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 ...