Wednesday, 19 May 2010

My butt smells ...

actually it stinks ! I bought some chicken manure at the weekend and was advised to put it in a bag and hang it in a water butt and then use it as a liquid feed for all my seedlings & plants. It's only been in the water 3 days and boy oh boy what a whiff ! I'll probably end up with every fox in the area coming to look for imaginary chickens


I've finally got some space in my greenhouse. I've planted a cucumber (Marketmore which aparently is supposed to be an outdoor one - eek !) and 6 x Roma, 2 x Golden sunrise, 1 x Gardener's Delight, 1 x Vanessa.


My sweetcorn has been out for a few nights now and seems to be doing OK. I've got two varieties - Tasty Gold and Extra Early Sweet, so I've planted them either side of the greenhouse to try and avoid cross polinating. I've planted them in a tighter grid than last season to try and help with polination. I've also thought a bit about protecting them from the wind. Fingers crossed.


I've planted 4 x courgettes:


7 x squashes - I think ! There are some more at home, in the attic - not sure where they will go. Got 2 x Queensland Blue, 1 x Crown Prince, 2 x Turks Turbans, 1 x Avalon & 1 x Winter Festival.

This is a QB:

I've planted 42 beans:



My peas are nice and safe in a pigeon proof cage:

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My baby beetroots are coming along nicely:


This is the first year I've grown Swiss Chard, I'm very pleased with it so far - hope the bloody flying rats leave it alone.

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Even the roots are an amazing colour !

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My potatoes have appeared this week - fortunately they missed the frost.

The recent frosts don't seem to have done too much damage to the apple trees - this is my crab apple:

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remember that mysterious tree - it must have heard me saying this was it's last seaon. It finally blossomed - it's obviously an apple tree. So that's 5 apple trees I have in one form or another.

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My Alpine Strawberry has survived:

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Pond skater
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A very UNWELCOME visitor - OH fed it to the tadpoles:

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It was enormous:

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Saturday, 15 May 2010

The Great Plant Sale !

With a bit of trepidation I pulled back the curtains this morning to be greeted by brilliant sunshine ! After the week we have had - snow in Sheffield on Tuesday and a week of frost - it was such a relief as today was the plant sale !

What a day it has been. Even before we'd finished setting up we had a stream of keen customers.


so many people turned out to support us, it has been fantastic. We've had lottie people, lots of residents from the area and even a few blog visitors :)



We had a great variety of things - fruit bushes, flowers, green manures, vegetable plants, even jars of jam - I think the only thing that didn't sell was any of the lettuces. Never mind, they will be potted on ready for our stall at the Heeley Festival in June. We sold out of leeks, courgettes, squashes, cucumbers, sweetcorn and rhubarb.



We have made a phenomenal amount of money, far more than I ever thought we would make. We got lots of lovely comments from our visitors and I think it will now become an annual event - only we'll start planning for the next one in November instead of March !


Most people also sampled our homemade cakes - needless to say, we sold out of those !



The weather has been challenging to say the least this week and I've had a few casualties - namely the amazing tomatoes that my folks gave me (they were 2ft high), a couple of squashes and those oh so difficult Okra ! All were in my glass greenhouse. Surprisingly my outdoor plants have not been affected at all


It's great to have some breathing space in my greenhouse and tomorrow I shall be dedicating some attention to my lottie ... what a novelty that will be :)

My greenhouse strawberries have been very tolerant of the overcrowding:



Another anenome has appeared - it's an amazing blue colour and looks lovely alongside the forget-me-nots and bluebells.


and life is gradually returning to the lottie - a lovely peacock butterfly was dancing around, but he flew away everytime I got near



Somethings are always frostproof - I know they are a pain, but aren't they beautiful:


Saturday, 1 May 2010

Another busy day...

I've done lots of potting on ... the sunshine is finally making a difference - well to some things at least. My tomatoes are still tiny - I've taken them home and put them up in the attic, which is the hottest room in the house ... I hope the kitties leave them alone !

This is a courgette ... I've got 15 long ones for the plant sale and 13 rounds ones so far ... hopefully a few more will appear over the next couple of weeks.


My Swiss Chard has really fattened up nicely ... I'm thinking of popping it out into one of the beds - well I was until I heard we might have frost early next week ! OH has given me some bubble wrap and some packing material that's similar to fleece, so I could make a tunnel and put them under it. Or I could go to B&Q tomorrow and buy a polythene tunnel. Or I could leave them in the greenhouse and dither for another week. Sounds like a plan then !

swiss chard

This is MY sweetcorn, destined for MY beds !!! I've got around 50 for the plant sale, not all as big as this. It looks great - I'm thinking these might go out soon .. under tunnels though to protect them.


My beans are slow to appear again - it took three sowings last year for some of them. These are borlotti - they are for my beds. I'm sure I've sown some for the sale - I think I farmed them out somewhere. Wonder whether they've germinated yet ??!

Borlottie beans

I think this is a Queensland Blue ... it's fattening up nicely. I potted on all the squashes & courgettes for my plot today. I'm out of space, compost and time to do the ones for the plant sale ... I've got 54 squashes for the sale so far. I've got 7 for my beds I think - maybe 8 ... I'm starting to worry slightly about where they are all going to go ! I've spent 4 hours or so digging over the jungle ... the prepared bit is about double the size it was. It's been relatively easy to dig as the we've had lots of rain - time is an issue for me now. Wish I could clone myself, I'm meeting myself coming backwards at the moment !

Queensland Blue Squash

Oh I'm so pleased with my peas - gave them a good water today, they look really healthy. I must must must start to think about supports for them. They are Greenshaft (I think) and grow to around 5ft apparently. I helped Jenny net her peas this afternoon ... hmm, seem to recall the pigeons ate the peas that survived the mice last year. Sounds like I need a plan :(

There was a sparrow in the pigeon cage this afternoon ... does that count ?


This is a teasel - it's destined for the plant sale. They are looking nice and healthy.


Forget-me-nots are in full bloom, they are beautiful. I've potted up some for the plant sale :)



The lottie has been teaming with beas, spiders, butterflies and frogs today



The pond's surface is rippling with life ... I can't believe how big the tadpoles are already




This is an anemone ... I think ! It is rather lovely - all on its own though.


The apple trees are blossoming - it looks delicious. This is the brambly apple from Lidyl
Brambly Apple

The Gala apple looks promising so far. Look at the sky, it's been a cracking day today - amazing fluffy white clouds decorating the beautiful blue sky.

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gala apple

The raspberries are beginning to bud up and the blueberries have started to blossom


The herbs look as though they are going to perform well again - I think this is marjoram, but in honesty I've forgotten ! Hmm, maybe it's oregano. Maybe I should google it ... haha maybe ... or then again, maybe not.


Ken gave me some lovely lettuce seedlings, so I've potted up some for me and some for the sale. My folks gave me some flower seedlings and some amazing tomato plants - they are huge - about 1ft tall already :)

I also spotted some baby rhubarb plants on one of my many trips backwards and forwards to the weed pile, so I've potted them up for the sale too. I've managed to keep my cucumbers alive and I've potted them on ... this is usually the point that they keel over :( When I left tonight I had 17 ... will be back at the lottie tomorrow to prick out another 99million seedlings ...