grips with what needs doing to wake the garden up.
Since the hoot all these beds are tidied and the back three starting from the rh side are planted up. Potatoes in beds 4 and 3, and onion sets in 2.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A lot done today!

No pics today.....just a list of jobs done for my records...... Manured the tunnel beds. Weeded and watered the tunnel strawberries. Then "fed" them. Sowed the sweet peas in Rootrainers, and settled in the sunroom on the windowsill. Sowed cabbage "Greyhound" 8 modules. Broccoli PSB 8 modules. Calabrese 8 modules. Kale (dwarf) 4 modules. Brussels 4 modules. Fertilised (chicken manure pellets) the beds for onions and peas/beans. Sowed 4 rows Kelvedon Wonder. 6 rows of broad beans (Witkelm Manita and Stereo) and netted them all so that the cat doesn't dig them up. That's enough for one day. Weather was wonderful after the fog lifted. The foghorns in the Solent were going until after lunch!!!

Friday, 24 February 2012

A useful afternoon's work

Still tidying the kitchen garden. I put grass mowings all over the asparagus bed (cleared the previous years tops and weeded the bed thoroughly yesterday)to mulch it and to supress the annual weeds. I'm still getting bulbs come up in this bed from when it was part of the flower garden prior to us coming here. I like them.....and anyway they are inpossible to get rid of.
The further bed is also much tidier now. The rhubarb at the far end, by the forcer, is coming up nicely from below the soil. I'm not going to force this year. Last year's crown died after I only have this one now.



The strawberrry plants in grow bags on the tabletop planter were not a success last I have rescued the plants that were still alive and potted them up in the tunnel. If they thrive I'll put them in the beds for next year.
I had a big bonfire of all the woody waste from my clear-up. It blazed merrily....then went out because the Brussels plants were very green still. (I hooked them out and burnt them because all the sprouts were "blown".....useless. I should have staked them...but last year everything got away from me.)
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Back to it!

After a very bad time with my back I am feeling a bit more as though I can cope with the kitchen garden again. It has been a long time since I did any real work outside, and although they do say that beds should not be left bare in winter I was ashamed of the state of it.
So as yesterday was promising to be warm I got out there, with my back support on(!), and got on with it. Here is the before picture......

And here is the after picture....

Rather than move the bean arbour I am going to put them in the same place again this year as it is supposed to be possible to grow runners indefinitely in one spot. I shall put a good load of home-made compost into the middle strip of each bed to make sure they can have their roots in a wet place as they need.

I also cleared up the asparagus bed near the tunnel,and did a bit of tidying in the tunnel.

Lots left to do......but I am glad to have made a start!
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Thursday, 7 April 2011

Well.... lookee here!


I was hanging out the washing and suddenly caught a look at the asparagus bed out of the corner of my eye. The sneaky things were (some of them) about a foot tall. I came straight inside for my knife and harvested everything over 3 inches tall. Dinner tonight I think!
The broccoli was also showing off so I cut off everything there too.
I think the sun this week has made a difference.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Visit to Wisley

Today we had to go all the way to Kent and back to visit someone in hospital. We broke the journey at Wisley, as usual, and I had a few minutes to pop up to the Model Vegetable Garden to have a quick look at what is going on there this year.
What a disappointment!
Last year they had started from scratch with this beautiful little veg/fruit garden, with stepover apples dividing the beds up into interesting areas planted with a mammoth amount of veg. The three following photos show how it looked in the summer. It was a real delight!



So today I thought I would just see how it looked over the winter. I was shocked to find it had all gone (even the wonderful stepover fruit bushes only planted in the beds last year)! They now have it as a boring rhubarb trial bed! Wasn't even worth a photo.......
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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

This and that!

Today it was warmer than of late and my back was not too bad so I decided to make a start on the beds ready for this year. I love the concept of Square Foot Gardening, and have been doing just two beds by this method for a year or two, but have decided to go for it with all the beds this year. There are just two of us most of the time, so small quantities are required of lots of different veg, so the Sq Ft method will work for us.
This bed is marked out into 1ft squares with some bamboo poles that I now don't use as I have the arches.
I gave it another dig over and removed the cat droppings, then covered it in net to stop further infestation!
In the back of the picture is the bed that was the strawberry bed last year. I will convert that to Sq Ft tomorrow. I have dug out all the strawberries...they didn't do so well last year, so perhaps they are getting to the less productive stage of their lives. I saved the baby plants and planted them under the back hedge. The spot where I put them was full of ivy, stems and roots. These I threw into the dip at the back of the hedge to provide insect home type opportunities. The soil was soft and looked to be in good heart but I added a load of chicken manure pellets to make sure.
I have made other provisions for strawberries in grow-bags as explained last week, but these here will make a welcome addition. The plants should thrive in this sunny spot (south facing, with protection from the north) and the stones should help keep the roots moist.

I moved the rhubarb forcer over one of the crowns a couple of weeks ago. Couldn't resist a peep. The plant seems to be growing faster than the uncovered crown next to it (see last photo) we should have some early pink rhubarb. What a treat!

This is the other crown....the manure I helped it with last Autumn is nearly gone. I didn't pull any stems from these last year as they were new then, so I will be glad to have some stems this year; having given up the allotment with its huge bed of Timperley Early...
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