It was funny old weather again today, cold then later on in the day it heated up a bit. Judging by the weather forecast for tonight it’s supposedly the last one where there’s a possibility of frost (London has a low of 3 degrees tonight and then tomorrow night it goes up to 7). Our hotchpotch collection of frost protection is out in full force this evening complete with an old duvet cover thrown over some of thespuds(we got that great idea off twitter the other morning!) One of the potato plants is even starting to form flower buds. How long have they been in the ground again?
Also the dahlia’s are starting to show through so some of that black membrane we bought to stick under the decking before it went up has been thrown over the top. What month is it again? And whilst you’re there, can you tell us the year? #gardeninginlockdown #canwecomeoutnow?
Looking outside this evening, we can’t believe it! The sun was out this morning, it was relatively warm and the protection was taken off all the plants in fear they’d be baked alive. What happened?At 5pm it was windy, freezing and every cloche, bit of polythene and B&Q bucket was thrown over the vegetables in double quick time. We may not get a frost over the next night or two but it is cold, so better being safe than sorry.
And in warmer times (at about 10am) the sight of the first poppies in the garden. As the song goes, what a difference a day makes.
And here are the last of the spuds we dug up yesterday as we don’t want them going rotten with all the wet weather we probably get in the forthcoming months. These were originally from seed spuds we bought from Shannon’sand it’s taken us years to work out if you leave the potatoes in for longer they will grow larger. Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop. But when it does…
Also the other week we noticed a small tin of opened sweet corn and an opened bread packet down by the pond and thought nothing of it. Then we found that something had severed the lead from the little solar panel that powers the battery of the pond pump. Now yesterday we found they’ve all been severed. We have a couple of cats and they usually keep the vermin away and we’ve never had anything like this before. Any ideas?
Could the above be anything to do with it? We have a big pile of broken slabs piled up at the back of the pond (that we took from the area that has now been seeded) do you reckon there’s something that has made their home in there who likes gnawing through wires? Rodents perhaps? Suggestions please. We are putting an ad on Gumtree today for anyone who wants a load of 70’s slabs for free as hardcore for an old shed or something. That should do the trick to clear the area. Trouble is we still have to buy another pond pump next year. That’ll be the third in as many years, damn!
Things are coming to an end in the garden, here’s the last of the cherry tomatoes grown from seed and the potatoes where we’ve been very patient when it comes to digging them up. Look at the size of that big one, that’s a large colander by the way! Ta to Shannon’s for pointing us in the direction of the tomato seeds and the seed potatoes.
And finally the garlic we put in to overwinter. Those didn’t take long to get off to a good start. We’ll be soon saying goodbye the 2019 vegetable gardening season but it’s never too early to start planning for next year!
We don’t usually give it large regarding what we’ve done in the garden but with Sunday’s great weather (granted it was on and off but when it was “on” it was great) we made a bit of progress with a lot of outstanding jobs and we’re well chuffed!
The bed on the right-hand side had gone out of control, the comfrey was choking everything (including the dahlias, red hot poker and even the rosemary) and the path was fast disappearing. On the pic above after the hard graft you can now see a couple of the sunflowers, one being nearly 7ft high! We’re suckers for those adverts in E-bay that say “Giant skyscraper Sunflowers that will reach 20 ft at least, as grown in Jack and the Beanstalk” and that sort of thing.
Even the anarchy that is the veg bed at the bottom of the garden was tidied up (a bit). This is it post hoeing and de-weeded. There’s broad beans, dwarf french beans, runner beans, beetroot and even a courgette.
We’ve even had a harvest, the above is some spuds we got from Shannon’s earlier this year. We’ve been chomping at the bit to dig them up and this is the first time a bit of patience has paid off (they are a decent size for once). The cherry tomatoes we got from them too from seed are starting to ripen too and the plants are just not stopping so a bit of nipping out of the top had to be done. It’s good this gardening lark (when it goes well!)
A big thanks goes out to DJ Phil Harmony in Berlin for playing (and for the kind words too) a couple of tracks off Jazzmin & Madtone’s “This Frequency E.P” on his excellent Dubnight Radioshow on Radio Blau. Another gardener of the dub variety (a few interesting past posts from Phil are here and here) he’s sent us some recent gardening pics of his pots on his balcony where there’s limited sunlight.
The first is of the herbLovage. As Phil told us “I was very surprised when I cleaned my pots as I found the root in the soil with little sprouts so I let it sit and a few weeks later it came back to life! I love this herb for potato or other soups. We also call it Maggi herb”. Looks good, we’ve heard of it here before but never used it, perhaps we should!
And some spuds he started off this year, and they’re looking grand! He only had a smallish harvest last year (below) but as Phil says “the taste you get from your own harvest is not like anything you can buy, not even in the organic shops! Even if you only grow just one tomato it’s not comparable with anything from the supermarket!” and he’s right! Good luck with the spuds Phil! Keep sending us those pics.
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!
As it isn’t too long to Good Friday – traditionally the time to be sowing your potatoes (according to the late great Joe Maiden) – thought went out to the seed spuds chitting away merrily on the windowsill at Weeds HQ.
While on the internet researching about the variety we have chitting here ‘Rocket”,we found out a couple of interesting things about it on Gardenfocussed.co.uk. It turns out it’s easy to grow and one of the first early spud to mature. The other was that it was:
And we thought we were doing so well! So this weekend it’s back to the drawing-board and down the garden centre to get some Maris-Pipers or something tasty. The moral of this spud related tale is do your research!
And unconnected to anything potato based here’s a lovely tune as heard on On The Wirethe other week: Rhythm & Sound’s History Version. Tune!
There was a frost here Wednesday morning (as we’re sure we saw a white veil over the local cars on the way to work) and hopefully that’ll be it now, even though it’s still a bit parkie outside today.We’re not taking any chances here for a few days at least, the tomato plants that were outside in the upside down terrarium are now in the back room (that might have to be hardened off a little before they go out) and there’s still fleece over the Easter Sunday sown spuds. And then there’s the brassicas, runner beans and peppers that want to go out, finger’s crossed it won’t be too long now…And if you have lost a plant or two in the recent frosts here’s a tune for you…
It’s a corker from the great Mongo’s Hi-Fi (which we’ve featured a few times here at Weeds) with Johnny “Move Out Of Babylon”Clarke called “Rain keeps falling” which comes back with a lovely dub as well. The 7″ single is a special record store day release and you can get it hereand if you fancy the download go here. Tune!
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).