Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Planting time and plot update.

Welcome back to Reads Retreat. What glorious weather we are having - but don't jump for joy too soon - cold weather is set to return - it's a Bank Holiday Weekend!. But, that's what we expect, and we can deal with it - resilient lot us Brits!
And how's this for an inspirational pic - right outside the back door we have a raised bed full with Peas(v. Kelvedon Wonder). These have been in situ for about a week now and are showing signs of growth - the little "tendrils" seeking out something to hold on to!Since this picture was taken the pesky cats invaded the earth and did their worst! Gonna have to get a spud gun or something?

You'd be forgiven for thinking we're growing a garden fork and a pile of twigs! Rest assured we have 10 tubers of Second Earlies in there(v.Nadine) which we hope will give us a great crop on our doorstep. The same variety at the plot are doing ok too, but it seems extra nice to just nip outside and dig some up !

We've also planted an old dustbin up with 3 small tubers, and these appear to be flourishing. Since this pic was taken, the spuds have been earthed up, and already need doing again. Let's hope this is a good sign.

More good news : We risked it a bit with 3 early Courgette plants, outside on the patio. The initial leaves turned a silvery grey and died back, but more by luck than judgment, new growth abounds. This variety is the ever popular All Green Bush, which grow 6" tasty fruits. A few days since this picture and they are growing on well. The more eagle eyed may or may not notice the recycled recycling bin! There's a pack of seeds to anyone who can tell me which council unwittingly donated it !

The salad bar is open ! Well, almost! We have planted up a couple of small rows of lettuce, 2 rows of Beetroot (v.Boltardy), another row of lettuce(v.Lollo Rosso), a row of Spring Onions (v. White Lisbon), and a row of Purple Sprouting Broccoli. We've also got some onion sets to go in - a job for tomorrow! (If the rain ever stops!).

Thats about all for now - we've not been completely idle, but still loads to do.

Take care all and enjoy your gardening.


Friday, 23 April 2010

Happy St Georges Day

To all readers - especially the English ones - hope you have a fantastic day.

RIP Dan Holkham (3rd Battalion - The Rifles).


Sunday, 11 April 2010

A New Addition!

Welcome back to Reads Retreat. Isn't the weather lovely! (Well , it is here anyway!). We recently purchased a new (secondhand) mower to keep the turf in check. This £7 model is a Qualcast Super Panther, complete and fully working. One of the rarer good buys on ebay!!
As i set about completing the first cut, Ruby followed with her barrow "getting the bits that daddy missed". Bless her !
Of course, the first cut of the grass went straight into the compost bin as usual. Seed germination is still going on at quite a pace. Today I'll be potting on the toms, so am gonna be busy. I hope you get some of the lovely sunshine wherever you are, and that you too have a great day.


Monday, 5 April 2010


Welcome back to Reads Retreat, seems like only minutes since we last updated !!! Mum left in the week with half a dozen spud tubers to grow at home, together with a dozen Courgette (v.Black Beauty) seeds. You dont need to grow a lot - every little helps! And now, just a few more pictures to keep you going. This Rhubarb crown is now in it's 3rd year, and going by the size of it, its looking pretty healthy too. Hopefully we'll get even more from it this year mmmmmmm can almost taste it now!

Whereas this little beauty is just into its second year. We;ll probably take a small crop here too, but this plant will mainly be left alone to build up strength for next year. Dont forget we have a crown up at the allotment too, cant see us running out!

And no! It's not just a dustbin! This is our new spud planter, and is home to 3 more second earlies tubers (v.Nadine) which will supplement those being grown in the raised bed. I've not had much luck preciously growing spuds in tubs, but we'll see how we get on, and keep you posted.

Not much else happening on the plot, but if the weather improves a touch I've got a load of Onion sets(v.Turbo) still to go in.

Thats about it for today, but please do pop back soon for more updates.

Hopefully the weather will change for the better, and we can all get on with growing!

Take care all,


Belated Update from 24th March! (sorry!)

Welcome back to Reads Retreat, for a somewhat delayed update. We have had a frantic week, but we managed to spend some time on the 24th to ready the garden for Mum's visit. Sadly the weather didn't join us too, but it's amazing just how much you can accomplish in just a few hours. Up until today, the patio table was storage space for everything and anything, and even now still needs further sorting! Just need some decent weather in which to potter about in !

One key job accomplished today was the planting of some second earlies spuds. We chose to plant Nadine in the raised beds based on he fact that we have 30 tubers of First Earlies already planted up at the plot, and fearing the fact that we might not get a lot more in - due mainly to my health - we wanted to get some of these on the go too. Other plans for the raised beds are to use another bed just for onions, as well as the 2 smaller beds for salad type stuff. Its sure gonna be busy, and this year is kind of low maintenance all round.

Elsewhere; in the mainly weed filled borders, we are starting to see more colour. The snowdrops are slowly giving way as pockets of Daffs and Tulips make their appearance. It's a lovely time, just wish i could do more. I could easily spend a week just tackling the weeds ! That's about it for now, but pop back in an hour or so for this weeks update!!! Take care all and enjoy your gardens.