And they’re off!

Spring may be springing or maybe not but we’ve got in and sowed some seeds in the propagator on the windowsill. We’ve done some miner’s lettuce, giant sunflowers some tomatoes and some chillies along with some rows sowed outside (we’re pushing our luck but having a try anyway, what we got to lose?)

Years ago we bought some wild garlic bulblets on ebay and they’ve popped up yet again down the shady area behind the pond and are kept safe under the watchful eye of a plastic dalek. And the second lot of the giant garlic we bought is starting to peep through the inch or two of the leaf mulch in the raised bed. We don’t know if it’s the plastic protection on the top that has helped or the the fact that one of the Weeds cats spends a lot of time sleeping on top of it! Who knows but something is working!)

And here’s some spring inspired dubs to get those plants on their way.

Garlic for Eno’s waterlogged garden

We obtained more Giant Elephant Garlic bulbs off ebay this week and actually put it in the ground even though it’s January and God knows what the weather will be like in the next few weeks. We’ve put them in raised beds without protective covering over them but we may change that situation over the next few days, who knows.There’s protection from the squirrels with the wire shelves from an old mini plastic greenhouse over both beds and more leaf mulch. Fingers crossed they’ll be okay over the winter. Viva la garlic again!


Meanwhile back in the garden…

This week we bought six giant White Elephant Garlic from a nursery in Wales off ebay. We’ve been growing Garlic for a few years now and never seem to get the size that you do in the shops, so we thought if we bought some giant variety and even if we weren’t successful and got half sized giant ones we’d be happy. They are some size though, Yorkshire teabag for comparison

On the ebay site we bought them from mentioned you can eat the scapes (the tender stem and flower bud) too. “Chop into pieces and sauteé in butter or oil for about 5 – 6 minutes and serve like a green bean or add to salads and stir fries. Roast or BBQ the scapes whole and serve like garlicky asparagus with an ailoli dip or just some balsamic and olive oil.” You learn something new every day! Here’s some good tips about growing Garlic here.

Something old, something new, something wood

We’ve been a bit busy in the garden making good use of the lovely weather we’ve been having hence no new posts until now. Today has started gloomy and we’re expected to have a couple of days of this until the weekend when it brightens up again which is great news.

We heard from our good friend across the pond Justin Patrick Moore who has started a new project, something that is brand new to us here at Weeds. It’s a hugelkultur bed. As it says online: “Hugelkultur is a centuries-old, traditional way of building a garden bed from rotten logs and plant debris. These mound shapes are created by marking out an area for a raised bed, clearing the land, and then heaping up woody material (that’s ideally already partially rotted) topped with compost and soil.”

More info here on this different sort of raised bed that made us think initially of the Victorian hot beds. Best of luck with that Justin, do let us know how you get on with it as it sounds great and looks good too!

A couple of years ago a good friend gave us a couple of foxglove plants and they’ve multiplied and starting to come alive this year. Self seeded plants are sometimes a pain (in the case of spuds left in the ground or weeds) but these foxgloves are brilliant, even the one coming out of the brickwork on the garage.

The raised beds by the Dad Corner are starting to burst into life. The seed potatoes that were put in extra early are starting to grow and the overwintered garlic in the 2nd raised bed on the right are well on their way. Shame we didn’t have much luck with the shallots which just withered away. Remember we’re still in May and there’s reports of the odd unexpected frosts about so still keep an eye on the weather forecast for those cold nights and keep those old net curtains handy!

In the wild bit at the bottom which doesn’t get much light where’s there’s a row of spuds, cardoons and some wildflower mix from those beebombs and the odd assortment of cheap seed packets is started to look a bit “wild” instead of looking a bit untended. We’re trying to get it looking wild like the beds at the Horniman’s Gardens (below) which’ll take a few years and a bit of effort but it’s worth trying!

To overwinter or not to overwinter?

We had some strange old weather today, all was looking bright until about 3pm when it pelted it down and then at about 4pm the sun came out again and we got the Garlic and Shallots in the raised bed. We’ve tried to make it pest proof after all of the shenanigans this weekend too. The metal protection was the shelving from one of those mini greenhouses we had years ago.

The beds have had the added benefit of the soil improver a few weeks ago and we’ll add some compost to the top of them as well sometime this week. Fingers crossed the Shallots do well next year. We didn’t have a bad year with the Garlic but we’ve love to know the secret to getting more out of them. Anyone out there know any good tips for getting decent Garlic in raised beds? Any ideas appreciated!

And news just in is that This is a music show 135 is up on the cloud. Cheers Dazman for posting this up! This week’s show includes Ernest Freeman, a tribute to Richard H Kirk, a steel band cover of The Beatles and some great Reggae as always. So if you love decent music and also love the medium of shortwave radio listen to the below.

And talking of radio shows, tune to The Rhythm Doctor’s Waiting Room on IDA Radio (Tallinn) tomorrow morning at 8am UK time for 3 hours of the best tunes across lots of genres. Link to the live link here tommorow morning and you want to choose the Tallinn station. Here’s last week’s show by the way. Radio is still the way forward!

Spring has sprung!

It looks like spring has spung, even though it’s a bit dark and drizzly today but yesterday’s weather was great and combined with having a day off work a couple of gardening jobs were undertaken.

We popped out first thing and got some seeds (spring onions and cut and come again lettuce) and some seed onions and garlic from Shannon’s. It may be a tad early in the season but we put a couple of rows of the onions and garlic in one of the raised beds and now hoping for the best.

People argue that they’re both so cheap in the shops so why grow them? It’s always handy to have some garlic in the garden so you don’t have to pop out to the supermarket if you ever need a bulb and fresh onions are near enough translucent when you pick them.

Also we actually applied some teak oil to a wooden sun lounger. Whilst buyng the oil we asked “How often should you be applying the oil?” “As a rule every six months” we were told. It’s been more than ten years, so that’s why the bench was soaking the stuff up! We know now. Pots of herbs were tidied up and dead wood cut off and then they had a good dosing of comfrey liquid. That should start them off on the right foot as they say.

We had a great time being out there and we look forward to more sessions out the back!

Play misty for me

We didn’t do too much in the garden today (apart from the odd bit of watering in the morning) what with it being so warm. Sometimes it’s good just to stop and enjoy it all. The Love-in-a-mist at the bottom of the garden which self seeded in the champagne box that mysteriously appeared on our doorstep (here) in 2015 (Cheers Maz!) is now starting to flower.

And so are the spuds! How many weeks have we been in lockdown again?

And the garlic cloves we put in last autumn from Shannon’s to overwinter were harvested today. It seems a bit early but the leaves were starting to go yellow and the plants were falling down on their side so we dug them out. They’re now drying out for a couple of days outside the back door. The big question now is what shall we sow in the space where the garlic was?

Another page in your (gardening) diary

This afternoon we put in another couple of rows of onions and garlic which we got from Shannon’s the other week so they can happily overwinter (or they’ll only sit in our seed tin until next spring). In the bed (above) where once stood a greenhouse many moons ago and where now the Thompson & Morgan trial sunflower and tomatoes are still hanging on, we put in one row each of Autumn Champion (white) and Electric Red onions.

And near to the house we put in an extra row of Marco garlic that’ll get a good bit of the sun because of the position of the bed. To the left of the picture can just be seen the newly bit of lawn we sowed around the August Bank Holiday. A few weeks previously we took up all of the 1970’s crazy paving that was doing nothing but attracting weeds in between its cracks. With all this late gardening action we can’t wait to see the results next year. Roll on next spring!