Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Weeding, securing and a story about lettuces.

My neighbour had sowed two rows of carrots in the veggie plot about a month or so ago, but we've waited long enough to see any results. Only one small bundle of carrot leaves among a lot of grass shoots and weeds have appeared so I decided to tidy it all up and weed the area. I'll leave the little shoot to grow, perhaps some others will appear at some time!

My lovely neighbour, once he'd finished preparing the plot for me, had also sowed two rows of lettuce lifted from his own garden to kick start our veggie site. They started off doing fabulously, with much needed frequent watering they were growing great guns, but unfortunately the ducks that visit us regularly suddenly took notice and ate the lot one night as we slept! My neighbour (I'll call him Mr. P. from now on) suggested I pulled the stumps out, rake over the area and start again. He very kindly pulled a few more of his own lettuces to replant in my garden and they are now doing fine. I also kept back three or four of the eaten ones, put them in pots of compost to see what would happen. Amazingly they began to grow again so I've put those in the ground to and get a full row of young lettuce enjoying a duck free life (Mr. P. put up plastic netting by the gate to stop any wandering feather friends).
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

To also deter other animals and birds, I've added a length of string, attached to sticks at either end of the plot, to hold a couple of unwanted CDs. The brightness and spinning action in the wind should keep off the predators, although the visiting cat seems to enjoy playing with them!

On the securing side. The tomatoes planted outside the conservatory kitchen are ladden with fruits, most are still green, but I've picked a few beautiful red ones from deep inside the bushes. I've had to add many more canes to try and keep them from flopping to the ground, they are so heavy. After a lot of har work the winds over night had made most of then slip back down their canes. I'm just hoping their natural supports won't get damaged in this bout of windy weather. I can't really support them any more than I have already.

The two pepper bushes are finally turning into, well, peppers! Sorry, but I get excited at seeing the fruits of, what seems like, very easy labour. Peppers, as advised by the chap I'd bought them from (locally) are very simple to grow and so far he's right. Once in a while (more at the beginnings of it's growing life), I'd use a tomato feed when watering (as I have done with the tomatoes and pumpkin too), but other than that, they have fended for themselves and seem very sturdy again the wind (although I have supported them now, just as a precaution).

Sunday, 9 September 2007

First harvest from our new home

I love this bit, digging up the goods. Some successes here I must say. We moved in at the beginning of May and I decided, rather late in the day, to plant some sprouted potatoes I'd left too long in the cupboard, thinking they wouldn't produce a nibble! I planted two very small rows just in front of the conservatory kitchen. This ground, like the rest of the garden, has fabulous soil, and after a good dig over and weeding session, was ready for some veggies. So, I planted two rows as I mentioned, two peppers, three climbing tomatoes, a cherry tomato (in a tub) and a pumpkin (these last three were donated, thank you, by a friend). All went in rather late, all looking rather fabulous.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

End of July, I sowed some carrot seeds that had been lurking around for a couple of years. Sell-by date said this September, so I knew they'd be OK. I was told by my knowledgeable neighbour that the end of July was the best time to plant carrots as the dreaded carrot fly is no longer around. Having seen on TV a year or so ago that carrots do quite well in very large pots, I sowed my first batch like this. A few weeks later I sowed the rest in another large pot. Last week, my neighbour suggested I start pulling the first lot, randomly rather than from the same section of soil. First feeling around the tops of the carrot to make sure they are a fairly decent (but still small) size before having a slight tug! These are delicious "Trevor 1" carrots (from a DIY store as I recall), and have made fabulous salad carrots, so full of flavour.