Saturday, 29 January 2011

Fruit bushes

I was going to dig up the raspberry canes and the gooseberry bush from the plot, but T&M were offering free postage this weekend so I succumbed to some new ones instead! I have also ordered a John Downey Crab Apple for the front garden. I hunted for one all over the island but given up. This is easier!

Now to prepare all the planting places for them.

So, as I have done all I need to do there, I sent off the e-mail relinquishing my allotment.....with a heavy heavy heart. I know it is the right thing to do as I wasn't keeping it properly, the waiting list is sooooo long, and I really do have enough space and enough work to do here........but I have had such a wonderful 5years on two different plots there that it is a sad day for me. I shall miss it.....!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Early spuds

Much too cold to work outside today, so I had to be content with a little work inside the tunnel. Time to start off some early spuds in pots, ready to move outside later when the weather is warmer.
I have used some B&Q builders' buckets which are more like the tub trugs I use for weeding. I haven't been very successful with the potato bag things supplied by mail order, but last year I did do well with self watering pots. These are expensive, so I am doing my own version. I drilled holes about 1.5 inches up the sides of the buckets, rather than in the base, and put in a good layer of gravel up to the level of the holes. Then 2 inches of compost, then the spuds,then another 2 to 3 inches of compost to completely smother them.
I find the biggest problem with potatoes in containers is maintaining the compost wet enough to guarantee a good crop. The self watering containers have a reservoir at the bottom which helps. But it is difficult to know how full it is. With my method the water will pour out of the holes if there is too much, but there will always be some in the bottom to keep the compost wet.
I will report back on this method when I harvest them.
I didn't put them in the side beds in the tunnel because I need this for cucumbers and melons this year. Also, this bed was tomatoes last year and they are the same shouldn't grow in the same spot two years running.

Now back to reading about gardening and dreaming about gardening!
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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Just joined!

I have just joined this forum
(I couldn't work out how to add their widget to my blog though!)

My New Book

Just had a delivery....from Amazon (£12.74 and I don't pay individually for book postage as I pay for Amazon Prime). Over lunch I had a good delve and am already certain that this was a very good buy! There is a chapter for each month as to what to do in the tunnel....with lots of photos. It is absolutely packed with really good information.
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Kitchen Garden as at the end of January.

The start of the year! The tunnel needs a good wash down; the paths need weeding; and the compost "Daleks" need turning and sieving.
(NB. If you click on the photos they get bigger!)
The garlic and shallots (Grise) in the pots in front of the tunnel are showing but not very happy. Hopefully some sun will help them out.
I moved the rhubarb forcer over one of the crowns yesterday. I have two crowns here and am hoping to force them on alternate years.

Yesterday I cleared Bed 1. Now it needs some manure. Better order some. The bags I was hoping to bring home from the plot were nicked!
I have decided that now I am reduced to growing everything here at home the strawberries will in future be grown by the table top method. I bought the Agriframes structure some years ago, but wasn't very happy using it. But I have decided to have another go. I found the special deep organic growbags for strawberries at our local garden centre (two for £8). It says on them that each is good for 3 years for up to 9 plants; I shall be doing 10 per bag as Ken Muir suggests.
Yesterday I ordered some plants from Welsh Fruit Stocks (chosen because they will sell as few as 5 plants of each variety. I ordered a selection of organic roots. Hapil, Honeye, Florence and Elegance. This should give a good spread of seasons.
I have assembled the edifice where I can get to all the luscious fruit that will hang off the plants!!!! It is stood on a North to South axis so that all plants should get some sun each day. There is a net arrangement to keep off the birds. I have some of those "peace pipe" watering things to help with keeping the growbags wet enough, and applying feed. Hopefully I have done enough to ensure a good crop.
Note to self....the photo sizes are not big next time use a larger size.

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Monday, 24 January 2011

My new venture

I have been blogging for some time about my allotment (here but as I have almost given that up entirely (except for digging up the raspberry bushes, the gooseberry, and the last of the spuds) and the title is inappropriate for just my kitchen garden antics, I have decided to start a new blog for the "new" venture here at home.
I have been much inspired this last year by Alys Fowler's TV series and book called "The Edible Garden" so I have pinched that name for my blog. It will just be about my kitchen garden here at home, and the other parts of the garden which I am endeavouring to make more productive....with edibles mixed in rather than just flowers. Alys mixes flowers, fruit and vegetables to create a beautiful garden....I will be trying to do that too.