Saturday, 31 March 2012


Spent the morning meeting customers at a local garden centre, handing out leaflets and giving out free advice.  But wanted to do a bit in the garden this pm.

Weather is still holding up here, cooler yes, but still no rain. I have had to water my pots, and recently planted fruit trees. One of the water butts is nearly empty!  My clay soil has dried to a hard crusty layer, except where there is the manure has protected it. I met a friend, who is gardener at a old stately home near here,  and he promised to drop off a few bags of 18 month old leaf mold. Ideal for a soil conditioning mulch. He has heaps of the stuff but none goes to waste. I was also tipped off via twitter that a local nursey has a good soil conditioner, so I must pop down and get a few bags.

I planted out a couple of rows of First Earlies, Epicure. I had a few left over, so I have popped them into some compost filled old grow bags and left them near the shed in the afternoon Sun. I have grown potatoes like this before and its always successful. I would normally use my own garden compost but mine will not be ready until this time next year.

Hubby potted on the artichokes I sowed on the 8/3, so he a happy bunny, but he still does not have a place to put them in the garden!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Mizuna and Rocket sown in the ground on Sunday, already germinated, is this a record for March. Yesterday cooked the first bbq of the year, and sat outside until it went dark ( 8ish). Been pottering around today, potted on some Rosemary cuttings I took last year, and put some mint into bigger pots. Sown some more Basil, and some Cosmos and Verbena bonariensis.
I keep looking at the expanse of grass and am desperate to lift more turf and get some plants in, but this is not really in the plan for this year.....plans can be tweaked!  Had another chap around to look at the fencing that needs doing so I am hoping he will be able to do it. The chickens have already destroyed the little run they are enclosed in, so their enclosure cannot come too soon. 
Anyway the sun is shining so am going to sit in it....

Monday, 26 March 2012

On your marks... get set.... sow

I really cannot believe the weather we are having. Kids are running around in shorts, wanting to have water fights, and its not even April yet. 
But at least the planting can get underway, with a little cross fingers it doesn't all go wrong in April and start snowing or something.
The onion sets are in, approx 180, mix or white, red and some shallots for good measure. Varieties I am trying are Turbo, Stuttgart Giant, Piroska, and Red Sun shallots. I have also put in some Marco garlic bulbs.
Started off some sweetcorn in my conservatory on Friday and they germinated in 2 days! Also have some leeks and courgettes in trays/pots inside.

I have sown some small rows of carrots, turnips, beetroot, mizuna, radish, pakchoi, and rocket, to see if the ground warm enough to let them germinate. I am pretty sure they will as the weeds are making an appearance and the grass is growing like its July.

In fact the first grass cut of the year happened yesterday. The new lawnmower (Honda) is much easier to start than the old prima donna (Suffolk Punch). In fact the old girl would not even start and needs a visit to the lawnmower man to do what ever it is he does to make her go.  I think we need to find  her new home with a nice garden with a lovely manicured lawn, and replace her with a rotary equivalent.

Still struggling to find someone to do the bit of fencing I need. The chap I had round a couple of weeks ago called to say he is too busy to do the work, he did tell me how much it should cost so at least that is something. Called another chap today so hopefully he will turn up for a look see soon.

Hubby has planted his Horseradish is a corner up by the compost bins, the best place for it......


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

March madness

Its still early on in the month, and I am still biding my time, before planting/sowing outside, as the weather can be so unpredictable. I have started off some beans, artichokes, sweetcorn, basil, & parsley in trays/pots. They are all on the window sills of the conservatory. The beans and artichokes seem to germinate almost overnight, closely followed by the basil.  I take a look every day willing the little green shoots to appear.

The grass is growing like billy oh, the cutting cannot be put off much longer. I took delivery of another lawn mower last week. Our lawn mower, according to the lawnmower repair man is for cutting nice short fine lawns and should not be used on field grass. He was very upset by the treatment we were dishing out to it last year, despite the money he was making on repairing it every five minutes. We now have a tough old rotary Honda, lets see how this one holds up. D day, or should I say M day is Saturday.  As the grass is growing now, I have given my supply of ornamental grasses a no 2 haircut. Fresh new shoots appeared the very next day.

Planted up the raspberry canes, varieties I have bought are Octavia and Glen Lyon. Hubby and I rigged up some posts and wire supports, which I was very pleased with. I was muttering away while fixing up the wires and sounded just like my Dad. I always was dads little helper when I was a kid. (Hi Pop!).
Re-potted a couple of blueberry bushes, and planted a couple of rows of strawberry plants, donated by a friend. As I was planting the strawberries, the chickies were behind me scratching them up, so their freedom has been curtailed. They are confined to their little run for the time being. I have asked a fencer to price up fencing for a decent sized run for the chickies and basic fencing around the veg plot. I feel this is essential to give the hedge time to grow, and to give some added protection for the plot, from the wind, and visiting creatures, on the hunt for a free lunch.

Veg beds warming under plastic sheeting
Must get onto planting the onion sets........