My, how you’ve grown…

It’s only a few days after the summer solstice and boy the garden is growing well. It’s getting lots of sun and we’re trying to water it as regularly as we can so that’s a great combination.It’s funny how changes can revolutionise things, the Jasmine above (purchased from Shannon’s many years ago) never really did much. It slowly crept up the trellis on the back of the house and there wasn’t much of a scent when the flowers did bother to come out. Then the other month the Berlin wall type structure went up next door (post here), we thinned out the belfast sink it was in (there were others plants in it at the time) and since then kept it watered and fed with comfrey liquid and lo and behold look what’s happened (above). There’s a lovely fragrance from it in the evening too. TLC that all it needed!

In the bed at the bottom of the garden (below) the spuds are now flowering and on the purple flowering broad beans there’s a good few pods forming. Also in that bed there’s onions, beetroot and strawberries somewhere all busy competing with each other which isn’t ideal but we’ll be pulling up the spuds in a couple of weeks so there’ll be space soon.

The side bed (below) where once was a greenhouse is doing well too. It’s usually clayed up this time of year but earlier in the spring half a compost bin’s worth was dumped on it and around the plum tree the ash from a couple of barbecues were sprinkled around. Lots of watering and a regular bit of comfrey liquid helped too! My, look at those tomatoes…

To celebrate the summer growing season here’s a great tune on the Stone’sThrow label from Washed out called Get lost. A tune with a brill cut and paste video too. Happy growing my friends!

This post was written whilst listening to the excellent radio show The Garden of Earthly Delights (live every Friday 10pm til midnight GMT on CRMK here and on mixcloud here) Tune in!

After the sun has gone

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).

Gardening at the speed of light

rots-and-shoots_dec16We 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.speed-gardening-bed-afterIn 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!another-clean-bed

Songs to sow seeds to

Songs to sow seeds to-March

Here’s a nice collection of tunes to accompany your seed sowing this month. It’s an excellent mix tape from Chronixx and Federation Sound as mentioned on the great David Rodigan show the other week.

It features some well known chronixx tracks over some classic rhythm tracks like jah jah jahovah, king tubby meets the rockers uptown, cuss cuss, monkey man, joyride and much much more!

This month is a funny one for seed sowing as it’s still not warm enough to sow everything outdoors but you can give some carrots, beetroot, kale, broad beans, leeks, parsnips, spinach and turnips a go if it’s not too cold. I sowed a row each of beetroot, carrots, lettuce and spinach the other day, if they don’t work, they don’t work and it’s only a couple of rows of seeds wasted.

You can always start these indoors this month: aubergines, herbs including basil and the like, brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, chilli peppers, sweet peppers and tomatoes and what about starting a pot of salad leaves on the windowsill.

It’s still a bit early for spuds but in a couple of weeks time it will be and the gardening season will get underway and we won’t know what’s hit us!

STOP PRESS: Cheers to our mate Ciarán in Canada for sending us a pic of his advocado from seed (and some find looking sage in the background) that have grown all the way through their mild winter. How good is that? avocado

Zucchini and I

Paul's courgetteIt’s all gone a bit courgette-centric around here at the moment. A big shout to our good mate Paul W for sharing with us a pic of his first ever courgette (above). It was grown in a raised bed from a plant bought outside Charlton train station in May this year on his way home from work (four plants for two quid, a bargain or what?) Great stuff Paul! weeds courgettesOur courgettes are doing are doing well too (above) not bad from a packet of seeds from the seed swap earlier this year.

Last weekend another good mate was telling me that the two things on his allotment that never fail are courgettes and beetroot which incidentally are two great crops for someone who fancies starting out gardening. As long as you give them enough water and a feed every now and again you’ll get good results. In the case of courgettes, keep picking them when they are young (and watch they don’t turn into a marrow-like affairs) and you’re onto a winner. Don’t blame me though if you get a glut of the things though!

On the subject of gluts, anyone out there have any good recipes for courgettes? Send them to onedeckpete (a) gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.

Summer the first time

June_2015_2Where’s the time going to this year? It’s July next week and the garden is now starting to go a bit mad. The bed at the bottom of the garden (pic above) the one that I was going to “rest” this year funnily enough, has started to develop into a right old mixed patch.

Don’t ask me why it’s got like that as it certainly wasn’t planned and I blame it on all the great seeds I got from the seed swap at the start of this year and from the big ebay bargain pack the other month.

From the back of the bed going forward I’ve now got sunflowers which stretch around the side too, a row of poppies (poppies in rows? That’s a bit OCD I hear you cry!), leeks, carrots, beetroot, parsnips and at the front a mixture of poppies and cornflowers. Talk about a bit of gardening anarchy!June 2015_3 PoppiesPoppies seem to be a bit of a favourite of mine this year as I have a few dotted around the garden where I’d scattered seeds randomly. The ones shown above and and below I’m sure came from the seed swap and hopefully will keep self seeding!June 2015_4_pinkTalking of seed, here’s one of the pepper plants which were sown earlier this year on the kitchen windowsill which gave them a bit of a head start. It’s a first for me as I never usually have much luck with peppers. Roll on the sunshine!June_2015_1