Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Does anyone remember the sun?

Another depressing few days of rain are making my me wonder if it will ever be sunny again. We have had the odd ray over the last few days and have tried to make the most of it, but it seems we are doomed to live under a grey wet blanket for at least the next three days. 

It is of course, now officially Spring and in the hope that it will eventually arrive I have been planting, and things are growing, albeit very slowly. So here is a selection of photos of all the nice things that hopefully will make it outside one day soon

Chillies - Various Varieties



Tomatoes - Alicante these actually were big enough to be potted on. 




 Aubergines - my first ever attempt so should be interesting


 Sweet peas



Leeks - Musselburgh, same variety as last year, they were wonderful


Cucumber - Another first attempt doing well






Garden Peas - Meteor


Sprouts, Cabbage, French Beans, Lettuce, Peppers, Pumpkins, Courgettes and others.


Cosmos


and finally Antirrhinum




 Nothing much else to report, we have been very busy in the house so no adventures lately. Hopefully they will begin again soon. To finish a short video of Gibson enjoying a bit of very rare sunshine on the beach

video

It can only get better. These flowers won't give up



Monday, 11 March 2013

Sun, Spuds and Snow!

Saturday dawned slightly misty but there was definitely the promise of sun. My seed potatoes had been happily chitting for several weeks and the Duke of York and Sarpo Blue Danube, were looking ready to be planted. 

First job of the day though was to take in some of that lovely sunshine over a cup of tea and choc chip muffin. 



I also took the opportunity to have a good look at the spuds to make sure they were all healthy. I had so much blight last year, apart from the Early Duke of York, all of my potatoes are of the Sarpo blight resistant type. I have never eaten these but lets hope they are tasty. 


They were all looking great, so a nice straight trench and they were in






The green manure Jim cut down for me needed rotavating in. 



It was not an entirely successful job. In the middle the roots were very close together and the soil was still damp. The blades had a real job so in the end I had to resort to fork power. It looks very messy and I am not sure that I will use it again. I get the feeling I am going to be weeding out huge clumps of grass all summer. 

By now the sun had well and truly got its hat on, so I popped in to the greenhouse to plant some more seeds. The door was open and so were the vents but it was still showing 102 degrees on the thermometer. Phew. 


I planted Green beans, Dwarf Beans, more Peas, Cabbages, Brussel Sprouts, more Tomatoes, Pumpkins, Vegetable Spaghetti Squash, and Courgettes in the veg department. Flower wise, I planted Nasturtium and Marigold. My companion planting seemed to work well last summer, no fly problems at all, so I shall try again this year. 

Back in the house, it was time to try one of my pickled eggs. It was a bit of a job getting it out of the jar, I seem to have rammed to many in. This was born out by the fact that where the egg had been pressing against the side, I still had a nice white stripe. 


It looked fine on the inside so I ate it. 


To be honest, it just tasted of vinegar. I was hoping that the chilli might have infused the egg but sadly not. I am will have to try and find a way of making chilli eggs rather than pickled eggs. 

And now the concluding part of this post's title. The weather men had been going on all weekend about snow today. As they never seem to get it right here I didn't pay much attention, Until I looked out this morning and saw this.. 



These were taken about 3 hours ago, Its a lot deeper now. Cross your fingers for my potatoes and my poor beleaguered broad beans. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Chickens in a Hole!

After the tidying up activities last week in the vegetable patch, this week has been mostly about the other end of the garden .  The pretty part doesn't get much of a mention on this blog as it was well established when we moved in and perfectly tidy. 

There was however one very large bush that offended Jim and his love of straight edges. He had been asking me for ages about digging it up, so if finally agreed. Last week I posted a picture of the stump we were trying to get out. It took a lot of work but It did eventually surrender and out it came.

What to put in the hole? I have owned a beautiful single flowered pink camellia for probably close to 25 years. Where we previously lived, it could not be planted in the ground as the soil was wrong, so it has spent all of its life in a succession of ever bigger pots.  I had noticed that all of the gardens locally have large camellia bushes in them, so now was the time for this one to be liberated. It was going to need a very big hole. 


So we started to dig. 



Its amazing how fascinating a hole can be. All of the animals wanted to be involved.



The chickens were especially enamoured of it, as it was a whole new source of loose soil to bathe and scratch in. They were having such fun that I filmed them. 


Gibson, sensing that the chickens may be claiming all the glory demanded a starring role in his own film.


Anyway, back at the hole, the time had come to load the monster onto a trolley and drag it over to its new home. Much huffing and puffing and it was in sight of its final stop. 

Next problem. Get it out of the pot. I think it has lived in this current one for about 10 years so was very firmly wedged.



Much shaking and pulling later, it was time to break out the power tools.





Its a bit of a shame as I could have made good use of the pot. But finally the camellia was free. 



A bit more heaving and turning and it was in place. 10 minutes shovelling and that was it. No more moves for this lovely plant. 



To give you some idea of size, thats a 6 foot fence its up against. A bit of tidying up and it was all over. Hopefully it will now spread its roots, and grow back all the bits we managed to snap off whilst moving it. 

A quick update from the greenhouse. 

My leeks that I planted in the individual cells have made an appearance. 



As have all the other plants below. Amazing how two days of sunshine brings everything to life.





This week I am doing lots of indoors jobs but hopefully I will have another update for you soon.