2015

October plot

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So the weekend came …and went! I didn’t get a lot done, but I did get my hands dirty (mainly because I forgot my gardening gloves!)

I think my weekend is best explained in photos

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I went on a lovely walk with a friend

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My cape gooseberry fruits are becoming ripe off branch πŸ™‚

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And my plants in the greenhouse are still going strong!

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I have a mini harvest…

Courgette
Leek
Beetroot
Raspberries
Carrots
Chillies
Cape gooseberry…

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I’m still getting a good haul on my raspberry plants. I’m really chuffed; it’s year one and they have been fantastic producers… Can’t wait for year 2!

I had my first ever carrot success! They may be small… But hopefully they make up for it in flavour! ha ha!

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3 of my courgette plants are still going…

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And that’s my lot… My to do list will just have to be done next week :).

Happy gardening!

All change!

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I can feel the growing season slowing down a little now. I think it’s seeing my tomatoes gone 😭!Β  It’s barely light when I leave home and dark when I get home… So its a mission to get to the plot during the week now. And the weekends become an exciting suprise to see what’s changed!

I sourced some manure last weekend… 4 bags of well rotted goodness. Yum yum (that’s how bad it is…I’m excited about poo!) And I eagerly eyed up some garlic and onion sets… I had mixed success with both over the years (not many)…. Try try and try again! Funny enough I had my best success from some cheap n cheerful sets from B&Q.

My cape gooseberry fruits are seeming to ripen off the branch! Which is exciting and amazing! I will have to do a plot run tomorrow; as I have not watered my greenhouse plants all week! (should just be clinging onto life, let’s hope).

On my to do list is (for the next few weeks)
-Sort our my raspberry support system… Need to borrow a cordless drill and screw driver (parents be afraid!)
-Research how and when to prune my raspberries… Early. Summer. Autumn.
-Thinking about removing our resident… Sucker non fruiting plum tree… And getting something new and ‘fruitful’ to replace it.
– Clean my greenhouse

And post this post! πŸ™‚

Last weekend plotting

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It was a strange annoying week; mainly because of illness. But I’m back on form and feeling much better!

I caught up with Monty Don. He gave his greenhouse a clean before winter sets in. Im assuming Monty has more than one greenhouse ;), as mine is still busy! He cleared, scrubbed, washed and then bubble wrapped; for winter insulation.
What I learnt:
– big bubbles are key
– no gaps!

….then I look at my grubby greenhouse on Sunday. So I made a start. I cleared my tomatoes and near filled my second compost bin. I then attempted to move my cape gooseberry plants, with the aim to get more sun. You know when you know it’s a bad idea… And you do it anyway… And then you think ‘it can’t get any worse’. By which time half the plant had been ripped off… Plant limbs strewn around your greenhouse. Needless to say I moved one grow bag and I left the others. If anybody has grown them they will know they become rather large plants! Anyway I took my fruit casualties home… With hope they might ripen if left in the sun and a mini greenhouse. Fingers crossed!!

I used my grow bag soil for bulb layering experiments. I can’t wait for spring to see these beauties!

I had a ‘mini’ weed and have eyed up some spots for manure next week. I’m keen to let some areas rest over winter and get some goodness back into the soil!

Harvest list:
Last tomatoes
Mini courgettes
Raspberries
Padron peppers and some hot ones I’m to scared to pick

We had a holiday day on Monday ….yipee!
And I managed to get a garden shop visit in! So we stopped at Wisely. I got my first carnivorous plant to live in my greenhouse to eat those pesky bugs (does this make me a bad vegetarian, oooops!?) And I got two new mini succulent plants for the house to add to my collection!

I even did some chessnut collecting πŸ™‚

On our travels we stopped at my parents and got two big bags of Apple’s! One cooking, the other eating! So I have crumble plans and also Apple and raspberry jam plans!

Bulb lasagne?… Yum yum!

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I’m thinking about spring time flowers this month; I always forget to get these in. So this year I’m getting my bulbs in a row (so to speak!). But as always it’s a battle for space and time on our little plot.

I sourced some snow drops, crocus, mini daffodils and some allium bulbs. Nearly all have gone in. But I’m planning to sink the plastic pots in the ground, let them flower and then rotate for veggies.
Last year my mother grew some lovely frilly tulips and she gave me some this year πŸ™‚ so these will be added to the mix!

I have to be honest… I might have too many bulbs not enough space! Pots to the rescue!!

In the summer we went to Hampton court flower show….My first flower show! To be honest it was a bit busy, but we saw some inspiring flowers and I got lots of ideas!! Last year I deveoted spare space (made space) for my favourite sweet peas and sunflowers… So I’m going to have a fight on my hands next year!

I read Monty dons Jewel Garden earlier this year, with the mention of hundreds of tulips bulbs…. It really got me thinking what could I do with my tiny space. I’m also thinking long term I need to start my collection of bulbs!! At least using sunken pots I can pull them up and take them with me… A sort of portable garden.

In my researching have come across bulb lasagne! Which is bulb layering for non stop flowers!! I have done a little experiment with this… But I think it could end up like all the fireworks going off at once! Here is some of my bulb research on pintrest at http:// www.pinterest.com/bloomorbust/bulbs/

With lots of ideas it’s tricky to cram it all in, but every year it means I improve the plot to make the most of the space. And every year I get a bit better.

With autumn fast rolling in its a great time to plan for some early spring blooms!

Bounty! Raspberry jam!!

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I’m back after a weeks holiday! Beach eat sleep repeat. It was blissful!

And the plot has had a great time being looked after by my mother! Although I sespect she harvested nothing…. as this is my bounty!

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Fruit and veggie haul

So I have set to work, and made:
-Raspberry jam
-Leeks and potatoes from previous harvest went into dinner last night

I plan to make:
-Tomatoe, courgette and chilli chutney… Not sure if I will do a few variations and also get some green tomatoes involved…I have tried a few recipes in the past …but any suggestions?
– possible some sort of pickled chilli and Courgette?
-beetroot brownies!
-pickled beetroots or beetroot chutney?

Basically our house will smell rancid with chutney wafts this week!! I’m thinking to try and make a chutney each night after work πŸ™‚

…Can you make leek chutney?!

My parents saved the sunflowers with some large wooden stakes….and fixed up my raspberries. Once I have had all the fruit this year I need to work out how to cut them back (3 different season varieties) and then set up a proper training system for next year! πŸ™‚ this was my first year with raspberries and I have to say they are amazing!!

Things I should have done:
Weeding
Dug up my late potatoes. Although they are still flowering!?
Cut back my tomatoes (removing lower branches) to help to green ones to get ripe (not that it’s an issue at the moment) but they do need to be organised as I have let them run wild!
Admired my flowers
General tidy and organise!

Sunflowers down! Timber!!

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My Sunflowers looked like a disaster zone on the plot; 3 down and 4 wonky wobblers!

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Sad sunflowers

But we have a silver lining! The best flower display ever!!

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My first cut sunflowers!

And after a night’s drink… They look a bit more perky!

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Sunflowers survived!

I have strung the remains and attached one to the bbq (almost certainly a bad idea) but needs must!! πŸ™‚

To hot to garden, time to knit!

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This weekend was so hot! So the plot plans sort of went out the window. But we got some things done….

What we did:
-dug out the spinach, put in new seed.
-weeded
-covered up my betroots again (they have no modest 😜)
– and collected a some of the sweet pea pods (in colours… So hopefully next year I can make sure I grow a bit of everything.

Eat/harvest list:
-rocket
-spinach
-spring onions
-greenhouse tomatoes at last
-the odd raspberry

Things to watch:
– The sunflowers are flowing at last, and the bee population are having a field day!

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Sunflower all the buzz

– The giant cucumber… We are still eating last week’s monster!
– The cape gooseberrys are forming!! I never thought this would actually happen (as I nearly killed them off)

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Cape gooseberry

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Much of the weekend was used for knitting πŸ™‚ something I have not done in a while (for myself anyway) and I had my lovely fluffy assistant to help!

The giant cucumber week

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I made it to the plot on Sunday. Time runs away with me on the plot, in a happy way (especially in the sunshine) so complete with suncream I set to work!

Things I did:
-dug up my remaining early potatoes (not so early…but looking lovely) and they have not been attacked by bugs this year! I only stabbed a few. So generally it wasn’t the disaster I was predicting! Yay!!
– dug over the whole bed… watered and then in went… (shop sources plugs ….sorry wanted to give them a running start!) kale, broccoli, cauliflower. Thanks for the suggestions on my last post.

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Back bed

-I removed my final black fly ridden bean plants and spaced out my chard seedlings a little more…the seedlings are doing really well now and perhaps this is a lesson in patience (as I should have let them get a bit bigger before I moved the first lot) however I am sure they will catch up

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Chard, peas and leeks

-covered my beetroot plants again as they are determined to push themselves out of the soil
-sowed a new lot of spring onions
-then my assistant came to join me; we sat in the hammock read books and ate chocolate fingers πŸ™‚

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Hammock time

On the eat/pick list:
-tomatoes from greenhouse… Just
-Courgette and one huge giant marrow!
-potatoes, all the earliest are stored now
-spring onions, just picking as and when
-rocket and spinach
-one giant cucumber!

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Giant cucumber

What’s happening:
-my first sunflowers is nearly ready to flower! perhaps by the end of this week!? Only 11 more to go!

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Sunflower

– my carrot seeds sown on a whim have shooted! So although I don’t reallyΒ like carrots there is hope for carrots on my plot and will keep assistant happy as he likes then!
– my late sown flower seeds are taking hold and I think I wil need to try and recall what I planted and space then out…. Possibly around the plot. Fingers crossed they might flower before the end of summer!
-sweet peas are making lots of lovely seed pods and drying off nicely! A lovely friend gave me some ‘seed saver’ pots so I can get these into action!
– my snap draggons (sorry I don’t know the grown up name yet) look amazing, as does the cosmos (is that what they are even called?)!! So I am going to try and save some of the for next year.

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The plot in all its madness

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Complete with sunflower wall 🌻🌻🌻🌻

….just add water

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The plot has been plodding along. It’s a great time as it mostly takes care of itself… Just add water!

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Plot madness

The eat list:
-the final onions red and white
-spring onions
-tomatoes! at last!!
-padron peppers
-rocket and spinach
-potatoes

Over the weekend: 2 hours quick visit
-Pulled up my final onions
-moved and spaced my chard seedlings to take up the onions space
-spaced out my sweet pea seedlings

Things I’m excited about this week:
-my sunflowers are looking pretty awesome. Most are lined up along the front edge of my plot. Can’t wait for them to flower!! Think I have about 12 sunflowers dotted around my plot this year.
-more padron peppers. We had our first last week! they were amazing fried in a pan with my courgettes.
-Put another potted courgette in… Taking up the first potatoes spot.

Things I need to do:
-Strawberry runners in pots. I have moved plants every year, but this year the oldies are going to be replaced with baby runners! (finally a chance to tidy up) So I need to get some strong runners set.
-Get some raspberry training wires set up.. As they are starting to get a bit crazy!
-Look at collecting sweet pea seedlings. So I know the colours!!
– Get potatoes up… Asap! As it rained so much I’m just waiting for the right moment!!
-Decide what I can grow in potato bed over Autumn to winter. Any ideas?

I’m reading ‘The Jewel Garden’ by Sarah and Monty Don at the moment. Feeling very inspired!!

Harvest time…. At least the start!

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Just a few hours on the plot this weekend.

Harvest list:
-First potatoes…. I dug up the ones that had flopped or looked unhappy. But they have grown a reasonable amount of potatoes! Not the total fail I was expecting.
-Spring onions. I’m just picking off the big ones.
-Red and white onions. My first year of these being a decent size! clearly watering more helped! Again I have only taken the flopped and dried looking.
-Sweetpeas

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Saturday harvest

-I also have about 3 courgettes ready! One being yellow!! Very exciting. Have picked these now and having Courgette style pasta tonight.

Exciting developments:
-Sunflowers are getting taller, and forming flowerheads!! Can’t wait for these pops of colour!
-tomatoes are just turning, but I don’t have many new flowers. So I shut the greenhouse door today in the hope a bit of humidity might help…
-my late sown flower seeds have germinated outside. So I’m going to space these out a bit…my sowing technique really is a work in progress! Then just hope they speed along… as they are so late going in!

As I take things out I am filling the gaps with what ever I can get my hands on… I had some spare leeks that have gone into my onions gaps. I moved some of my small beetroot seedling to given them a bit more room to grow.

I’m starting to think about next year… Just a bit… And that I might make a growing worksheet. To try and max out each bed all year around!