dirtyhoes

Idiosyncratic veg growing in the vicar's garden AND in an allotment in the village. A "how not to" guide...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hurrah for over-caution!

Last Thursday (or it might have been Friday, the days have merged into each other) Julia and I did a bit more digging, a bit more composty-moving-around, and a lot of planting. We now have holes dug, filled and ready for courgettes, squashes and pumpkins, as seen here:



We also edged the sweetcorn bed with lots of the housebricks lying around the garden. It may be superficial but it pleased me:



We had a big debate about planting the potatoes, but in the end decided not to. Given the amount of frost that's happened over the last couple of days, we've been lucky! We did, however, plant the onions. We had a bit of a debate over an onion set's ability to withstand frost, but then Julia found a bit in a book that said "if the frost pushes the set out of the ground, just push it back in" so we assumed that frost didn't really matter in the onion-growing world. We got down on our knees and started planting. As an experiment, we're trying some companion planting, so the rows go as follows: white onion; carrot; red onion; carrot; white onion; carrot; and so on. Some of the onion sets are spaced at 4" and some at 3" - we're trying to see what impact spacing has on size and yield. Can you tell that Julia's a scientist?!

It feels much better to have things in the ground - apart from the garlic we've started everything in seed trays, modules, drainpipes or pots - and it will be even better when the little onions start to sprout. Are they nearly ready to harvest yet?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Oh my word they're triffids!!

In the words of my wise father, 'spring is sprung, the grass is ris' I wonder where the birdies is? The little birds is on the wing, that's absurd the little wings is on the bird'! Couldn't have put it better.
I bottled out of gardening today as Mad was injecting hard core vaccination drugs, and both boys were at work, boo hiss. So instead I headed off to Stoke to see my Mum and Dad! I asked Mum to look after the little seedlings last week when we were away. Only the Lord above knows what she has done to them! She obviously has the greenest of green fingers! Mum transplanted the little (about 5cm high) tomato seedlings into bigger pots and they have turned into TRIFFIDS!! No word of a lie those tomato plants are the size of your head!! I suspect that she killed our ones and has replaced them with small tomato trees!!

Really glad we didn't plant the potatoes yesterday, there was a rather heavy frost last night.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Spring is sprung

As the days have got longer and warmer, the time to head back to the plot has arrived. Julia and I did a couple of hours faffing today, tackling the compost heap in particular. When we took over the garden, this was the compost heap:



The nearest compartment is full of decent crumbly composty-goodness, but the farther compartment is devil-spawn grass-slime. To get the latter to the state of the former would take work, careful adding of suitable 'brown' carbons, and a bit of space. Today we created that space by digging out the decent compost and using it to mulch the raspberries and to add organic material to another couple of beds. In terms of compost grass-spawn-slime, there's still hard work and carbons needed, but what we did today looks pretty damn good, if we do say so ourselves:

Once our flabby muscles gave up, whinging from the hard work, we headed off to Julia's house to do some plantin'. Very exciting it was, and included broad beans, peas, beetroot, carrots, sweetcorn, perpetual spinach, swiss chard and a couple of 'cut and come again' salad leaf mixes. After planting them, we gave them a good couple of hours (while we drank tea, ate cakey-buns, and watched some Hugh on DVD) but there was no evidence of germination. Pah. How frustrating can this gardening mallarky be?!

Photos, as ever, here.