If I’ve said it once I’ve said it at least once a year for the last eight – I hate the annual greenhouse cleaning ritual. So, as you can see, first thing this morning my greenhouse was looking very much the worse for wear, with compost, spiders webs and general detritus liberally decorating the floor, staging and trays whilst the greenhouse panels where a very definite shade of algae green. Continue reading
I have a list of jobs that need doing over the two week Easter Break and I have decided I’m going to list them here, ‘tick’ them off as I complete them and see how many I can motivate myself to complete. Whilst I managed to get a significant amount of clearing up done last weekend, I spent a large percentage of this week nursing an aggravated sciatic nerve but I absolutely need to get jobs done this week or we will be too far behind to catch up. Continue reading
It’s hard to believe that August is nearly over and we will soon be entering the last Summer month. Already there is a definite nip in the air, so much so that I can no longer leave the greenhouse doors and windows ajar overnight but there is finally stuff happening in the garden, possibly a little too late in some cases. Yesterday afternoon I took a walk around the vegetable patch, phone in hand to record some of what is growing in the beds and in the greenhouses.
Two days of almost solid rain, has had the usual dramatic affect on my garden, that watering by hose pipe, sprinkler or watering simply can’t achieve. Everywhere I look the lush green of healthy plants can be seen, although, as we head into the last month of summer, this is now interspersed with the yellowing of plants, past their prime which even the magical powers of Ma Natures rain can’t revive. Continue reading
I am my own worst enemy in the garden at times, especially when it comes to creating more work for myself but I get busy doing something, I don’t want to stop and so things get put to one side, to be tidied away once I’ve finished. But of course then I start something else and the nett result is an untidy mess, taking up twice as much space, making it difficult to find items I need. Continue reading
You may remember that back in February I thought that I had a problem called ‘Damping Off‘ in my seed trays, as my seedlings did not appear to be doing so well. So to ensure that we had sufficient tomato, chilli, sweet pepper and cucumber plants for the year, I sowed a whole load more and hoped for the best. Well it would appear that ‘Sods Law’ has kicked in because despite my fears to the contrary, the original batch of seedlings all pulled themselves together and suddenly decided to thrive which I am convinced wouldn’t have happened, had I not sown replacement seeds (that’s the ‘Sods Law’ bit) AND the replacement seeds have also germinated in huge numbers and thrived. Continue reading
With my lovely clean large greenhouse taunting me with oodles of space, I turned my attention to my slightly over crowded propagators full of tomatoes, chillies and sweet peppers, not to mention cucumbers and more flowers, that had taken over the house and realised that I needed to do something about potting on some of the seedlings. Armed with 4 bags of freshly bought all purpose compost, I grabbed a tray of mixed tomato seedlings and made my way to the greenhouse. Continue reading
Not only was the sun shining on Sunday morning but there was actually some comforting warmth amidst its’ rays and with no wind to chase away that welcome warmth, the stage was set for one of the biggest preparation jobs of the growing season – greenhouse cleaning! Continue reading
As the year moves along at a steady pace and we merrily wend our way in to September, the garden is starting to look more than a little tired. All hopes of a giant pumpkin have been dashed with only one plant producing a small but perfectly formed specimen and a mental note has been made to revert back to tried and tested varieties of pumpkin and squash next year, as the disappointment of only three or four fruits across a dozen plants, for the second year running, is not a good feeling. That said and in spite of annual additions of manure or chicken manure pellets etc, I suspect that the beds all need a huge amount of enrichment after 5 or 6 years of use and so some investment in fresh topsoil, compost, manure and fish blood and bone will need to be made this autumn. Also, unlike last year when I tried the ‘no dig’ approach to soil enrichment, I will be digging in this autumn, to ensure that the nutrients will be available to the root systems of next years crops.
As I have wondered around my garden over the last few days, checking the progress of my plants, I have been delighted to see a host of tiny friends, busily munching their way through the thousands of aphids and blackfly, that have occupied every available bit of green. Everywhere I look I see them, these garden friends and a very welcome sight they are and whilst the Harlequin is by far the most common variety in my garden, I have seen a few Cream Spots and Two Spots hanging around as well. You see what I have in abundance at the moment are baby Ladybirds, dozens and dozens of them.