Can’t wait, won’t wait, will try

Patience, that’s what you need when it comes to this gardening lark. Sadly we haven’t got any.

This week we took the dahlia tubers straight out from under the stairs (where they’ve been hibernating since late autumn) and into the ground even though there’s still a chance of frost. We also left a couple of them in the garden from last season as we couldn’t be bothered to dig them out. Why do we do these things when we know we shouldn’t?

We have got protection for them and the other plants that don’t do well when it comes to frosts though. There’s the seed potatoes under the black membrane that was used under the decking and lots of DIY plastic/wood contraptions (don’t throw out your jam jars!) over vegetable seedlings that are germinating so it ain’t that bad.

All the gardening books tell you to be aware of late frosts, they also tell you that runner beans seeds don’t like sitting in cold soils and “for god’s sake don’t put out your tomato plants out early as they’ll suffer if it gets cold” but we still do it (we’ve a couple of tomato seedlings in the ground at the moment we’re ashamed to say.) It goes like this, we see a period of lovely sunshine so the hoe is taken out from its winter hiding place and then it’s all systems go after that. We don’t think this lockdown has helped in holding back either.

Talking of lockdowns, there’s a new gardening-related game developing here. At least once a week on our (very) regular visits to the compost heap a gloved hand will be thrust into the mass of rotting vegetables, old ripped up leccy bills and single tea bags to “feel the heat”. That’s not normal behaviour is it? Early signs of “lockdown lunacy” perhaps?

Have a look in the box!

People tell you it’s all in the preparation and they’re right. Before you start planning and buying new seeds, see what you actually have in the seed tin already.

We took a look last night and suprisingly found stuff we didn’t think we had. There were some seeds left of the sunflowers (below) we were given as part of the seed trials from Thompson and Morgan. We’re not 100% sure on the variety but it may be the ‘Sunshot Golds Mixed’ (If anyone knows do give us a shout). We also found some Skyscraper Sunflower, Green Sprouting Calabrese, Tomatoes and Carrots. As the saying goes “it pays to have a butchers first”!

The trials of tomatoes (and squash and lettuce)

The Thompson and Morgan seed trials are sadly coming near the end, I mean look at the beefsteak tomatoes (above) that are now ripening on the plant and the few we took off today next to an AA battery to give some idea of scale. Whoppers they are and we’ll certainly be wanting to grow them again.

The lettuce that was growing in the shade of the broad bean ring around the birch tree has survived and is looking great. It’s either one or a collection of a few!

And the spaghetti squash has stayed this colour and size for a few weeks now. We have now idea of what they’re supposed to look like when they ripen or when they’re ready but we suspect the time is very close!

Thanks again to Thompson and Morgan for getting us in on the trials and we reckon they’ve been a success our end. We’d had a lot of suprises (the sunflowers and nasturtiums) so we can’t complain! It’s been fun!

In the beefsteaks of your mind

Oh my lord! The Thompson and Morgan seed trial tomatoes are as large as a medium sized eating apple in some cases and they are getting riper by the day. We’ve done the beef/beefsteak variety possibly only once before but with the results on the three plants we’ve got we’ll certainly be doing some more. It was just a case of regular watering and a comfrey feed once a week if we remembered, nowt else. And look at the results!

More trials

Here’s a quick visual update on the Thompson & Morgan seed trials. The tomatoes are looking more like beefsteak ones every day and look at the size of them!

The sunflowers are also doing well too! We love the surprises we’ve had with the trials and it shouldn’t be too long now before we’re informed about the actuals names/varieties of the plants. We’re still waiting on the spaghetti squash to ripen and we’ve a couple of lettuces on the way too. We love the trails we do!

The path to enlightenment

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!)

 

 

What a difference a few days make

We know it’s only been a few days since the last pics of the Thompson & Morgan seed trials have been posted, but look what’s happened in that short time. The tomatoes have moved on a bit and all of the plants are doing well. We keep them regularly watered and feed comfrey liquid to them on a weekly basis and those fruits are now starting to swell!

And yes we’ve had problems with cheeky daytime slugs and the spaghetti squash (see post here) but for some reason they’ve missed this one!

And as for the sunflower, there’s more buds forming! It’s a value for money plant if you’re going to be buying some when they are released next year. Our specimens may be a bit on the small side but we’re not complaining! More power to the (vertically challenged) sunflower!

And thanks to whosampled: