Several sessions of Gardening Club have been held now and I have to say that the children are phenomenal. The youngest of the members is only 4 years old and yet he handles the seedlings like a pro, showing a level of care and tenderness belying his age. However, what is really good to see, is that those children who have been members for the last couple of years or so, are helping the newbies, showing them how to do things, guiding them without taking over and these simple actions have helped chase away the last of the doubts I had after the disappointment and disheartening events of last Autumn. Here, in my small group of children, I have learned that whatever else happens in terms of not being able to get people to take and use the harvest, the vegetable patch has brought out the best in these young people, encouraging them to be tolerant, have patience and to help others, even, as was the case with one of my 6 year old gardeners on Wednesday, if by doing so, you miss out on the fun task of planting your own plant that session (she ran out of time). Continue reading
Variety: Oregon Sugar Pod
Sown direct: 27th July 2014
First Seedling: 4th August 2014
Germination: 1 weeks
Germination ratio: 12/15
Unfortunately, although these germinated and grew well, the colder weather hit a little earlier than I anticipated and I wasn’t able to get them into the ground. I will be growing these again next season, as this variety has always done well in my garden in the past.
Last Sunday I sowed some more mangetout seeds but this time I reverted back to the “Oregon Sugar Pod” variety I normally grow. I managed to pick up a fresh packet of seeds for half price, whilst at the garden centre, having been thoroughly disappointed with the performance of the “Bijou” and “Golden Sweet” varieties that I had purchased from the Real Seed Catalogue.
I have this thing about not being able to throw away plants. Thinning out is something that is only done when absolutely necessary, bolting lettuces – well I get rid of them eventually and as for sickly seedlings they have to be pretty much brown and totally unrecognisable before I am convinced they won’t make it and need composting.
Last year my mangetout took a bit of a beating from the local pigeon population, with these thug like birds walking along the length of my fence helping themselves to the juicy growing tips and causing huge amounts of damage from which I thought the plants would not recover. In the end I created a grid of criss crossing yarn above and around them, using the fence as an anchor point, which made things a little more difficult for the opportunist pigeons, as the strands impeded their ability to land on the fence and every day I poked any emerging tips nearest the fence, back down and under the grid through which the pigeons were reluctant to stick their heads.
Last night Mud and I spent hours trawling through the reviews and specifications on the various digital cameras, currently available on the market. As is the norm with Mud, he was instinctively drawn to the most expensive camera that fit our specific needs and criteria but, thankfully common sense prevailed, well to a degree, and we eventually narrowed it down to two possibilities, both of which were Fuji. Continue reading
Variety: Oregon Sugar Pod
Sown indoors: 21st April2013
First Seedling: 26th April 2013
Germination: 5 days
I have now started this post three times and devoutly hope it will be a case of third time lucky. I have never had as much trouble with growing Mangetout, as I have this year and I have grown it successfully for 3 years now. First sowing was in the wrong compost and failed miserably. Second sowing did much better but as they grew taller, they folded in on themselves, for some reason and ended up with such huge creases in their stems that all but 2 have perished. I haven’t changed my growing technique at all, so I really have no idea as to why this happened. So here we go with batch number 3: