Behind with Garden Posts and Holiday Posts!

Now I look back at the shots of my plants in previous years and I realise just how late I have been with planting things this year. With us being away for 3 weeks in Hawaii and then me suffering from a severe bout of post holiday blues I just couldn’t get going. Yesterday I only just planted my spinach, beetroot and bulls blood seeds in the root bed. I transplanted 3 tomato plants which have looked a bit small and pathetic into a grow back and hope that as we appear to be having a good summer so far that they’ll make a sudden burst and will grow fairly quickly. As my asparagus appears to have died over the winter I have transplanted one of the courgette plants into the top of the container. I’m not sure if the cucumbers are growing much – they are in the greenhouse still, I’ll see how they get on but may need to move them into the sunroom to get some real progress on them. This has been a busy weekend with a lot of transplanting, planting, topping up compost, we’ve taken out the dead tree and the half dead conifer from the inside garden. And trimmed all the grass around the edges of the house and fences, what a difference it makes when the edges are all trimmed. This evening I’ve started to have a look at ideas for our Pacific Northwest Road Trip. That makes me realise I am ridiculously behind with sorting out all the photos from our Hawaii trip in March and I really need to go through them and get some of the posted and enter the details. Whether anyone reads them is less important than me having the record for myself. It really was a truly magical trip and having the ability to review the highlights and photos from any computer anywhere in the world is worth investing the time in getting them on here.

After work gardening session

Now that I have deleted Candy Crush from the iPad and phone I have my time back to do more constructive things…so this evening I washed my car and then did some weeding, set up my pea pole support I got for my birthday last year but don’t think sweet peas are big enough to put in ground yet. I am not growing edible peas this year. I planted the tender bed with Mezuna, rocket and 2 types of lettuce. Planted some additional lettuce seeds in green house and cut back some of the grass which is crowding my perennial sweet peas. This year I need to put a proper support up.

2013 Garden Plans

What is up with this blog writing, I am so inconsistent with it. Not helped by me constantly having to reset my password – hopeless.

I have been very late starting my vegetable garden this year and considering we are at the end of May now, I really only have tiny seedlings of the things I am growing this year. I will not be growing potatoes this year, and don’t think I am growing peas either. I have planted less volume of seeds this year and I am going to be more ruthless at throwing out excess seedlings, rather than have the greenhouse overloaded with stuff. Last year I think I had 15 tomato plants but this year I have only grown one variety and only a few seeds sown. I am trying cucumber, squashes and courgette again, so fingers crossed with less tomatoes occupying the greenhouse I will have more room for the squashes to grow in there.

My garlic that I planted in winter seems to be doing well, the artichoke that I planted from seed in 2011 is still relatively small plant and so I don’t think I will be getting any harvest from them this year – possibly next year though.

This year I am having two permanent beds with the rhubarb, artichoke, strawberries and flowers in, then a 4 bed rotation this year instead of 5 beds in the previous 2 years. We’ll see how this gets on and the fact that I am not growing potatoes in one of them is going to give me more room anyway.

I have decided to make a rockery with the back slope behind the kitchen and will need to get rid of all the grass there and then put some covering down and either have gravel or bark – not sure which yet – also not sure how I’ll get rid of the grass as Allistar won’t be up for that much labour.

Beautiful sunny day in the garden

So rather than planting seeds, which I can now start doing in the lighter evenings, I thought I would do some weeding today. We had such beautiful weather. So this morning I tackled our front border on the fence line and I pulled out a huge amount of grass, clover and buttercups.

Allistar came out to help with some of the weeding and then we cleaned all the gutters on the house and garage, I think for the first time since we moved in nearly 5 years ago.

Sunday’s Gardening Session

Onion & Root Bed
Shallots from B&Q! planted direct in the raised bed.
Garlic planted in module trays in the greenhouse…to help them along.
Shallot seeds planted in module trays in the greenhouse, I planted them direct in the bed last year, as per instructions, and they didn’t do anything so hopefully starting them off in modules will work better.
Potato Bed
Double dug in some manure into the bed. Last year this bed had very poor results in growing my roots and onions. Hopefully the underlying layer of manure will help. I’m not sure if I added enough, but we’ll see. My seed potatoes have still not arrived yet.
Other Beds
According to my rotation system I have put a couple of handfulls of lime into the appropriate boarders.
Carrot seeds planted in tall container, that last year had 3 tomato plants, I added some sand to the mix, so hoping that I’ll get some good long carrots. The variety planted are called ‘Mini Finger’.
The planter which last year had my courgette, squash and some lettuce in, I have planted some early cropping salad leaves – Rocket, Beetroot Leaves, Lettuce.
Sun Room
The seeds that I planted the weekend of 10th have all sprouted and appear to be doing well.

Busy day in garden

Today I dragged Allistar to the garden centre so he could help me with the lifting of compost bags. I bought him lunch there as a reward for coming with me as he hates gardening jobs.

I bought some manure, various compost bags and lime. When we got back I transplanted my 3 blueberry bushes to some bigger pots, planted my jostaberry plant (which is a cross between a gooseberry and blackcurrant). Repotted my mint, rosemary and one of my peris bushes which has been looking a bit miserable. I lost two shrubs this winter so had two large empty pots. I have smashed up some frost damaged pots for crocks to use.

This doesn’t sound like I have done very much when you write it but it feels like I have had a busy afternoon. The weather has been nice today, blue sky, warm when the sun is out and only occasional drizzle.

I need to start making plans for my shed. How big it needs to be, exact location, I want it to be wide enough for a nice long work bench and plenty of space for my tools, compost bags, pots etc. at the moment I do my planting in the garage as if I work in the greenhouse I have to wheel all the bags and tools around and then wheel them all back again. A nice sunny shed will be a great addition. Plus it may free up enough space in the garage to actually fit my car in next winter.

2012 Garden Plans

Today I have ordered some new seeds. I still intend to plant remaining seeds from last year, plus some I got from my mum at Christmas but I just couldn’t resist buying some new ones too.

New Buys
Beetroot Bulls Blood which is a salad leaf that is supposed to taste of Beetroot.
Watercress Aqua, they say it doesn’t need running water just a pot sat in water, so I’ll give it a go.
Honey Bear Squash, I don’t know why I keep trying to grow squash when I have had years of failure in growing them, but for £1.29 for a pack of seeds I am going to give a different variety a go.
Green Globe Artichoke, never grown artichoke before and not sure how well it will do this far north but we’ll see.
Cara Potatoes, hopefully they’llbe tastier than last years Desiree which were so floury dry.
Porbello Leek seeds came free with my orderso I will plant these. I haven’t grown leeks for a couple of years.
I have also treated myself to a Jostaberry plant which is a cross between a gooseberry and a blackberry, sounds interesting.

I also got some free seed packs during the year including Carrot Mini Finger!!

Gift Seeds
Broccoli purple sprouting
Cauliflower purple graffiti, I will try one seed as I don’t like cauliflower but I will try and see if this variety can change my attitude to it. Anyway it being purple will look pretty at least.
Strawberry Florian, it says great for baskets so I am going to do strawberry hanging baskets this year!!!!
Tomato Gourmet, last year I only did cherry tomatoes, this is a medium sized fruit so will hopefully be ok for making sauces etc.
Pepper Diablo and Ringo, last year I did masses of Hamik peppers and they didn’t ripen. This year I will grow less pepper plants but the two varieties.

Last Year Repeats
Brocolli Tenderstem
Carrot Sugarsnax
Beetroot Boltardy
Chinese Cabbage F1 Tip Top
Courgette Best of Brittish
Cucumber Superbel
Peas Sugar Pod and Quartz
Pepper Hamik
Pumpkin Hundredweight
Squash Cobnut and Sweeit Dumpling
Tomato Gardeners Delight
Mix of various varieties of lettuce, rocket, spinach beet, herbs.
I also have my asparagus bag that I bought last year which will hopefully have a harvest this year.
Big plans, busy sprung and summer lined up. Time to get dressed and get planting some seeds.