Saturday, 23 October 2010

Peppers and Chillies

Lovely crop of peppers this year - although they're certainly not up to the sort of quality control that the large supermarkets would be looking for.

They're also not very big, although they've all come from just one small plant.

I love the fact that their shapes are so different, I'm sure they'll taste fine and have a great flavour.

Also had a good crop of chillies - haven't yet found out how fiery they are but they look good.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Today's Haul

A nice selection of cherry tomatoes and one or two small plums (tomatoes that is) and a cucumber.  Possibly going to be the last of the year as the tomato plants are dying back as it gets cooler and many of them are split with the recent rain.

Still a few cucumbers growing on the plants and the chillies are reddening up.  Not sure the green peppers are going to grow much more - they're a petite variety!

The courgettes have all but given up - as usual I didn't get very many - despite the addition of horse manure in their pots this year and regular feeding.

Wondering what might happen with the potatoes I planted.  A bit of a try it and see, as I put a couple of tubers in an old dustbin and when they finally emerged, have been earthing them up.  I noticed there's one that's grown up in the compost heap.  The squash I planted on top of the old heap never made it beyond a few inches before being eaten by slugs.

Debating planting up some purple sprouting broccoli for over the winter - I spotted a few plants in a local nursery.  Don't have the space for anything larger - like cabbage or sprouts but some winter veg might be nice for a change.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Green And Spiky

Lovely specimen.  Well at least something is doing well in the garden.

Have to admit that these 'Marketmore' outdoor cucumbers always seem to do well.  They grow well from seed and produce three or more cucumbers on each plant.

I've only got three plants growing in a pot and they're a lot easier to grow than the courgettes which never seem to do well.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Coming Along Nicely

Just eaten a few blueberries picked straight from the plant.  Last year the cold, damp weather and wind did for  most of the blossom but this year I have a few lovely, large berries.  Not more than a good handful in total, so I'll savour every one.

I have a lovely cucumber which is almost ready for picking and many more coming along.  They're outdoor ridge cucumbers, tend to have a thickish skin but delicious flavour.  You can't beat home-grown.

The tomatoes have given up trying to grow upright and are now sprawling along the ground.  I can try tying them back up again but they just get beaten back down by the wind and the weight of the developing tomatoes.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Hoping For Rain!

It's been incredibly dry this summer and we've had very little rain.  Elsewhere in the UK, they have but down on the South Coast nothing.

I've been watering the veg pots from the water butts and an occasional hose when the whole garden needs it and now all three barrels are almost empty.  Hoping desperately for rain tomorrow - there's some forecast but we've not had much more than a light shower for weeks, so I'm hoping for a good drenching.

While we all enjoy the summer sunshine - we really do need the rain for plants to grow.  The courgettes and tomatoes are just about surviving but the broad beans and mangetout have suffered from the dry weather and while I've had a few mangetouts (the slugs and snails didn't help) sadly no broad beans this year.  At least not from my little plot.

Will be recycling the shower water next.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Developing Fruits

It seems like ages but the tomatoes are finally forming and I know I'll have a glut soon as I have so many tomato plants.

As usual, I've not been that good at pinching out the side shoots so I have a rambling mass of tomato plants sprawled across the patio.  The cherry toms in pots are looking slightly more ordered.  Most of them were seedlings.

I've also got a few sweet peppers and chillies expanding nicely.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Late Planting

Very late in the season but I've planted up some runner beans that I managed to find in a local garden centre.  They were looking a little worse for wear being the end of the season but if we continue to have a long, hot summer I might get some beans from them if I can keep the pests off.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

First Courgettes

The first courgettes of the year - one green and one yellow.

Bit like making pancakes - the first ones aren't usually very good and mis-shapen (or is that just me) but actually the green one's not too bad.

Been picking mangetouts for a couple of weeks although only a few at a time and the plants are looking very raggedy.

Gave the whole garden a good watering tonight as we've had no rain for a couple of weeks and only a light shower before that.  It's been incredibly dry and even the weeds are wilting!

The cucumbers are in flower as are the tomatoes but won't be picking them for a few weeks yet.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Cool As ...

Planted a couple more cucumber seeds alongside the two plants which are finally starting to get going after a few false starts.  They're now all ridge cucumbers having given up on the golden apple variety which the slugs and snails found too delicious.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

First Pickings

Picked my first produce of the summer - a few mixed salad leaves fresh out of the garden for supper.  The salad has been growing well, having taken a while to get going but now it's ready to eat.  Straight from garden to plate in a matter of minutes.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Day 11: Sunflower seedlings

My sunflower seeds have sprouted after a week.  Quite a few coming through from the birdseed I planted a few days ago.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Completed Compost Bin

Nice shiny new compost bin alongside the rebuilt, recycled, slightly dilapidated old one, which will survive another year.

Compost bins are essential to any garden for recycling both garden and kitchen waste and having two means you can have one building and one rotting down.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Day 3: Sunflower Competition

The seeds I put in water are already starting to sprout, so I've planted them up in a large pot and placed them outside in the sunshine.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Planting Day Today

Having had a clearing the patio and sorting out pots day yesterday, today was the day to get planting and sowing. Cold out but clear blue skies and warming up nicely.  I even had to dig out my shorts.

In pots are:
- tomatoes - three plants - possibly Italian plum and Beefsteak but can't be totally sure as they came in one of those selection trays and weren't individually labelled.
- Lemon apple - a small round yellow cucumber
- Yellow zucchini - planted up in a mix of compost and well rotted manure, so let's hope they grow well this year.
- Sweetpeas - outside the kitchen window for their scent
- Chilli pepper

This year in the raised veg bed:
- Broad beans, mangetout and beetroot. Quite intensely planted a la 'square foot' method.

There's still space in the middle for something ... swiss chard maybe? Well covered to protect from both the cats - thinking it's a marvellous litter tray and the pigeons thinking it's a tasty snack.

The disadvantage of encouraging birds to come into the garden - especially the pigeons!  I think they've already had a go at a couple of the tomato plants which have been stripped of leaves.

Also planted seeds for:
- Rocket and spinach - in the 'salad crate' - another potential litter tray
- Courgette - ever hopeful
- Ridge cucumber - they were delicious last time but limited in number.
- Squash - little gem and butternut
- Nasturtium
- Basil
- Coriander

The seeds are now inside until they germinate and it's a little warmer for them to go outside either in the ground or in pots.  Although I'm already running out of pots and wondering just where the rest will go.  It also gives me a chance to see which one's actually germinate as most of the seeds are a little old. In fact so old Noah probably had them on the Ark.

My gooseberry twig from a couple of years ago has grown.  In fact, so much so that it's grown through the bottom of the pot.  I daren't heave it up and replant it at this stage - especially as it has a few flowers on it.  Might get a few home grown gooseberries this year!

Quite excited by the prospect of all this potential produce.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Manure And Compost

It's one thing putting a new compost bin in but it's quite something else replacing half of a double bin when one bin is full and the other half full. Also working in a pretty confined space (a passage-way between the fence/house and shed).

Pleased to find that the full bin is pretty well rotted, so tomorrow's job is sifting the compost ready for use this summer and rebuilding the second bin from recycled bits of both. I already have one dustbin full of compost from last year , so I don't think I'm going to be short of planting medium for all the tubs and pots I've got planned.

Earlier today I also picked up a few bags of well rotted manure. Packed full of worms and just what the beans will need. Topped up the rhubarb tub with it, which is just starting to sprout.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Day 1: Sunflower Competition

Seeds in soaking to see what germinates and will then plant whatever sprouts.

Never grown sunflowers before so why not.  Plenty of fence space for them to grow against although they'll need to withstand the wind which gives most things a battering.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

2010 Edible Plans

It's the beginning of April and everything is starting to sprout. After last year's disasters I'm determined to have a real go at growing vegetables successfully this year - both plants and from seed.

Yes, most gardeners will already have been sowing and planting but my little patch is really only suitable for summer growing.

I'll fill as much space as I can with vegetables - both in the purpose built raised bed, in amongst the existing plants and shrubs and in pots.

With that in mind I set off for the garden centre to collect up some vegetable plants to get things started. I've returned with:

Tomatoes - a good mixture of varieties, including my favourite cherry variety.

Beans - broad beans - small plants to get me started as I was so unsuccessful growing them from seed before.

Mangetout - always a favourite and relatively easy to grow, if the slugs and snails don't get to them first.

Beetroot - should grow well if they survive the first few days and get established.

The rosemary got cut back this weekend, which has cleared about three foot of patio area, it's grown so big. Somewhere under there are also a sage and thyme plants.

The blueberries are starting to sprout - they didn't do so well last year. The gooseberry plant has got some good green growth on it. It may be a bit too optimistic to hope for fruit this year but you never know.

I'm going to find a good source of manure to enrich the soil along with my own compost to give them all a good start (especially the beans).

I also came back with a wooden crate which when lined I'll fill with different varieties of leaves and rocket.

Courgettes will also be on the planting plan - although I've never had great success with these. Cucumber, squash and chard I'll start from seed. Runner beans as well if I can get them to grow this time - otherwise back to plants.

Here goes ...