Posted in : 2009 Season
Once again I'm starting a post off with "been a tad since I last posted". It's not because I have nothing to say, it's because I've had bugger all time spare to make a post Ideally I'll find the time to create a gallery concept/skin that works, and then I can just upload all the pictures I take on a daily/weekly basis to show how things are coming along .... don't hold your breath though, I've not had the time/inclination to do any coding for many a month now
Anyway, back to happier thoughts/times ... we're already at the point where the plot is starting to provide ingredients for our meals, it may only be radish and the occasional lettuce, ohhh and a few herbs, ohhh and some spring greens ... but it's only May, and the season's only just starting to kick in. Most of the beds are now full of stuff, I've one more bed in the large greenhouse that will soon be filled with sweetcorn ( true gold ), squashes ( butternut & courgette ), and the odd runner bean and borlotti beans ( about 10' row of each ) which will keep the broad beans, pak choi and beetroot company. Our own little greenhouse, that's recently had a bloody good spring clean and is looking good as new, has been press ganged into holding some of the less robust seedlings, mainly the sweetcorn and the runner beans, because the small greenhouse is starting to get a smidge full of dahlias.
After spending a bored afternoon, on one of the sunny days, rearranging the piles of bricks that sit on the concrete base, beside our lil greenhouse, I managed to not only find a space for our water butt, I also managed to sneak in a 11'x4' raised bed. Mind you, when Barry noticed his only comment was "why didn't you just dig a bed in the field, it would've been far easier! .... so, being ever the opportunist I mentioned the fact that I was contemplating the possibility of slapping in 4 more 15'x4' beds in the field ( "but only if I cope with the space I have this year, because you'll want that back next year" ) ... god loves a trier and all that huh? ... and I'm living proof because, not only did Barry go "sure, no problem", he followed it with "you may have the same space next year ... if not more" ... damn, how cool would that be? At the same time he mentioned that the space I'd slapped the raised bed on was where he was considering building a shed to house our lawn mower(s) ... ooops ... the good news is, it won't be this year.
So, I decided to use the new bed to raise some Asparagus seedlings, after checking that I had enough time to plant seeds this year, as it's faaaaaaaaaaaaaar to late ( and bloody expensive! ) to buy 1 year crowns for this season. Apart from saving me a fortune ( £2.05 compared to £20+ huh ) it'll also allow me to select the best 20 male plants that grow ( males produce more spears than females ) and I won't have to "wait the extra year" that you normally do by growing from seed because I wouldn't be able to buy 1 year old crowns until next year. The bad news is, I have very little time to get the seed ordered and finish prepping the bed up.
I can't remember if I mentioned in my last post, but a couple of weeks ago I went round to my dads and he had some very leggy tomato plants that were crammed together in little 3" pots, the good ones were just about able to support their own weight, so I offered to take them away to see if I could improve them as I had better growing conditions and far more time than they did ... So, off I meandered to the potting shed with them. I decided that I could definitely save 4 of them by slapping them into 12" pots and burying them as deep as I could, the others were pretty much buggered, and that's when the experiment I ran earlier this year paid off. One of the things I'd done with the worst of my plants was to decide "bugger it, they'll die anyway", so I cut the tops off and rooted them .... and it mostly worked ... So, I did the same with Sue's tomatoes.
As you can imagine, decapitation isn't something that a plant enjoys to much and they spent quite a bit of time looking pretty dead. I'd slapped them under the misters in the potting shed so they'd at least get some water through their leaves, after that it was a race to see if they'd grow new roots in time to stop them dying. One week on and not only had the plants recovered but they'd also started to put on some new growth! Meanwhile the ones that I'd slapped into tall pots had decided that they weren't going to be out done and have promptly produced their first set of fruit! Damn, here's me growing my own tomatoes in as close to ideal conditions as I can provide and they're beaten to the fruiting stage by a bunch of gangly plants ... I may never live this down
By a lucky coincidence I managed to get some free time, some sunshine and a sledgehammer, all at the same time. A tad of grunting later and I'd dropped both our side and our neighbours side of the coal shed, I even managed to leave the dividing wall intact! Unfortunately since then it's pissed it down every time I've had some free time so I haven't been able to clear up all the rubble and take it to the tip. In true frugal fashion I'm going to be reusing any bricks that I can salvage to build a raised bed along the back of next doors garage. Eventually this will be converted into a kind of 9' x 3' greenhouse / cold frame, but first I have to wait until the strawberries have stopped fruiting as I'll need to dig them up before I can start. Once the bed is built I'll then be able to sort out the tuft of grass that we lovingly call a lawn.
This is a diary of all the vegetables I'm growing.
With a tad of luck this will help me learn from my mistakes