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!

Do we know (where we put) our onions?

We’re great at forgetting when and where we sow/plant things and after telling someone that the other day, they suggested we keep a gardening diary or “you could even start a blog, you’ll enjoy that”. Oh dear, we didn’t have the heart to tell them we’ve been doing one for a few years!

Well, we’re making a fresh start and from today logging everything plantwise we buy and also where we put it/them. This morning seen us buying some garlic, red and white onion sets to be put in for over the winter from our favourite garden centre Shannon’s. If all goes well we’ll clear some space this weekend and whack them in. You will be informed (complete with the actual date, time and location co-ordinates)!

What a difference the sun makes

Don’t think buying in tomato plants is in any way cheating. Earlier this year we sowed a few tomato seeds that failed miserably so we bought a couple of varieties from Shannon’s. The cherry ones (above) have done exceptionally well and they’re still going strong as we didn’t pinch out the tops. Big thanks to Shannon’s, we’ll be doing the same next year.

Monday afternoon was so nice we went out in the garden and tidied up one of the scrappy beds and then planted some garlic cloves to overwinter. It’s worth making the most of the weather at the moment as in a months or so’s time it may be dreadful. Here’s the before and after:

And finally a big shout to Steyvn Iron Feather Journal for letting us know about the latest Music’s not for everyone on NTS which features a ten inch vinyl special including One Deck & Popular’s Son of Stitt (Cafe del Bob’s mix) from many moons ago. Big thanks Mr Weatherall! #onedeckandpopular #sonofstitt

Hold tight all garlic crew…

GarlicaLast autumn I bought a small number of Garlic cloves from Shannon’s and stuck them in the ground over winter and last night I pulled a good few of them out to harvest. I’ll be leaving them against the kitchen wall to dry out a bit. Not a bad harvest for something you don’t have to bother too much with once they’ve been planted. There’s still even a couple of rows left in the ground too!

The train to Fishguard is coming…

Mike P CherriesA big shout to Mike and Aradhana of the great Ffynnonofi Farm near Fishguard, Pembrokeshire where we’ve stayed a couple of times in the past. It’s a top place, the sea’s on your doorstep and there’s plenty of countryside to take in as well as some great fruit and veg growing on the farm!

Mike’s sent us some snaps of his garden at the present moment and the plants are looking good! The sweet cherries (above) look brilliant and the plums (below) look like they’re coming on fine too.Mike P_PlumsThe morello cherries (below) are starting to turn red.Mike P_Sour Morello CherriesAnd look at the overwintered garlic below, they went in around november last year and are now well on their way!

One of the caretakers of Ffynnonofi Farm is Dai, (the son of the late John Seymour, author of “The new complete book of self-sufficiency” we reviewed on the blog here). His tip is that garlic should ideally go in on the shortest day (usually around the 21st December), and picked on the longest day (around the 21st June). Great advice!Mike P_GarlicCheers to Mike for sending in the pics and also thanks for passing on this fine classic from Peter Tosh.

They’re under starters orders

I’ve got a collection of leggy tomato plants waiting to go in the garden until after the risk of frost has gone, like I have every year. After starting them off on the kitchen windowsill a couple of months ago, I put them in the plastic mini-greenhouse outside with the front open during the day to harden them off. This weekend I stuck one of them under the terrarium outside and also sowed  a mixture of seeds beside it. There’s onions and garlic on their way in the bed behind and in the raised bed furthest away have seed potatoes under a good deal of earthed up soil. Seed bed of the weekThe bed at the bottom of the garden which I was going to keep veg-free this year has now a row of leek seedlings which I sowed indoors on xmas eve last year and a couple of courgette seeds which went in over the weekend under jam jars for extra protection. The rest is a mixture of flowers, a purple sprouting broccoli gone to flower, rocket and strawberries. It won’t be long now until “they’re off” and we can’t wait!back bed of the week

You raise me up (just like a runner bean cane)

Tarrium and garlicA big thanks to the weather for the weekend just gone and it looks like spring has finally sprung!  Things are certainly on their way, I’ve got some healthy looking leek seedlings, black poppies and garlic in the glass terrarium I found in the street a couple of years ago (above) and the bulbs are starting to come up in the found empty champagne case too (below).Garlic in bucketsEarly Sunday morning I popped into Shannon’s (ta to Paul, Araba and Alexi for the lift) and got myself three bags of multi-purpose compost to put into the new raised bed (below) made out of a couple of free scaffolding boards procured from Paul a couple of weeks earlier. So thanks to a cheap argos drill, some spare wood and a quarter of a tin of fence protector left over from last year, it’s now a home for beetroot, carrots and climbing french beans. And look at the runner bean cane wigwam, that’s been put in a bit early!Raised bed and bean canesAnd here’s a tune dedicated to all who put in a few hours over the weekend with their mowers, garden forks, spades, trowels and (new pair of) loppers while enjoying the good weather in their gardens and allotments! Roll on the spring!

Damian Marley – Hard Work (Dedicated to all Westminster City Council gardeners)