Monthly Archives: April 2010

25 April Update

Pete’s been hard at work in the garden these last few days.

A couple of days back he potted some of the tomato seedlings into grow bags in the greenhouse and the gherkin plants were potted into a large rectangular window-sill pot, also to live in the greenhouse.

Today we could see the first tiny green and purple leaves of the potato plants pushing out and also some teeny tiny shoots from the polytunnelled sugarsnap peas.

Pete planted out the sweetcorn seedlings. After last year’s disaster when I’d asked him to cover them, he’d pooh-poohed the idea, only to see them eaten and destroyed by vermin overnight, he duly covered these beautiful speciments in a cunningly jerryrigged metal hoop and netting protective cover.

He planted several marigolds in different areas of the garden, to attract insects, especially hover flies which eat many of the nasties.

And some busy lizzies for colour.

He also popped some sunflower seeds we’d had lying around for eons into the ground behind the apple tree (which has lots of leaves and a few tiny buds already).

And he planted some courgette seeds in the heated propagator, in the conservatory.

Oh and lots of weeding, clearing away more of the bolting cabbages, emptying out the old grow bags from last year and general maintenance work.

Seedlings of purple sprouting broccoli, lettuce and various herbs are looking lively in the greenhouse too. And the pepper and chilli plants are growing fast too.

Pictures to be added later.

Getting Going in the Garden

This post was originally written and posted at Kavey Eats, Kavita’s food blog.

I love that so many people are becoming more and more enthusiastic about growing their own produce. Allotments waiting lists are several years long and eager gardeners are turning to gardens, patios, balconies and windowsills in a bid to give life to tasty, fresh, home-grown fruit, vegetables and herbs.

If you haven’t tried it yet, do give it a go – it’s easier than you think and so satisfying – there’s nothing like popping into your back garden instead of the local supermarket for super fresh produce that you’ve grown yourself!

Pete and I have been growing an increasing variety and volume of vegetables for several years, increasing the space year on year, and we’ve finally reached our goal of converting our whole back garden into a kitchen garden. This year we’ll be growing many vegetables we’ve grown before (potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, cabbages, leeks, sugar snap peas, peppers, sweet corn, carrots and parsnips) and a selection of things we haven’t (purple sprouting broccoli, lettuce and gherkins).

Plus, this year, we’re finally growing some fruit too. With the exception of a couple of low yield attempts at growing strawberries, and a wild blackberry bush that sprang up in the garden many years ago – much to our dismay, they’re a bugger to get rid of – we’ve no experience with fruit so are very excited.

From a reputable garden centre we purchased a self-fertilising Cox’ Orange Pippin apple tree trained into a flat fan so it can grow in front of the wall and fence without intruding too far into the garden plus raspberry canes and a rhubarb plant (I know it’s technically a vegetable not a fruit but hey, I included tomato in the list of vegetables…). In a pound shop (so not sure whether they’ll survive or grow very well) we also bought a different species of raspberry, a red gooseberry and a tayberry.

I’m really excited about our produce in the year to come!

We still have cabbages and leeks to harvest, the cabbages didn’t do too well – we planted them late and last year gave them very little sunshine to boot. But spring has given them a bit of a boost and some are finally hearting up. We’d better harvest the leeks before they bolt to flower too.

Images from March 23rd 2010:

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Garden 23March10-7644

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