November spawned a monster

A few photos of the state of play in the Weeds garden at the moment. There’s fun and frolics in the pond with the goldfish and this year’s batch of tadpoles and it’s not looking too murky in there at the moment. There’s no sign of that thieving Lewisham heron either thanks to the folks at Shannon’s for telling us to put pea netting over the top of the pond (with a few escape routes dotted about for the local mini-wildlife).

The poppies are doing their thing too. Any seed heads that form we dry out and distribute around the garden so they’ll come back next summer.

The vegetable bed at the bottom of the garden has moved on since last month. The spuds are on their way, the alderman peas are starting to grow and we’re finally seeing the runner beans germinate. And about time too!

Veg watch – May 2018

Work in progress: the veg bed at the bottom of the garden from left to right, 2 rows of onions (red and white), seed potatoes, another row of onions (mixed) and three canes worth of french climbing beans and a heirloom pea called Tall Telephone (named after Alexander Graham Bell and one which grows well over 6ft!) Here’s to more good weather and veg progress!

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!

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

It shouldn’t happen to an (onion) set!

clean out the seedtinI was off all last week with the dreaded lurgy and some lurgy it was! I had no interest in gardening plus no energy so apart from sorting out my seed tin for the seed swap this saturday, last week was a total write-off!

Onions_sproutingYesterday I took another look at the onions that are supposedly stored in ideal conditions under the stairs which should have been put in in the autumn for overwintering. Oh dear!

And finally a quick reminder about the seed swap next Saturday in Deptford. It’s only a quid and you get three talks thrown in as well, so see you there! More details on twitter here.

Seed Swap 2015

A winter world of veg*

The garden is approaching the end of the growing season so now’s the time to put those hardy veg in to “overwinter” over the cold months and utilise your space to the max. The plants will make a start now, go dormant over the winter period then perk up in the spring, giving yourself a head start on the veg front next year. Vegetables like spring cabbage, kale, spinach, broad beans, peas, even lettuce (look out for a hardy variety like “artic king” at the garden centre) can be put in now for overwintering.

Last week I sowed some broad beans, onions and garlic. You can grow onions from seed but the most convenient way is to grow from “sets”, mini onions (think pickled onions in their skins!) that’ll save you time and effort. I got a bag of about 50/60 for £3, that’s well enough for yourself with loads left over to pass onto a gardening mate or two.

I prepared the area as per, taking out weeds, stones etc and made two rows about 10″ apart. I then sowed each set 5″ apart and buried them with about a quarter of an inch of soil above the top of the set to stop the birds and squirrels from having them. Don’t use force pushing them in or you will damage the sets. All you have to do then is watch for weeds and damage due to wildlife trying to rob them off you (you could even put a net over them on their early days if you’re keen!) and wait. Do remember to stick in some sort of plant label as you might forget. I do it all the time, that’s why I have a squash plant growing up some canes like a cucumber at the moment!

I’ve also started off some garlic. These are from a bulb not unlike the ones you use in cooking. Just carefully break it up and put the cloves in the ground instead of the pot. You don’t want to use any old one from the supermarket as you don’t know what variety it is and if it’s suited to you local climate so get especially for the plot from your garden centre. With planting just carefully put them in (flat end down) with about a quarter of an inch covering over the top so the birds can’t see them and space them about six inches apart. If you’re doing them in rows keep those about 10″ apart. There you go, how easy was that?

* An Englebert Humperdinck song no less!