Sunday, 14 August 2011

Plenty of Greenery

My veg containers this year - looking lush, in full bloom and growing well.  Courgettes are doing really well in their slightly larger containers this year.  I think the liberal application of well rotted manure has certain helped and plentiful watering.

Note the plastic water bottle with the bottom cut off and pushed in to the soil.  This helps the water get directly to the roots.

The runner beans just coming in to flower although the mixed salad leaves, especially the rocket, has pretty much gone to seed and wasn't a great success.  Great to pick the leaves when I needed them but they didn't last long and I didn't do much succession sowing - which didn't help.

The tomato planter is hidden away at the back with three different varieties - a few more being in pots elsewhere on the patio.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Mangetout Planted Up

Planted up a couple of rows of mangetout in the new raised bed.  They'll be more easily accessible and don't grow as tall as the runner beans, so may be easier to reach and harvest - as and when they get going - if the slugs and pigeons don't get them first!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A New Raised Bed

Busy planting up this weekend and assembled a new raised bed - bought in kit form from the garden centre - deeper than the last one, which was starting to come apart and slightly smaller - this one being square rather rectangular.

Lined and filled with soil, compost and a good helping of well rotted horse manure along with coffee grounds, gleaned from a local coffee stall.

It's in the same place as the last one, at the bottom of the garden which makes the most of the afternoon sun and is where I intend to grow the beans this year ... there's still time to get them planted.

The new wicker containers on the patio, planted up with courgette and cucumbers.  Gooseberries are fruiting well in a pot at the back (it really needs to be repotted at the end of this year!).

Chilli peppers are planted up in the pots to the left.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Planting Upward and Onwards

Filled up the newly constructed 'salad box' with compost.

Planted up ...

Tomato plants - two Money Makers, one Beefsteak (bought today) and an Alicante.  Still have a couple of tomatoes plants to find a home - another Money Maker and one Black Cherry.  Seedlings are starting to sprout so will also have some normal cherry tomatoes too.

Courgette plant - bought on Saturday, which is getting munched by slugs and snails already.  Surprisingly one of the courgettes I planted is finally starting to come through.

Three cucumber plants (bought today) - outdoor ones.  Giving up on the seeds I'd planted.  I also have a yellow, cucumber plant.

Peas - not something I'd usually grow but I bought a pot today and will see what happens.  More likely to be slug fodder.

The second sowing of runner beans are just starting to come through.  The four other plants are growing strongly and will get planted up as soon as I get hold of some well rotted manure.

Planted up some more mangetout from a freshly purchased packet.  Hopefully these will do better than the last lot and not take too long to come up.

Sifted out a load of compost to fill up pots and container from the second bin - along with a load of bindweed - it gets everywhere unfortunately.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Pick Up A Plant Or Two

Another opportunity to pick up some more plants for the garden at today's Saltdean Fund Day.  First off was an Alicante tomato, runner beans - Scarlet Emperor, courgette and from another stand - two massive, practically ready to fruit, Money Maker tomato plants and a round yellow courgette.

At least some people seem to be more successful at growing from seed, so better to benefit from their green fingers and pick up a few plants and get a head start, rather than my so far abortive attempts.

Also much better value than the garden centre.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Seed Success ... or Lack Of

Well the seed planting wasn't a great success - only four runner beans have sprouted out of twelve sown.  Two beetroot seedlings appearing.  Also, one squash plant has just broken through.  No sign of the mangetout or dwarf french beans, radish, courgette ...

I shouldn't be too surprised - some of the seed was very old - although some of it wasn't and should still have been in date.  I'm much better at growing things from seed unintentionally ... like tomato plants, melons, grapes and assorted other plants which just appear where they weren't planted.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Plumpton College - Plant Sales

A few additions to add to the vegetable garden for this year, picked up at Plumpton College yesterday.  Grown by the students at the agricultural college and on sale at their Open Day.

Two tomato plants - way ahead of the one's I've sown - which haven't emerged yet.  A 'black' cherry tomato and good old Moneymaker.

Two chilli peppers - one 'Big Jim', a large variety (as it's name suggests) and a 'Jalapeno'.  We'll see what transpires.

The basil and chive seeds are just starting to come through - no sign of anything else yet.

It's always exciting at this time of year - lots of starter plants and seeds starting to grow and it won't be long until they're growing away and hopefully just a few weeks when they're being picked.

Monday, 9 May 2011

2011's sowing

Now I realise that many people will have been tending to their vegetables and planting since the beginning of the year but with my small acreage I only really focus on what I can grow in small spaces and so tend to get started later in the year.

I've just finished planting up my first lot of seeds for the year.  Seeing what I can grow from seed - rather than buy as plants.
  • Beans - a mix of runner, mangetout, dwarf french.  Some of the seed is really old, so planted plenty incase only a few (none?) come up!
  • Courgette
  • Squash - little gem and butternut
  • Cucumber - did really well last year
  • Tomatoes (gardeners delight and marinade ).  I've never planted from seed before - although my compost is usually a good source of tomato plants, so I have accidentally!
  • Herbs - basil (two varieties) and chives.
  • Radish
  • Beetroot
Goodness knows where they'll all go and I haven't finished there - there's still the leafy veg to go - salad, spinach and no doubt peppers - sweet and chilli.

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Sunday, 8 May 2011

Getting started in the garden

Out into the sunshine to start work and get ready for this year's planting.

I've bought two planters specifically for this year's crop of veg - in addition to the square foot bed which despite being overgrown is still being used as a cat litter tray.

Emptied out the pots from last year, including the growbag and used the soil to fill one of the wicker planters.  It's quite deep, so probably too deep for salad crops but I'm sure I'll find something to go in it!

Last year's salad box is looking a little weather beaten, so may not be used this year.  I've got some spare wood left over from the replaced compost bin which might do instead.

The other planter is even bigger - ideal for runner beans and of course I'll need somewhere for cucumbers and tomatoes.

As ever, great expectations for what to grow this year - what actually crops over the summer depends on slugs and snails, cats and the weather.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Spring 2011

Back from a few days away over Easter and with all the warm spring sunshine everything has suddenly grown.  Starting to see what's been lost over the winter and also as a result of all the recent dry weather and sunshine.

I came back with a few plants, including coriander and flat parsley for the garden and a replacement rhubarb as I think mine was damaged by all the snow and cold weather over the winter.

There was little point in getting any seeds planted before I went away, so that will happen in the next few days.

This year's planting will include much the same as last year - summer crops and plenty of salad vegetables and perhaps a few 'exotics'.