Sunday, 22 February 2009

Feels Like Progress....

Well the snow has finally left us (it took ages to clear, very unusual) and I have managed to get out and do a bit more on the new bed area. Yesterday we managed to get the first of the big new beds in position (11 feet by 5) and I transplanted the autumn garlic into it. It would have been intersected by the edge of the bed had I not done so. The poor things had to be put into buckets then transplanted into their (hopefully) final positions. The rows are a bit wonky now but I am sure they will be fine.

Today I managed to get some more digging down. Marc laid a few more slabs and has started on bed no2. This one will be bigger still at 13 feet long by 5 wide. It is starting to take shape and I am very excited to view the larger growing spaces!

I thought about putting the onion sets in today but think I will give it another couple of weeks. It might have felt like spring today and yesterday but I am sure I am just being fooled....

I have also potted on the second lot of tomatoes I sowed. The chillis and aubergines will be done within the next few days. I have got 13/15 strawberry seeds germinated, they are tiny, but will come good I am sure. No sign of the golden berry yet, or the cayenne chillis.
I need to sow a few more Roma tomatoes for sauces and I have also promised to nurture a few plants for a friend so will sow some more later in the week.

I also need to pot on the original tomatoes to the next size pot as thwe roots are just visible at the bottom. I will hopefully get this done next week too.

Most of the herbs I sowed are up, including parsley ( I am clearly the boss of this household!), basil, sage, coriander. The oregano has vanished, maybe I took the clingfilm off too early?! I am also trying some lemon balm and thyme from seed. I bought a rosemary plant and that is now on a pot on the decking. I never do much with fresh herbs so this year I am going to make a real effort with them.

I include a pic of one of the PSB plants lovingly cleared of bugs and the like all last summer. I wonder if they will EVER be ready?! The pigeons are eyeing them up too.

Meant to be raining tomorrow so glad we got lots done this weekend...

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Snow Stops Play!

Well after the rest of the country having lots of snow and us missing most of it we woke this morning to about 4 inchs of the white stuff.

My eldest son was VERY excited as school was shut and he has had fun in the garden with daddy making snowmen and throwing snowballs at each other. I went out with our younger son who hadn't encountered snow before! It was so deep he couldn't walk in it! He loved it though and cried when I brought him in again.

The chickens were less than impressed with the snow. In fact it is the most they have encountered too. I went down to feed them some warm porridge and they were still in the coop! Wusses. They all huddled under the shelter for their porridge and I threw some scraps under the conifers where it's still dry. I don't think they quite know what to make of this weather!
There were still 2 eggs this morning and I believe Delia (white one) has also laid as I heard her crowing later on.

I had planned to take Dominic to mum's this morning so I could get outside and dig some more, but I think my plans have been revised somewhat!

Yesterday however, I managed to move the strawberries from the open bed which is going to be raised, into pots in the greenhouse, and lift the raspberries and put them into temporary pots while the beds are made. I think it will affect their harvest this year but can't be helped. The strawbs may well put on a spurt now they are indoors though which would be nice. We love strawberries.

Seeds sown:
I have lettuce, rocket, and salad leaves all up and doing well in the greenhouse.
Sowed a big pot of spring onions into the greenhouse.
I have 2 out of 4 aubergines up in the propagator. No signs of the strawberry, golden berry or toms yet though.
Basil is through in the windowsill.
I am waiting for parsley, coriander and oregano on the windowsill.
I sowed 2 types of cabbage yesterday, a tray of french marigolds, 2 types of globe artichoke, all indoors. Running out of window-sill space now.
I also sowed 2 trays of leeks in the coldframe, and a few summer and autumn ready calabrese.

Run out of seed trays now.... I think a trip to Wilkos is due once the snow has gone.

Pics of us in the snow were more interesting than ones of seed trays!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

So today and yesterday we have been busy. I have been digging and Marc has been making me some new raised beds and making modifications to the chicken coop (the darn thing has been a work in progress for about 16 months now!). Still the girls are happy, although they don't knwo what to make of the shredded papaer I have been using lately as bedding.

I managed to paint the first raised bed (5 feet by 11) just before it snowed. Oh well it has got 2 chances like everything in my garden!

I also had a lovely afternoon in the warm sowing seeds while Marc took the boys visiting. This meant no little hands in the compost 'helping'.

I sowed (in no particular order): Parsely, Sage, Oregano and Coriander on the kitchen window-sill; strawberry seeds into the propagator along with, 3 types of tomato and golden berry; radish, beetroot calabrese into the coldframe (although the snow means they will go in tomorrow morning, on the landing window at present.

I was going to chance my arm with some early peas but as it was snowing thought it best to wait.

No need for pics today, a tray of compost is rather dull!

Aubergines, chillis in the propagator almost a week - still no progress.

Wanted to move the outdoor strawberries into the greenhouse by lifting them from the bed as we have got to get a raised bed in behind them and I fugure with clumsy and clumsier doing the job they will be safer off in the greenhouse for a while - might even get some early fruits, but it was just too cold for me so I gave up and came inside to potter instead.

I also want to lift the raspberries (1 year old but not much of a crop last year) for the same reason. I am going to try them in pots for this year while we re-organise the beds.

Hope this cold spell doesn't last long, I was just being lulled into a false sense of 'spring is coming...'