greenhouse

The plan

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My next step with the garden is to plan. And I have a few… I have to admit I was dreaming up ideas for our garden long before we moved in.

So here is a list of what I would like to achieve:

-Making the garden safe for our toddler is my top priority.

-We need to do some fence maintenance.

-Pruning and working out what we actually have in the garden. I think I am going to have to start a log book so I can remember. It’s a bit of a mystery until spring and then probably a until a full year has passed, but I’m trying to work it out. It’s a fairly established garden, which is nice as we can enjoy it already, but it does also mean it’s not a blank canvas and we need to work around some established plants or be brutal.

-Sorting and reorganising my allotment gear. Which has been put into our shed… in a bit of a crazy pile. (Moving an allotment is not an easy job!!) But the shed smells very authentic; just like my grandpas did.

-Working out a general plan for the space. Involving a greenhouse (this is realistically something for next year) and creating growing space for veg and flowers….

-Sorting out the soil. Whilst the garden has been cared for, it lacks the beautiful soil I achieved at the allotment. You don’t have to dig far to hit clay and rocks. Raised beds and lots of digging are on the agenda.

-A diy ‘mud kitchen’ for our toddler.

-Location for my hammock!! Although I have no idea where the bolts or actual hammock are since we moved!!

-A small child friendly wildlife pond. Bug hotel, nesting boxes and feeders.

-Pots and pots and pots for my dream container patio situation.

-I need to remove some brambles although I think they will be my new garden foe. I like the fruit, but the spikes less!

I’m also expanding my seed sourcing. Discovering chiltern seeds via an insta explore. Which has made me realise that we need proper garden plan as my ideas are running a bit wild. So I need to focus and I need to get going.

Saturday morning seed hunting

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the ‘garden’, but I think it’s a ‘jump in a crack on’ situation. Need to remind myself nothing is permanent and the learning has to start somewhere. I’m looking forward to the clocks changing as some evening gardening can start!

Mid April plan

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I’m at the stage that I need a plan again.

Things I need to do on the plot this weekend:
– Check sweet peas and sweetcorn are alive and possibly plant in the ground.
– Get my structures in place. Bamboo poles please!
– Clear ‘back area’ on my plot ready for the hammock stand in may.
– Sow beetroot, chard seeds direct in soild.
– Find my paper plans! Probably do this first… as I may have illegally sown extra crops. And it could go horribly wrong!
– Get some wood chipping for my strawberry bed.
– Get a proper frame made for my raspberry canes, and string them up! And remove any cheeky unwanted suckers that have popped up.
-Tidy greenhouse! A good rainy day job!
– Investigate compost bin 1… And dig into back bed… I need to put a little path back in here as it proved to be impossible last year.
– Do a bit of general maintenance… Weeding, fixing, levelling…

And I think that lot will keep me busy!

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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 🙂

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!

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!

May green fingers!

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Feeling a bit of a blog block at the moment! But the plot is making great progress. 🙂

Greenhouse has 12 resident tomatoes; in 4 grow bags. One resident cucumber plant also in a grow bag.

We kept the Physalis plants going…. and its been far to long…. but these have been potted on over the weekend. Having been given a good water and some growing space they are looking much stronger.

Outside my strawberries are turning out some good fruit. I really should net and straw them asap!

My garlic and onions are doing ok, but I have spotted some rust on a nearby plot. Just keeping my fingers crossed.

Bbeans are doing well after initially being dug up by accident! I’m seeing lots of flowers and turning a blind eye to the nibbled leaves.

I have planted sunflowers at the ends of each bed… Hopefully this will look very jolly once they shoot up. The sweet pea dividers seem to be growing along well! I’m waiting for the 14th June as that was our first proper buds last year and just in time for our wedding last year! After this date the sweet peas really got cracking, and this year we will be here to enjoy them 🙂 that’s only….18 days away!

I have all 9 raspberry plans in… Suppounded by strawberry runners from last year. I figured these would be the most determine to battle the raspberry rambling spirit! My 3 mid season were a toltal fail so I got them replaced… I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the new plants… But I doubt I will get much from them this year.

Otherwise it’s the z bed….spinach, rocket, Courgette 1, beetroot, carrot (patchy and I don’t like carrots… He he heee!) And leeks.

And potatoes! And Courgette 2…. And some cheeky spring onions. It appears I killed my rhubarb plant… One to try again.

I have lots still on pots… Needing homes… It’s a mission to fit it all in. but I will find a way!

I got the hammock stand up and bbq out (as no space in greenhouse) 🙂 just need a sunny weekend to enjoy some lounging!

Easter weekend: plot visits

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I made it down the plot on Easter Sunday! I had a good dig and got one potato bed all set. Just waiting to add the all important potatoes. I did some weeding; this time of year they pop up so fast! But I did have time to admire the welcome weeds…

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Nice weeds

I fixed a path (removing evil weeds that spread under our paths (when we first got the plot I recall how we thought this was asparagus!… Makes me laugh every time!). It’s one of those necessary but very boring jobs.

Finally finished organising my strawberries! I decided to remove the old aged plants at the end of the bed. And I went back on the Monday and put onions in. (I’m not sure they are exactly companion plants..  But a space is a space… Right?!)

On Monday I went back. And got the remaining onion and garlic in… Just one box left. I am searching for a suitable empty spot.

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Garlic and onions in

Greenhouse:
-Sweet peas. Ticking along after the re pot.

Seedling trays:
-sunflowers. In hiding still
-borage. Germinated
-lettuce. Germinated… Just about

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Seedlings

-cat mint… A few tiny seedlings have appeared
-lucky dip. Some little seedling have emerged… Still no ideas! I will have to post photos for help!
-Beetroot. Germinated

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-Nasturtium. Germinated it’s virtually a weed… But a weed tgat
-tomatoes. Germinated and potted into larger pots
-My back up beans sprouted, and I popped them into the plot yesterday… I had dug up a few poor bean seeds by accident… But a few sown direct into the ground made it! Which was good news!!

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Beans and tomatoes

Seeds at home:
-Cucumbers… I have about 4 growing away happily. I will move these out to the greenhouse soon!
-Chillies. Growing away happily. I’m going to keep half in the flat and half in the greenhouse as a mini experiment

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Chillies and Cucumber

-Courgette… Still no shows. This is the one veg I struggle to get going every year. I’m sure it should be easy!!?
-Soybeans. In hiding
-Caped gosberries. In hiding

And then I went home and scoffed lots of chocolate!

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Easter treats!

On a mission!

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This Sunday I went to the plot on a mission. Luckily I had my rain coat; as it rained!! I tucked myself away in the almost dry greenhouse (having a door is handy when it rains!)

I got some bits from the site shop. All set for the days fun.

I checked my greenhouse seedling and some are now emerging… (a few could just be weeds!) Good news as it really hasn’t been very warm, they all got a little drink.

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Seeds...
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More seeds
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And even more seeds!

My sweet peas look happy, so I removed all but the top 4 leaves (always a bit scared when I do this) I’m sure this is what I did last year and it worked out ok.

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Sweet peas

Oh dear I didn’t take an after photo… Here is a half way… Nice healthy roots!

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Sweet pea and roots 🙂

I got done new seeds in:
-soy beans 🙂
-cat mint
– poppy California… Although I think these will flower next year
-a packet of lucky dip seeds: the ones I knew were courgette, borage and some other mystery flowers…

I did some inspections… My poor raspberry canes are not doing well. Another one got snapped.

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Raspberry canes

But the first one that got snapped seems to shooting from the broken section?!

So I went home, I watched a bit of ‘kew on a plate’ whilst having my lunch. When I got back it was a bit sunny and having watched Kew on a plate (garlic focused) I was all excited and thought…. lets get it in and growing 🙂 I’m really pleased with now the garlic got a good kick start and some fab roots!

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Garlic get set
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Garlic get ready!
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Garlic grow!

Then the rain really came down, covered with mud… I legged it home!! Never feels like I get enough done, but hopefully I can blitz it over Easter!

And I thought I should share my jolly llama photo of the day! Happy Monday!

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Llama love

Getting busy in the greenhouse

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We have been away and so I had held back on seed planting. But this weekend I’m getting busy!!

I ran to the plot this morning. My greenhouse bits hadn’t been watered… In nearly… Eeeek!…2 weeks! I literally had a few minutes to water inspect and run for my train to work.

But I’m pleased and surprised to say the sweet peas have germinated! 😁 which makes me a very happy bunny! It’s a bit hit and miss… But I did plant far to many. Also not being watered in 2 weeks may have weeded out the weaklings! Needless to say I gave them a little water. It will be interesting to see what else appears. But they look to be sturdy little seedlings! And most importantly they grew!!

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Sweet pea seedlings in the greenhouse

And my onions are garlic are also showing signs of life. Garlic is cracking along! But a little water will no doubt help 🙂

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Greenhouse onions and garlic

And super exciting news! My chilli peppers germinated (at home in mini greenhouse) again a bit hit and miss about 1/2. But chillies are a bit tricky and I did drop my pots on the floor!! So it’s a surprising anything made it!

My green ear was also excited to hear on the radio about Kew gardens setting up a new kitchen garden where the old kitchen garden was! It’s called ‘Kew on a plate’ I assume this was filmed last year so I can’t wait to see the garden this year… I might try and check it out first hand in a few months. The TV program starts on Monday BBC 2! And has the lovely Kate humble presenting! I might have to invest in a Kew pass… So I can perve on the veggie patch through the year!!

Weekend workout

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Good workout weekend.
Drum roll!

I fixed the green house door! And I will now be known as ‘queen of the staple gun’! Hopefully it will last another 2 years. Here are my tools… Took me about 2 days to actually locate the correct equipment… So in itself that was a minor achievement!

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Tools!

And this is the door installed 🙂 I’m just glad its finally done!

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Finished door

I had a huge dig. My first big work out for the year. I started at around 10; and left at around 2. My tummy was literally growling for food when I got home.

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Dug over my future potato bed (the Z bed)… Again. And put some strawberry plants in pots down the side of the bed. The soil keeps escaping the bed onto our shared path… Hopefully it’s a good flexible planting/edging solution.

I had a strawberry tidy up… It might be the wrong time of year for this; hopefully I haven’t done to much harm.
I pulled out the illegal plants that had grown in any available space and removed the old brown decaying leaves. I then put down some new grow stop matting. I only got half the bed done..  but you can see the madness vs attempt at organisation!

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Strawberries!

I planted up my vertical growing tube with strawberry runners from last year. It’s sort of vertical gardening… I will get a photo next time I visit the plot. Again maybe I should have waited till March… But I was just a bit keen. Hopefully as they are runners they are already pretty tough! I hope it will end up looking a bit like this.

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Strawberry inspiration

I dug half my mini back bed and put spring onion seeds in.

Dug the bed nearest the greenhouse and removed what I thought was ‘green manure’ as I had dug it in. But it wasn’t really doing a lot; as far as rotting down goes. So it might have just been a weed. Who knows. Anyway I putted what was left, out. This took an age! I then put broad bean seeds in 🙂

I’m already going off piste from any sort of plan! When I have seeds in my hand I just can’t help myself!

It was a great day for digging as it was gloriously sunny… If a bit soggy. I even got down to my t-shirt…The allotment t-shirt tan is never far away! Can’t wait to get back there next weekend!

Fresh Salad!

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Our first crop of lettuce and spinach (could be a few weeds too!)

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Keeping it fresh and washed last night

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And into my tummy by lunch today! Spring onions are not mine, I will try again next year!

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My tomatoes look more like a jungle. They are far too big! Have not been very strict on my pinching out.
I opened up the greenhouse for the first time in awhile today, the weather has been so unpredictable!