It’s been 3 months since my last post due to being busy on the work front; a combination of the office I’m currently working at closing and needing to find a new job. A rainy day at home looking after the kids has given me time to take stock and see where I am compared with previous years.
This year I have done nowhere near as much veg growing as my gardening time’s been taken up with sorting out the rest of the garden particularly planting up an 8 x 2m border along the back garden fence – now the weather has warmed up, together with a fair amount of rainfall, these plants are now taking off and may be subject of a post later in the year when the border’s fully established.
However there has been some work done on the plot.
You’ll remember last Autumn I revamped the beds in the back garden using new timber and breaking them down into much smaller beds with a gravel path around. I still need to finish off the edge between the gravel paths and the lawn but I’ve started planting up the beds. The one on the far right has new strawberry plants behind which is a thin bed with rhubarb and the sand boxes for the long carrots and parsnips. At the back there’s some mangetout growing up netting, a few onions and space for broccoli. Under the mesh tunnel next to the greenhouse there’s parsnips and carrots. The front two middle beds have beetroot and stump carrots with the carrots protected by a mesh tunnel. I may use the bed on the front left for leeks.
In the greenhouse I’ve just planted out 6 tomato plants into their final positions and have lettuce, leeks and squash growing on in pots. This year I’m having a go at Sweet Potato which arrived as slips a couple of weeks ago. I then soaked them for a few days and once roots started to form I’ve planted them up into pots. You have only the leaf at the end of the stem showing so I’ve used old clematis pots to give them a deep pot to get the roots really established before planting out in early June.
The stump carrots are looking strong under the mesh tunnel. I’m hoping they’ll be ready for the New Forest Show at the end of July despite the cold spring. The variety is Sweet Candle which is a lovely tasting carrot and pretty much the only one to ever appear on the show bench. I’ve never grown a really good set of short carrots so fingers crossed for this year!
The long carrots are starting to grow on now. It always looks to me like they’re never going to be big enough with just over 2 months to go but it’s amazing how quickly they will grow from now on with the milder weather. I won my first NVS red card at last year’s show and maybe I’ll have another good set this year……….time will tell. This year there’s added interest for me as it’s my own re-selected seed from a set I won with at the NVS South-West DA show in 2014.
The long parsnips are looking strong now and will hopefully be ready in time.
I turned the road-end of our front garden into extra veg growing space a couple of years ago. The beds are starting to be planted up now – potatoes at the rear – 4 varieties Kestrel, Winston, Amour and Sherine. On the left is a row of peas (Show Perfection) and dwarf French beans (Hawksbury Wonder) which are looking quite sorry for themselves and most of them have dropped their leaves. Like last year they’ll pull through and become good, strong plants in time.
The bed on the right will be filled with sweet potato and squash in due course.
So still plenty of work to do and I’m hoping with warmer weather over the next few weeks things will really start to get going now.
Hope your garden or allotment’s going well this year and we have a great summer to look forward to!