Back yard reportage 2

A big thanks again to Thompson & Morgan blog (have a look as it’s interesting stuff with tons of hints and tips!) for sending us some seeds to trial this year and this is how they’re doing in July! They are all watered on a daily basis and have a comfrey feed weekly.

The above is the spinach (in the front pot) which was started off on the kitchen windowsill and a couple of the seedlings were transferred outside but here’s the pot with two left in them. They haven’t gone to seed yet and are doing well!

The daft idea we had to stick a row of the lettuce and spinach in the area shaded by some broad beans (so they didn’t bolt) may have not been a good one but here’s what’s going on so far! We won’t even mention the idea of sowing lettuce in the gully between the earthed up potatoes as nothing has germinated there.

The spaghetti squash is coming on a treat and we reckon we may have put it in the wrong place but “Hey! it’s an experiment”. The other squash that had lots of space to run free has been decimated by the slugs so this is the only one at the moment!

And as the song goes “Where have all the zinnia’s gone?” We don’t know what we done wrong but there’s no sign of any zinnia’s yet. Damn! But the tomatoes and sunflowers seem to be doing well and we eagerly look forward to seeing what variety they morph into! Ta again T&M, there will be updates!

Seek, and ye shall find my friend

We weren’t feeling too hot over the xmas and new year period as another damn cold/flu struck, but as the garden was looking a bit on the neglected side an hour or so had to be designated to a bit of outdoor tidying up. This one was for the bed next to the garage that  earlier this year contained tomatoes, sweet peas and dahlias amongst other things (past posts about said plants in all their glory are in the links).

We dug up all the dahlia tubers carefully (some of them are the size of big spuds!) which are now drying out under the stairs even though last year we took a chance and left them in and they did wonderful this summer (post here). More on lifting the tubers here.

We even replanted a silver birch (one we found a couple of years ago in a Tesco’s bag with a note that said “Take me” on it outside a house locally see post here) that was originally by the pond but hopefully it will do better at the end of the bed. We’ll be probably moving it again as it’s so near the old garage wall but let’s see.

And as protection from forthcoming cold weather we stuck one of the plastic mini-cloches from another find, which followed the same pattern as before; left outside a house with a note with “Take me” on it (post here) over the Foxtail Lily that’s started to sprout a bit prematurely.

So wrap up warm, happy gardening and keep em peeled as Shaw Taylor used to say.

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

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).

Cork it Kojak, cork it

mc-demijohnToday a chap collected some demijohns that were finally put on ebay last weekend after throwing in the wine-making towel a few years ago. There were more failures than successes making vino, including once ending up going to bed early one Saturday evening feeling “well woozy” after a bottle of white wine made from a Boot’s kit. The attempt at making mead using cheap honey procured off a man who sold unfridgerated ham, cheese and european varieties of sweets you’ve never heard of in a market in Farringdon ended up “displaying a intense battery acid type flavour” and was duly tipped down the sink cleaning the U-bend out in the process. Sometimes you have to let go of things.hidden-chitting-and-propagatorOn a happier note it’s mid-way through February and there’s a little bit of gardening action at Weeds HQ. More seeds have been procured from Shannon’s today (sweet pea and night scented stock) and there’s spuds chitting underneath a table. The plastic plant propagator in the back room has a few pots with peppers and tomatoes in them and after listening to a tip from Christine Walkden on Gardeners Question Time the other week some foil was stuck on the back of the propagator to reflect any light so the seedlings don’t automatically lean towards the window and hopefully don’t grow on the leggy side. Roll on spring!

 

Songs to sow seeds to

Songs to sow seeds to-March

Here’s a nice collection of tunes to accompany your seed sowing this month. It’s an excellent mix tape from Chronixx and Federation Sound as mentioned on the great David Rodigan show the other week.

It features some well known chronixx tracks over some classic rhythm tracks like jah jah jahovah, king tubby meets the rockers uptown, cuss cuss, monkey man, joyride and much much more!

This month is a funny one for seed sowing as it’s still not warm enough to sow everything outdoors but you can give some carrots, beetroot, kale, broad beans, leeks, parsnips, spinach and turnips a go if it’s not too cold. I sowed a row each of beetroot, carrots, lettuce and spinach the other day, if they don’t work, they don’t work and it’s only a couple of rows of seeds wasted.

You can always start these indoors this month: aubergines, herbs including basil and the like, brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, chilli peppers, sweet peppers and tomatoes and what about starting a pot of salad leaves on the windowsill.

It’s still a bit early for spuds but in a couple of weeks time it will be and the gardening season will get underway and we won’t know what’s hit us!

STOP PRESS: Cheers to our mate Ciarán in Canada for sending us a pic of his advocado from seed (and some find looking sage in the background) that have grown all the way through their mild winter. How good is that? avocado