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.