The last couple of days have been cold but a few quick trips down the garden have been in order for a nice bit of sanity from a self-isolating worldview. A big shout to our good friend Nancy B who a short while back, suggested we get a Clematis Montana for the back fence. It’s now woken up and is starting to show a few flowers. The plant will be getting some of that comfrey feed when it’s ready!
Thanks to Thompson & Morgan (and Shannon’s and all the other plant and seed sellers of the world who are working flat out keeping gardeners supplied!) for sending us an order which included some Peas (Jumbo) and Lettuce (Little Gem) that have gone in one of our “Blue Peter” style, cut-price budget cold frames.
Earlier this year we mentioned we were going the “rest” the back bed and fill it with some wild flower mix. That idea’s gone out of the window now as we stuck in a row of peas behind the spuds we put in the other week. Best laid plans and all that!
But the question on everyone’s lips here is something we heard a passer-by the other day say into his mobile whilst on his daily exercise regime “Do we still have to put our bins out during lockdown?”
In 60 minutes how much gardening can you really do especially when you got to wolf down some tuna pasta first and then wash the bowl?
We managed to tack some clear plastic sheeting onto the top of the two empty palettes that were sitting around waiting for compost which have now gone on top of the raised beds. We also put in two more spuds and brought out into the sunlight the seed trays that have some cabbages, tomatoes and peppers in them in an attempt to “harden them off”. Talk about the genre called “speed gardening”!
It all started the other Saturday afternoon, we were in a shop in Forest Hill at the end of queue of people scrambling to buy some fresh fruit and veg. The woman in front of us was knocked back as she was trying to buy more than the regulation “Three potatoes per person” as stated on the hastily written felt-tipped sign on the wall. A thought came into our heads, what’s it going to be like in the next few months when it comes to buying fruit & veg? Will there be enough to go around and if so will they be affordable?
Apart from some onions and garlic which are overwintering, some packs of seeds left over from last year plus some from a recent ebay purchase we decided to see what else we could get, so another trip to Shannon’s was in order. We want to give a big shout to everyone there for their help, they’ve been great! When we were there they were well busy with everyone having the same idea as us to get seeds and plants in before the lockdown. They still had a good bit of stock left, so we bought a couple of big bags of compost, a large bag of seed spuds and a couple of packets of cut and come again lettuce. We know it’s early in the season and yes we’re taking a chance with the frost but the weeks will fly by and it’ll be summer before you know it, so we’ve started sowing now.
We’re working from home at the moment so we can now spend an extra hour daily (1-2pm) in the garden. As you can’t go out to get anything (and most places where you could are closed anyway) we’re utilising what we have stored away like the palettes we were given years ago now in use as raised beds and plastic cloches, window frames and the upside down terrarium thrown out for the binmen as frost protection. The latest thing is a roll of black material that was bought to put down before our decking was laid. It’s now in use as some sort of weed suppressant, frost protector come soil warmer for the early seed spuds that we put in. All we did was weigh it down with stones on top of the soil and cut an X in the material with an old bread knife and popped the spuds in. We put some soil on top of the hole that the spud will eventually grow through as extra protection. It’s a case of whatever we got, we’re going to use!
And it’s only been a month that we sowed those cut and come again lettuces we got free with the Kitchen Garden Magazine (post here) on the back windowsill and they’re well on the way to start eating! The tomatoes and pepper seedlings are growing too. The sooner you sow the sooner they’ll be ready to eat but remember to protect against those frosts!
We had a brainwave this morning, “What if we tacked some left over plastic from a delivery over the top of those palettes we were given a few years ago that were sitting in the corner crying out to be filled with compost and made into raised beds?” we said to ourselves. We’ve now got some carrots, cabbage and parsnips in a micro-DIY-greenhouse thing. Who said you need much money to do that gardening lark?
And now the sun’s out, here’s a wonderful tune from Rahat called Djembe on Via del Sol records to cheer us all up and it’s a grower!
A big shout toZdenko Franjic (DJ Zdena) from Zagreb, Croatia for kindly sending us these pics of his great garden/orchard. Zdenko runs the Croatian alternative rock/blues/punk/indie label Slušaj Najglasnije! (Listen Loudest!) and distributes all sorts of books, comics and fanzines too.A few words from Zdenko: “My mamma left me a garden with an orchard. Then I met Nina (Varga) and we now spent our weekends there. We’re beginners in gardening but we’ve started to plant and now they’re growing.
If that garden was good enough for my mamma, it’s good enough for us…”We just want to say here at weeds it’s a fine garden/orchard and best of luck with it as it looks like a special space! There’s some nice raised beds there too!More on the massive output of the Listen Loudest label here and here. Ta to Zdenko for words and the Clarence Reid tune and Nina Varga for the pics.Thanks also to Zdenko for his mix of Madtone‘s Dark Dread off The Sound Robbers From Outer Space CD from 2007.
Here’s a new feature to weeds where we salute the humble raised bed!
This month’s collection comes from our good mate Raul S in Estonia who has an excellent weekly radio show called vibratsioon and releases music as Ajukaja amongst other things. Nice beds, a nice cutlass/pruning saw and two great tunes by the way!
If you fancy sending us a pic of your raised beds please email them to onedeckpete (at) gmail (dot) com and everyone who enters the feature will have their name put into a draw with the chance of winning a quality greenhouse* at the end of the year.