Sunday, 28 March 2010

The sun is still shining ... but not for long from the look of the forecast :(

Today I took up the strawberries, eradicated the bindweed (in my dreams) put the strawberries back, chopped a bit of the hedge and did some more digging / raking. I now have 9 beds dug, 5 more to go ... at this rate I'll have no excuse not to start on the jungle ... maybe the snow might be welcome after all haha.

All in all I'm quite pleased with myself and the lottie is looking quite good at the moment - what a shame I've not got my camera working yet, so you'll have to take my word for it :)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

no snow here thank you

another glorious day in Sheffield ...what's all this talk of snow ... really hoping it's a rumour !

So today I was delighted to see that the poppies are germinating, I can see the different colours of the swiss chard seedlings, my leeks have appeared and I've got baby tomatoes (definitely tomatoes LOL).

Spend an hour of so pricking out seedlings for my lottie this morning - kept 12 swiss chard (do I even like it ??), 12 cauliflowers, 6 cabbages & 6 broccoli (OH hates them LOL) and about 10 tomatoes. Tomorrow I'll prick out a tonne more for the plant sale.

I dug over 3 beds this afternoon. The first bed gave me a surprise .. I'd totally forgotten about the Jerusalem artichokes ! what a great surprise. I've packaged up some to sell at the shop - 5 tuber packs - is £1 too much I wonder. Some we'll have for tea ... will have to be wedges I think (or soup if I can muster some energy) as we've had a disaster and broken our beloved chip fryer !

The boys turned up this afternoon - finally. thought they'd forgotten the way. They took care of my bonfire and did a bit of chopping. It looks so much better - at this rate, I'm in danger of having to dig over the jungle ! They uncovered the bluebells, which I've finally managed to relocate to the flower bed - hopefully I didn't kill them. I've dug up another 99million ox eye daisies. There are still thousands left

Got 4 froggies in the pond, who've been croaking away in appreciate to Jonathan Ross. Strangely though the frogspawn has sunk ... wonder what that means. The pond is lovely and clear. I can see the cowslips are coming back to life and the wild flowers look to be waking up.

No photos because we can't find the stupid camera charger and I've managed to flatten my battery !

Sunday, 21 March 2010

haha that'll teach me !

My beautiful tomatoes that have self sown in the greenhouse are not all they seem ! The second leaves have arrived and they very frilly and not at all tomatoey. Looks like the plants are Phacelia !! Darn-it. I should have known :) Oh well, they are potted up and ready for the plant sale.

The greenhouse is a fabulous temperature and the red cabbages, cauliflowers, purple sprouting broccoli & swiss chard have all geminated. I spent an hour this morning pricking some out - we were chatting about perhaps selling them via the shop as they will probably need to be planted before the May plant sale. The purple & red poppies, the giant sunflowers & the lavetera have just germinated. Not much happening with the others yet.

purple sprouting broccoli

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The weather was so lovely today I was seduced into planting my squashes ... hope its not too soon. The greenhouse is already quite full, goodness knows where everything is going to go.

Looks like I cleared the pond just in time - the first frogspawn has appeared ! Two froggies in the pond today doing a little bit of croaking.

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I've planted my red onions - they are safely tucked up in the brick bed. I've managed to dig over another two beds, so that's 4 in total now. One of those had the Cara potatoes in. As expected they haven't fared very well at all. Most of them have critter damage. I've brought home around half that are either OK, or just have a little bit of damage. Doesn't look like it would have been a very big crop even if I'd dug them up last year. Note to self - don't buy as many this season !

I've weeded the rhubarb - it's taking a surprising long time to get going ... I may put a bucket over it and force it.

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OH cleared the area in front of the brick greenhouse and put some staging up for me - this will be really helpful later in the season. I'm hoping that he and his mate are going to knock down the brick greenhouse and build the 15ft glass greenhouse that I was given. Hopefully it will be in place for next spring :)

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Found a gorgeous little mousey nest when clearing up the rubbish - it's been crafted out of an old artichoke

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The weeds are waking up :(

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Looks like we'll be having a bonfire next week - where does it all come from !

Saturday, 13 March 2010

What a beautiful day - spent all day at the lottie. I'm pretty sure I've got sunburnt cheeks it's been so warm.

I've managed to dig over my first bed and have finally dug up the remainder of the Pink Fir Apple & Charlottes, so I now have two lovely clean beds ready for the planting season. Disappointingly both beds had a lot of bindweed in them. Feeling very pleased with myself though for making a start :)

No sign of any frogspawn yet in the pond, so I fished out some of the pondweed. The privet was really overhanging the pond so I've started cutting it back, to let a little light in.

hedge

By mid-afternoon I had a visitor ... with a bit of luck I'll have frogspawn soon:


froggie

I'm very disappointed to report that none of the seeds have germinated, other than the Cat Grass ... at least my kitties will be pleased. However, growing in the greenhouse soil I was delighted to spy lots and lots of tiny tomato seedlings ! Sadly I have no way of knowing which variety they are, but I've potted up about 10 regardless :)

tomatoes

I've started to dig up the Ox Eye Daisies, there are loads of young plants tho, it's obviously going to be a long job.

Right, where are those potato recipes ...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

I've ordered sunshine for this week ...

... you can pay me later :)

so Sunday I sowed:

Tomatoes - Vanessa - a whole 12 seeds in the packet,pah.
Tomatoes - Roma
Tomatoes - Tigerella
Buzy Lizzy - about 900million
Petunia - Rainbow mixed & Super Cascade improved F1 - another 900million
Aubergines - Black Beauty
Aubergines - Money Maker (well fingers crossed LOL)
Lavatera - pastel mixed
Passion Flower - Passiflora Caerulea
Asparagus Pea
Aster - Carpet Ball Mixed

Pete put them into the oven ... hoping to check them on Saturday. I'm a little nervous - hope the oven germinates them vs cooking them.

I popped into my glass greenhouse briefly on Sunday just to check the temperature - it was positively balmy ... we've been in Cardiff since then, where it has been glorious and 7 degrees - hope it's been similar here.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The days are getting longer at last :)

Well we've only had a couple of half-hearted attempts at snowing this week, so perhaps Spring is about to spring into life. I saw my first lamb this week - there is something magical about those gorgeous little animals gambling around fields without a care in the world.

It is still really cold, but I really felt the need to start some seeds off, especially for the plant sale, so today I have sown:

Cauliflower - All The Year Round
Red Cabbage - Drum Head
Cat Grass for my naughty kitties
Leeks - Musselburgh
African Marigolds
Giant Sunflowers
Red Poppies
Purple Poppies
oops I forgot: broccoli & swiss chard !

They are all in the glass greenhouse, so fingers crossed.

We have a lottie meeting tomorrow so I'm taking all of my tomatoes & peppers to put into the seed oven (a wooden rack, covered in polythene with a parafin heater at the bottom). Got lots of flower seeds to sow too. The little meeces have raided my seeds - I've got lots of chewed packets and escapee beans spilling everywhere.

Once it warms up a little I'll be sowing my squashes - I seem to have about 10 varities somehow. I am getting a little anxious about where they are all going to go ! Managed to get half way through the brick potato bed now - Charlottes are looking a little past their best now, so I really need to get a shifty on and dig them all up - I have an awful feeling that I've got a full bed of Cara at the other end of the lottie ... eek.

It doesn't seem as though I'll be able to get much digging done during March - the ground is saturated, so looks like I'll be doing my 'big dig' at Easter.