Tuesday, 17 March 2009

It's seed sowing time - Yippee !

Welcome back once again to Reads Retreat, our blogging diary of all things edible and colourful on our home plot. Over the last couple of months we've been busying ourselves getting ready for the growing season, and as if by magic, it's arrived. This week we finally got round to sorting the seed storage out! As we now have an allotment, as well as our home plot we have split the seeds accordingly into 2 separate containers. Wifey has hers and hubby has his !

Wifey got the home plot veg started this week, planting up the following seeds:
  • Sweet Pepper (v. Sweet Banana)
  • Broad Leaved Sage (v. Salvia officinallis)
  • Courgette (v. Zuchini Yellow)
  • Beetroot (v. Golden Detroit)
  • Beetroot (v. Boltardy)
  • Beetroot (v. Chioggia)
  • Courgette (v. All Green Bush)
  • Carrot (v. Purple Haze Hybrid)
  • Carrot (v. Flyaway F1)
  • Dwarf French Bean (v. ? Yellow)
  • Aubergine Organic (v. Black Beauty)
  • Basil (v. Sweet Genovese)
  • Basil (v. Dark Opal)
  • Sweetcorn (v. Swift Early)
  • Chilli Pepper (v. Anaheim)
Some of these e.g. the Beetroot, were planted directly in the soil in the raised beds, while some of the smaller seeded varieties are in modules / small pots in our conservatory. The one's planted in the Raised beds are now protected from unwelcome visitors with this mesh covered frame that I made from an old garden gate. The Chicken wire is cheap enough from Wilkinson's and was fairly easy to knock up. This should keep the pesky cats of the soil. I get really annoyed to keep finding cat poo from the neighbours pets, and take great delight in returning it to the rightful owners, under the cover of darkness! Dog owners are more responsible, but why should the cat lovers get away with it?

The Asparagus bed that was planted recently is also showing good signs. Only this morning we spotted some miniature spears (about half a centimetre tall) here and there on the bed. I've got high hopes for this bed, but appreciate that we won't be able to harvest any produce until at least next summer. It's a long term investment, but it should be worth waiting for. My only concerns are the location of the compost bin and the water butt, which have to be moved to let more direct sunshine onto the bed. I'll have to put my thinking cap on !

Also, we have planted our fruit bushes in the patio border bed. These were a wedding gift (via Garden centre vouchers) from Huw and Jane. The Tayberry on the left is already putting on good growth, and I've added a couple canes to support the growth. I will probably attach some wires to the fence panel to provide further support, assuming it grows of course! The second one is a Gooseberry, which is fairly thriving. There's already an abundance of foliage, and loads of buds, and I hope this bush will bear loads of fruit.

The Rhubarb (v. Timperley Early) that is now in it's second full year is growing at a tremendous rate. Over the last few months all I have done is top dress the crown with fresh compost every now and again, and it seems to have done the trick. I resisted the urge to "force" the growth, and it already looks like we will be rewarded for not doing so.
Looking forward to all those pies and crumbles already! Dont forget my list of cookery sites, plenty of inspiring ideas to be found there!

The Raspberry canes are also doing well. The 3 newer ones (v. Polka) are just starting to show some buds. I wasn't sure whether to cut these to ground level or not, so may have to research these a little more. The other unknown variety is going great guns and is full of buds and new leaf growth.
I can almost taste the jam!

As you can see, we have been busy! There's still loads to do, both here and at the allotment, but we ARE making progress!

Join us again soon for more updates.

Till then, enjoy your gardens. Please leave your comments!!


1 comment:

Simon Thompson said...

Are the beetroot bolt-resistant? I thought it might be a little early to mine but apparently if they're bot resistant it's fine to plant now?