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Thought it was about time I showed my face again ๐Ÿ™‚

Progress so far this year –

Potatoes

A nice row of spuds, growing like crazy at the moment.

Broad Beans

Broad beans looking a bit stunned by the windy conditions they’ve been suddenly exposed to after being coddled in the mini greenhouse.

Strawbini & marigold seedlings

The marigolds are those small orange things that slugs love and I’m not keen on. It was an old pack that could well have produced nothing at all, but instead, it chose to produce lots of marigold seedlings. Oh well, the slugs will sort them out ๐Ÿ˜‰

The larger tray at the back are the incredible strawbini fruit/veg combo things. I’m all agog to see what they turn out like.

Cucumbers etcHere we have 2 cucumber plants (I planted 6 but only 2 germinated), some Lobjoits Green Cos (about which more anon) and 4 sugar snap peas.

The Lobjoits were, as you can see, doing well – until last night when an enterprising snail nommed all but 4 of them. It had concealed itself in the tray which is put out in the summerhouse during the day, then when night fell, the snail feasted. Very clever but also annoying.

Strawberry

One of the 4 strawberry plants, the others are in hanging baskets. They all have flowers on I’m pleased to say.

Gooseberry bushes

Now big enough to warrant the use of the term ‘bush’, the goosgogs are looking strong and healthy. The big question being will they produce any berries this year? None last year but then they were pretty small and spindly so I didn’t really expect any.

Got some ‘cut and come again’ lettuce just germinated, some climbing french beans, a few mini sweetcorn, lots of tomatoes (I don’t believe it’s possible to have too many tomatoes) and yesterday I planted some carrots and sunflowers. All I need now is a summer.

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Strange weather indeed, but at least it’s fairly warm so things are still growing. The lettuce plants are amazing, despite losing a few to a nocturnal visit from a small black feline, I’m picking enough for a decent salad every night.

The spindly tomato plants are now looking quite good, I don’t think any lasting damage was caused by my memory lapse. However, because I thought they might not survive, I planted some more seeds. Not nice heirloom ones but still, I wasn’t going to risk beng without tomatoes all summer and I happened to have a pack left over from last year. So as I say, I planted them………….they’ve germinated and I now have millions of tomato seedlings growing like crazy! Ok not quite millions but there’s too many to count. Looks like friends, neighbours and total strangers will be getting free tomato plants this year ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Having been struck down by a particularly nasty, sneaky bug that has kept me off work for a week,ย  I haven’t done a lot in the garden. However, Here’s some pics to prove that things are growing despite the ridiculous mix of heat/cold/rain/hail/wind that we’ve experienced over the past month.

First the lettuce that I bought as a tray of living salad and decided to split up and plant in a few pots instead of keeping it on the kitchen windowsill.ย  As you can see it is thriving and has already provided several meals.ย  At the top of the pic is a box of curly lettuce that is also doing well, this was from a cheapo 28p packet of supermarket seed and there is a lot more planted in the summerhouse bed. I plan to harvest it before I need to plant the tomatoes.

Another 28p pack of lettuce is not doing quite so well. This lot are plain leaved rather than curly and they don’t seem keen on the weather despite being in the summerhouse bed. You can see them in this next pic behind the 3 Tigerella tomato plants that J bought from a plant sale. What makes the lettuce look worse is my inability to abandon any of them. I plant all the seedlings no matter how frail and pathetic they are.ย  I feelย  I have to give them a chance lol.

Next we have the runner beans, planted out yesterday and standing up to the wind and rain quite well. J found another pod saved from last year, it was over 30cm long and had 5 beans in it. I planted them yesterday so not much chance of a runner bean shortage round here.

Finally we have the sugarsnap peas, also planted out yesterday.ย  As you can see they are romping away happily. Which reminds me that I haven’t planted the purple podded peas yet.ย  Maybe I’ll do it later today if I can stop coughing long enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Oops!

I forgot the tomatoes. Put them in the airing cupboard to keep nice and warm and dark so they would germinate, checked them for the first couple of days and then – well, I forgot about them. So now they are tall, spindly and white instead of small, sturdy and green. Oh well, they’re out in the greenhouse now so should start to toughen up a little.

The first sugar pea is tentatively poking it’s nose out of the pot. Mind you it may well go back down again, the weather today has been foul.

The flowers I couldn’t remember the name of have germinated, despite the packet of seeds being about 3 years old. So now I will plant the rest of the motley selection I have and hope some of them are as hardy. Some of the packs are not dated but I know we’ve had them for at least 4 years, maybe more.

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Am sitting outside to write this, which means I can see everything and stand a chance of remembering what I’ve planted. Since the last post I’ve done quite a bit, taking advantage of the amazing spring weather. In fact it’s more like mid summer at the moment – more mid summer like than last mid summer was anyway. Tis roasting out here and I’m very glad that I painted the summerhouse with CoolGlas. Since then I’ve done the same to the mini greenhouse, although being shiny plastic it didn’t stick the way it should. It looks a bit odd, if you took a tiger’s stripes and mixed them with a leopard’s spots you’d come near to the way the paint has streaked and run. Actually, it’s not a problem, the shade it gives is dappled as if under trees, I like it and I think the plants do too.

In the greenhouse we now have the following:-

3 types of lettuce, 2 of which are almost ready to transplant into larger containers.

A tray of flower seeds, being given the 2 choices of which i wrote in the last post (the first seeds chose the second option and have been composted) can’t remember what these ones are, but the picture is pretty so I hope they choose to grow.

6 pots each of which will hopefully produce 2 sugar pea plants. My first attempt at growing these and I was inspired by thic Gloucestershire ones that did so well last year.

8 pots containing runner beans that were saved from last years bumper crop. Don’t know how they managed to survive all winter in the garage on a shelf, without being chucked in the compost bin – but they did. So I am expecting great things of them. All 8 of them. There were only 7 to start with, all from one pod and then I discovered another wizened specimen on the shelf. To be honest it was so pathetic looking that I nearly threw it away unopened, as it obviously had only one bean in it. At the last moment I relented and cracked the gnarled pod open to find the best bean of the lot. a veritable prince among beans (well among the beans I’d got anyway) it was twice the size of the others and beautifully plump and shiny. the picture of bean health in fact, I just hope it lives up to it’s promise.

The rest of the space is currently taken up by several containers of lettuce which I bought from the supermarket as a living salad. for 99p I decided I had nothing to lose by splitting them up and trying to grow them on. They were only transplanted yesterday so they still look a bit shell-shocked but I think they may well do ok. Amazingly and unlike most supermarket plants, they were well watered so are nice and healthy.

The strawberries in the hanging baskets are doing well. Even have a few flowers on. Oh boy the thought of fresh sweet strawberries is making me drool. We went to a pick your own farm last year, in the middle of the Leicestershire wilderness. The strawberries were fantastic, but unfortunately not organic. Still, I probably couldn’t afford them if they were. I ate nothing but strawberries and salad for about 4 days – roll on summer!

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Spring having sprung I’ve been out in the garden again. The urge to plant stuff has struck me.

The summer house is now painted with Coolglass and hopefully will be a nicer place during the long hot summer we are going to have – ho ho ho. I washed the mini greenhouse and it now has some lettuce seedlings growing away happily in it. I also planted a tray with pansies, but if any germinate it will be a miracle because the packet was about 5 years old. Well they have 2 choices……… I have a lot of other elderly packs of flower seeds that I intend to offer those same chances to before they hit the bin.

Last year’s strawberry plants are now divided into 3 hanging baskets instead of 2, with any luck that will mean a few more berries this year.

Inside the house I have another tray of lettuce seedlings that I planted over a week ago and are doing very nicely. So that’s 2 different types so far – 1 curly and 1 not. I have plans for a couple of other varieties as well, will list the names later.

So it’s a start anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

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And didn’t it do some good out there in the back yard ๐Ÿ˜€

Red, I say again RED peppers

Red, I say again RED peppers

An almost ripe Roma

An almost ripe Roma

And finally, this is what you get if you put a sunflower in a hanging basket:

Not too tall but still got higher than the ones next door

Not too tall but still got higher than the ones next door

There’s another one in the hanging basket of tumbling toms, I was upset that I didn’t get to save any sunflower seeds last year but they managed to spread plenty around anyway – ain’t nature wonderful ๐Ÿ˜‰

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