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.
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!
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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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!
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!
Just a few hours on the plot this weekend.
-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.
-I also have about 3 courgettes ready! One being yellow!! Very exciting. Have picked these now and having Courgette style pasta tonight.
-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!
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!
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…
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.
-Sweet peas. Ticking along after the re pot.
-sunflowers. In hiding still
-lettuce. Germinated… Just about
-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!
-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!!
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
-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!
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.
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.
Oh dear I didn’t take an after photo… Here is a half way… Nice healthy roots!
I got done new seeds in:
-soy beans 🙂
– 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.
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!
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!