We weren’t feeling too hot over the xmas and new year period as another damn cold/flu struck, but as the garden was looking a bit on the neglected side an hour or so had to be designated to a bit of outdoor tidying up. This one was for the bed next to the garage that earlier this year contained tomatoes, sweet peas and dahlias amongst other things (past posts about said plants in all their glory are in the links).
We dug up all the dahlia tubers carefully (some of them are the size of big spuds!) which are now drying out under the stairs even though last year we took a chance and left them in and they did wonderful this summer (post here). More on lifting the tubers here.
We even replanted a silver birch (one we found a couple of years ago in a Tesco’s bag with a note that said “Take me” on it outside a house locally see post here) that was originally by the pond but hopefully it will do better at the end of the bed. We’ll be probably moving it again as it’s so near the old garage wall but let’s see.
And as protection from forthcoming cold weather we stuck one of the plastic mini-cloches from another find, which followed the same pattern as before; left outside a house with a note with “Take me” on it (post here) over theFoxtail Lilythat’s started to sprout a bit prematurely.
So wrap up warm, happy gardening and keep em peeled as Shaw Taylor used to say.
Little and often is an apt saying when it comes to gardening. The job for today was to tidy up the bed at the bottom of the garden that had gone a bit haywire (above). There was a fair bit of weeding to do and pulling up of dead Nasturtiumsthat were left to their own devices followed by a good old forking over. It looks like a proper vegetable bed now (below) rather than a bombsite! In the process we found a couple of spuds that were missed when we initially harvested them in the autumn and also found a few dried out pods of some heirloom French climbing beans we bought at the Roots and Shoots Potato Day earlier this year. That’s one less packet of seeds we’ll have to purchase then!
Talking of Potato Days and Roots and Shoots here’s the next event in a few weeks time and one well worth going to! London Potato Fair/Roots & Shoots Potato Day 9th and 10th February 2019 11.00am-2.30pm Roots & Shoots Walnut Tree Walk Lambeth, SE11 6DN http://www.roots&shoots.org FREE ADMISSION More details on this and more such like events (all across the UK) at this site here.
Last weekend was a corker when it came to sunshine as on Sunday the temperature in London reached 20 odd degrees. The lawn was cut and a good load of jobs were completed and we even gave the seedlings (tomatoes, brussels sprouts, peppers and walking onion) that are on their way indoors a bit of a break in the sun.
Very much influenced by (episode 4 of) Jane Perrone’s On The Ledge podcast combined with the fact that in our seed tray were a few dealer bags with a tiny amount of seeds in them (cress, peas, beetroot, lettuce, coriander, basil and more) that needed to be sown, we filled a large pot full of multi-purpose compost and threw them all in. Come a couple of weeks time we’ve have some micro-greens to accompany our dinner!Traditionally this week (Good Friday) is the time for putting seed potatoes in (so the late great Joe Maiden used to say on his radio show with Tim Crowther). We aren’t too sure if we’ll be doing ours as it’s still cold out and as someone once told us at a potato fair, as soon as it’s warm enough to put your hand in the ground for ten seconds without it feeling cold that’s when you should put your spuds in. Sounds like good advice!
And while you’re waiting for your ground to heat up here’s a nice bit of mix-up business from one Mr Andrew Weatherall on Rinse FM the other week (8.04.2017).
Life is all about what’s in the mix and the above is what we recently found after clearing out our compost bin of its organic matter. There’s some surprises: a sonic screwdriver (for God’s sake), a silver teaspoon and a plastic bag with someCaesar Saladmix in it! It’s frightening as we think we’re really careful of what we put in the heap.
As for our latest bit of listening pleasure: theRhythm Doctor’s audio mix for FatCat records (above), there’s no unwanted rubbish in there! Listen out for the following!
We had to do a bit of speed gardening today (at the pace a council worker would go at if their foreman had said “as soon as you’re finished you can go home”) as we’d left it a bit late in the afternoon when we started. There were good intentions to begin earlier but you know how it is on a Sunday.In the space of an hour, a couple of beds were dug over, some plants moved, lost root veg rescued and the Lemon Verbena hopefully protected for the winter. There’s still a good few beds to crack on with but at least we’ve started. The more you get out of the way now the less work it is in the spring. It’s just making that start!
The sun was out today so went out and pulled up a couple of weather-bashed dahlias. The foliage on the plants have now turned black after the frosts so it’s time to bring the tubers in for the winter.
It’s a simple process, you leave on few inches of the stalk at the top, knock off as much as soil as possible on the tuber (and carefully remove any damaged parts), leave to dry off for a week or two and then keep in a frost free place (under the stairs is good.) Keep a check of them over winter and come next year they’ll be ready to go out again. If you leave them in the ground (which you can if you want to risk it) there’s a good chance they’ll turn to mush! More on lifting Dahlias here.
And this week’s dahlia of the week is the brilliantly named bed head (below). I’ve just seen on the web too the statement “don’t write off dahlias as your granny’s flower” and with varieties called “Poppers”, “Blah, Blah, Blah” and “Rave Machine” they certainly are not!
I also checked the compost heap I hadn’t touched for a good year and it’s looking great. That lot won’t be sitting in that bin for long! Don’t look too closely in the bin as there’s two elastic bands, a piece of string, a paper clip and a plastic spoon. How did they get in there?
Here’s the first in a regular monthly series of tunes to accompany your seed sowing. It’s February and still a bit early, but for the eager beavers out there you can sow a few in the greenhouse or on that plastic propagator on the kitchen windowsill.
We’ve got our tomatoes just on their seed leaf stage at the moment and there’s some mini-peppers coming through too but you could also start off your aubergines, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, calabrese, onion seeds and start chitting your spuds if you haven’t already.
And here’s a tune by Digid called Revolution Sound out on the Lion Charge label to crank up loud while preparing your seed sowing (making sure the compost has been warmed up a bit by being indoors for a few days beforehand rather than stone cold from the outside.) Sow on and sow forth.