Sunday, 31 May 2009
I take a tray with cells, I use a ten cell tray as that will provide at least three Lettuce a week.
Fill with potting compost and firm, then top off and level before making a dent in the compost with your finger, don't make the hole too deep as this is mostly the cause of bad germination in seeds. It just wants to be deep enough to cover the seeds.
Put a few seed in to the palm of your hand, and I then use the blade of my knife to scoop up a couple of seed and place in one of the holes in the compost.
If the seed is new then a couple of seeds in each hole is all you need, if its older seed then put in a few extra.
Then just cover the seed with your finger, water in and either place in the greenhouse or warm sheltered place. When the seedlings are big enough to handle take out the weakest leaving one good plant in each cell.
In a few weeks you will have Lettuce like this ready for planting in the garden.
Saturday, 30 May 2009
This picture shows the cherries which have been netted since this picture was taken.
Both the cherries and gooseberries seem to be trouble free in this garden, in other gardens in the past I've had trouble with gooseberry sawfly which are caterpillars that eat all the leaves off and and also american gooseberry mildew which riuns the crop. The only trouble I've ever had with cherries comes from the birds.
Friday, 29 May 2009
Deutzia are easy to grow and will do so in most soil and will tolerate moderate sun and also some shade. They benefit from having old shoots removed after flowering but don’t reduce new shoots.
Thursday, 28 May 2009
This next Lettuce is a red Lettuce called Bijou, its the first time I've grow this one do am looking forward to seeing how it does.
I'm also growing a couple of different kinds of salad leaves, one is a Spicey Greens mix and the other is Salad Rocket.
They have become very popular recently and although they don't appeal to me the lady of the house likes them so I thought it might be a good idea to grow some.
In the greenhouse I have some Webbs Wonderful coming on, this is still my favourite lettuce, very old fashioned these days I know but still lovely and crisp all the same. A couple of inches of this between two slices of bread and maybe a little salad cream and you have a proper lettuce sandwich - something to sink my tooth in to!
Whatever sort of lettuce you grow the secret is to sow them little and often. In a few days I will do a post on how I sow my lettuce so pop back and take a look if you're insterested.
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Also I have a couple of roses growing in pots, below is a picture of the first to flower.
Now if we go out to the old part of the conservatory that we use for a cutting border we will find the Delphiniums just coming in to flower.
Monday, 25 May 2009
I then add a bucket of compost and peletted chicken manure, you can also use bonemeal and then work it all in to the bottom of the hole. This should bring the depth up to around six inches.
The bulbs can now be placed in the bottom of the hole around six inches apart before back filling the hole.
In a few weeks you should finish up with the shoots making good growth.
Sunday, 24 May 2009
If you want to join in the Petunia project with me you need to get planted up three 12 inch (30 cm) hanging baskets with 3 trailing petunia's in each. Just plant them around the top of the basket and don't worry about fancy liners or trying to hide it as the plants will do that for you in no time at all, I line mine with an old compost bag cut to shape and with the black side facing out. If you have a greenhouse put them inside to bring them on faster if not then a warm sunny place outside will do and then in a couple of weeks or so I will show you what to do with them. Make sure you have one good strong hanging basket bracket in place by this time though. Also it will need to be a bit out of the way because the baskets will hang a bit low by the time we've done.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Friday, 22 May 2009
There isn’t a massive crop but I don’t think it’s too bad and what there is cost nothing and is fresh and tasty.
Thursday, 21 May 2009
As you can see the potatoes have all come through okay, you will probably also notice that they are in the bottom and the ridges where as often they are growing through the tops of the ridges. In time these will also be growing in the latter way but this year I’ve decided to plant them in the bottoms of the ridges and earth them up as they grow. It will be interesting to see if they crop any differently. Each time I earth them up I will add a little feed to the soil as Potatoes are hungry plants.
Some of the radishes are ready for picking but I must confess to falling behind with me succession of sowing these. Its best to sow a few every couple of weeks if you can. You don’t need many at a time so don’t go sowing big long rows or anything.
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
They aren't as showy as the Peony, Blue Bells or Marigolds from previous weeks but they are just as delightful in their own small way.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Last year I added a couple of water loving plants and this year I have gone a couple of steps further and added an Orchid on a log and some gold fish plus a few fly catchers to the side.
There are five fish and they seem quite happy.
Monday, 18 May 2009
You really need one of these and not a spade to put a new edge to your lawn. The reason being that it has a straight blade whereas a spade has a curved blade. Also the edging iron is shaped the way it is for a reason which is to cut the turf. A spade can do this but it’s more of a stabbing rather than cutting action which leaves rougher edges. With the edging iron you just use half the blade and you don’t lift it out of the cut. You press down to make the cut, slide along the blade and press down again never lifting the blade entirely from the cut. You can use your foot on the blade to help you press down. This sort of edging is best done in winter or early spring when the soil is moist then you can be sure your new edge doesn’t crumble as you cut. Once you have your new edge you can clean and oil the edging iron and put it away because for the rest of the edging during the summer you use the long handled edging shears.
You aren’t trying to make a new edge anymore you’re just maintaining the ones you already have. As Emily rightly said the soil in the border works its way to the lawn edge when you hoe and weed. Well clearing it back from the edge of the lawn is part of the hoeing job rather than part of the edging job if you see what I mean. It’s a simple matter to use a flat or Dutch hoe turned over to go along the edge and flick the soil back away from the lawn edge and you border will look better for it too.
Below are a couple of pictures showing before and after a new edge was put in place.
One more thing is that if you can edge your grass more regular there is no need to go grovelling around picking up the grass clippings as these are only blades of grass so don’t root and shrivel to nothing in a day. I rarely pick any edgings up. Another thing you can do if you have a leaf blower of some kind is go around the edge with it and blow the clippings away. There shouldn’t be that many so as not to disappear like magic.
This picture was taken just a day after the edges were clipped and they are hardly noticeable, also the weather during that time had been cold and wet, had it been sunny you wouldn’t see any at all.
Sunday, 17 May 2009
Before planting I tipped them all out of the pot and picked out the biggest.
I then snipped off the roots of my selected Leeks to about half their original length, some people do the same with the tops as well but I don’t bother. I feel bad enough about cutting off all their feet let alone their heads.
After working down the soil, adding some pelleted chicken manure and levelling it off I set out the rows with a board, you can use a line or even nothing as I don’t think they mind too much if they aren’t in a straight line. I then made holes six inches deep and eight inches apart with a dibber in to which I dropped one Leek plant and that’s it, don’t go filling in the holes or covering the roots, if the soil is dry you can water in a little.
All that remains is to take out your foot prints...
...this is something that’s always worth doing, especially if you have big feet like mine as it helps to keep the soil from getting compacted.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
In blossom this week is the Tayberry, this, for those that don't know is a cross between a Blackberry and a Raspberry - I think. The fruit are purple when ripe and have the shape of a Raspberry but twice the size.
A Close up of the Tayberry
I'm with you as far as the Orchids go Emily. It is quite rewarding when they are in flower but really these days they're ten a penny so not that special anymore therefore hardly justify all the trouble and expense but I was given them to look after so thats what I did.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Tonight we will take another look in the greenhouse as there is quite a bit going on in there at the moment. First up we have the Orchids which are now coming in to flower.
Last week I potted up some of the Tomato plants for the last time, they will live in these pots now. I have three more plants but of a different variety and then there are another lots that will come on later.
And under the staging are the Polyanthus seeds that are just starting to germinate. If you wondering why the tray is on a bowl its to keep the slugs from getting in the seed tray. I think they would have trouble getting in with the sheet of glass on the top but I wasn't taking any chances with them.