Keeping the cats out and the seed spuds in

The last few days haven’t been that warm but they’ve been nice enough to go out  and catch up on a few jobs in the garden. I know we mentioned we weren’t going to put in those pre-chitted spuds on Good Friday as per tradition but we cracked yesterday (Easter Sunday) and stuck in a couple of rows of maris pipers just down from the onion sets and broad beans just peeping through (pic above). Some comfrey leaves were put in the hole beforehand and some bamboo canes and rose prunings flung on the top to keep the cats off. More on how you sow seed potatoes from an older post here.

Typically a couple of hours after the spuds went in we heard that later this week it may get cold at night (below) so it might be out with the fleece or those old net curtains.

 Talking of protection there’s a couple of tomato plants under the tipped up terrarium (pic above) we found in the street a few years ago but if it does look like it’s going to be really cold we’ll be bringing them back indoors.A couple of rows of spinach and basil seed even went in (yes we’re well optimistic about the weather) under a homemade cold frame type affair made out of an old window and some old wood. It was really a ploy to get rid of a “bargain” obtained at B&Q the other day; a massive sack (125L) of multi-purpose compost for £6.50. As soon as we opened the bag we knew why it was so cheap, it honked to high heaven and it’s not something you want to be putting in pots indoors for certain. As the old saying goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or a compost bargain).”

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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).

The long good Friday

Big up joe maiden!

A few weeks ago after listening to Joe Maiden on BBC Radio Leeds’ Gardening with Tim and Joe I took the risk and bunged in some of my seed spuds and now they’re well on their way (thanks Joe, you know your stuff!) But there’s a piece of fleece at the side just in case to stick over the plants if there’s any risk of frost as you can’t take anything for granted weatherwise.

leaf and spudTalking of spuds, Good Friday is traditionally the day to plant them, but I wasn’t around. As I was off work and the weather was great (and it was a root day from 1pm, man) I stuck the remainder of my well chitted seed potatoes in today.

In the hole

As per the RHS website I stuck them in five inches deep (with the chitted end upwards), twelve inches apart in two rows (two feet between each row). Also to aid growth I stuck some ripped up Comfrey leaves under them (I was given a root of Comfrey a couple of years ago by our good mate Scarlett and boy has it grown!) When the shoots start to show through on the spuds I’ll be earthing them up. Early spuds are good stuff and well easy to grow. If you haven’t got a garden, you can stick them in a plastic dustbin, builders sacks or even carrier bags!

Garlic, you're too wild!Also while “tipping around” the garden today I found a lone wild garlic not growing too wildly around by the pond but growing all the same!