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At this time of year it’s amazing how quickly the veg grows. This is how the veg plot looked 3 weeks ago (there’s also a link on that post to how it looked 6 weeks ago) and this is how it looks now!
I’m lucky to be growing in the garden so watering in such a dry Spring hasn’t been a problem. And the brassicas in particular have really shot on over the last few weeks.
The cabbages are looking good, starting to heart up now.
And the calabrese and cauliflowers are packed in and growing well.
No sign of the cauliflower heads yet but if you look closely at the calabrese they are starting to form; the girls will love eating these.
We’ve been eating the Webbs Wonderful lettuce for a while now and in the gaps I’m planting some Tom Thumb to keep the supply going.
And finally a new veg for the Two Chances plot this year – Asparagus Pea – it has a low sprawling growth with pretty crimson flowers, I’ll let you know what they taste like. Hope you all have a great Bank Holiday!
I spent the morning finally sorting out the greenhouse.
The tomatoes are moneymaker, gardener’s delight and golden peardrop in bottomless pots on a bed of gravel lined with plastic. The idea being that the gravel bed acts as a water retaining reservoir that the tomotoes longer roots can reach. And the pots themselves are watered with a liquid feed that’s taken up by the plants more fibrous roots. At the end of the greenhouse are two Carmen all-female cucumbers and around the edges of the beds are lettuce (lollo rosso, tom thumb and salad bowl), basil and french marigolds. The smell from the basil and marigolds should ward off the whitefly through the summer.
On the staging are the chillies (cayenne, cheyenne, scotch bonnet, apache), peppers (bell boy, redskin, leteus, denver, etiuda) and aubergines (bonica). I’ll take the shelves out of a couple of the mini-greenhouses and grow the spare tomatoes in end-on grow bags. I’m glad to get another job crossed off the list and everything looks a bit tidier now. Hope you’re having a good weekend!
This morning I managed to get the front bed planted up and finished. There’s various trailing plants dotted around the edge – marrow, crown prince, jack ‘o’ lantern and a tromba courgette – I’ll train these up the fence so they don’t take up space in the bed. The rest of the plants are a cabbage walking stick plant (for our Hort Soc competition in the Autumn), early and late PSB, cauliflowers (snowball), brussel sprouts (Bedford – now earthed up and staked) and some autumn-fruiting raspberries. Two mesh tunnels will keep the pigeons and cabbage whites off the brassicas.
I’ve also filled the bed under the living room window. A few scraps of mesh have been joined together to keep the birds off the strawberries – we’ll be picking our first ones later today! There’s loads of fruit forming on the raspberries and in between is a blackcurrant, gooseberry and courgettes – black beauty and rubesa fruilana.
Out the back the beds are filling up.
From front to back are root crops, spring onions, spinach, rocket, radish, mangetout, garlic, broad beans, and runners/french beans on the canes right at the back. We’ve eaten spinach, rocket, radish and mangetout which was all very nice and the broad beans shouldn’t be too far behind.
Lastly the long roots in the pipes:
The parsnips and carrots are around 8″ high now, hoping they will be good enough for the show in mid-August. Hope you’re having a good weekend.
My 39th year starts here, the last chance saloon before the big one! Well before I start on all those resolutions I’m going to have to sample some of these great ciders that Rach bought for me. I’m a fairly recent convert to cider and perry and this selection from Henney’s Frome Valley, Henry Weston’s Herefordshire and Aspall’s in Suffolk are among my favourites ranging between 5.4 and 8.2%. I feel a cider farm visit down the road to Somerset coming on!
A selection of flowers from the garden this morning. Peony, Aquilegia, Geranium, Chives, Rose, Cornflower, Pansies. Off to Oxford later and Newbury races tomorrow. Have a great weekend!!
Craig over at Dyke’s Edge Allotments ran a photo competition a few weeks ago and, guess what, I won with my parsnip photo!! The prize – a laminated magazine mock-up of the photo and some packets of seeds.
Thanks very much Craig for a great prize. If you haven’t checked out Craig’s blog get over there, he’s made amazing progress on the plot over the last few months.
I hope my winning form continues when I visit Newbury races this Saturday!!
With the warm weather the plot has really come on in the last 3 weeks. Compared to the post back then this photo shows how far the veg has developed.
From front to back in the main bed are onions, shallots, calabrese, cauliflower, cabbage, celeriac and charlotte potatoes. This time of year is great you can see real progress week on week.
The parsnips in the pipes are coming on too. I’m really pleased with how they are growing into strong plants. They have just over 3 months to go before the Summer Show so they should start moving fast now. Fingers crossed.
Finally, I’m happy to say everything survived the weekend’s thunderstorms. We had a fair amount of rain in Salisbury and everything looks much better for it!
With the new season well and truly underway, and a recent spate of Bank Holidays, it was time to dust off the list of garden projects. You know the ones that you’re always meaning to get round to, never quite the right time to start etc. Well with a burst of energy I got the first of the 2011 Two Chances Projects completed:
Garden Project #1
To clear the old bathroom suites (3 in total) from the side of the garage and dig out the old compost heap (suspected rubbish dump from previous occupants) and generally make good the area.
Tools required – 6-yard skip, wheelbarrow, shovel.
Costs – £258 for the skip and £25 for the weed control membrane.
Estimated time – a decent days work.
And after removing 3 toilets, sinks and radiators, 1 bath, 1 shower cubicle some carpet and piping that was my rubbish I started to dig into the so-called compost heap. There was compost, although riddled with bineweed it was unusable, and also many lengths of metal drainpipe, roof tiles, bricks, rubble and a car engine!
This was the state of play at tea-break time (possibly my 4th or 5th cup!). I then laid the membrane and shovelled excess gravel over from the driveway to tidy things up a bit.
Not bad if I do say so myself. I sub-contracted out sanding and staining the garden furniture to Rach and she did a pretty good job of it.
And then it was on to the next project. Down in one corner of the front garden was what some ‘trendy’ gardeners would call a ‘dead hedge’ or ‘wildlife area’ but what I’d call a pile of old hedge cuttings I couldn’t be bothered to clear properly the first time round. So buoyed by my newfound enthusiasm I decided to tackle it. Now while this wasn’t a ‘wildlife area’ I suspected it was an ideal site for something to be quietly going about its business so I took extra care and wasn’t disappointed when I found some slow worms.
I managed to carefully move them to the sanctuary of the nearby beech hedge and carried on clearing the area.
I’m hoping to fit in a 6′ square raised bed in this space, screen off the wheelie bins somehow, and build a couple of proper permanent compost bins. Keen readers will remember when I foolishly posted about the Quick Cook Composting Method some 18 months before the project is likely to come to fruition. A warning if you’re writing about projects, make sure you’ve finished them, or are substantially down the road to completion, before you write about it!
Have you got any projects planned for this year?