dirtyhoes

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

Friday, May 19, 2006

(initially posted on my blog by mistake. Whoops)

After hearing excited tales about planting cabbages in collars (which conjures up some interesting images, but is far more mundane than it could be!) I headed off to the garden during my free(ish) lesson this afternoon. Suddenly the garden has been transformed from empty soil to heaving beds in a matter of weeks. Everything seems to be looking ok, apart from one or two broad beans (slugged), one garlic (stunted and probably dead) and the blackcurrants, which have some leaves that are sporting a slightly worrying raised brown patch. I don't think it's Big Bud, but I've not been able to find pictures to be sure, so any blackcurrant experts out there, please help!

In addition to planting more veg than you can shake the proverbial stick at*, Rob and I built a proper fruit cage over the blackcurrants and the gooseberry bush. Girly-guidey square lashing seems to have come in useful, for once! The only problem with all this gardening is that I want to harvest the stuff NOW. NOW, I tell you. Harrumph.

* This sentence is a contender for the Crap Subclause Award 2006.

They're here!

And not in a creepy poltergeist sort of way!!

Having asked our lovely post man to put any packages which don't fit in our letter box in the coal bunker, Jerome and I have installed a rather impressive gate. So Mr Postman in his infinite wisdom dropped the packets over the gate rather than taking them back to base. Imagine my surprise when I opened said packets to find a liberal sprinkling of soil with small plants hidden within! Not too impressed I can tell you.

Anyway, it would appear that all the plants were fine and Rob and I set about the task of planting all the little greenish! 40 green cabbages! Yes 40 went in the ground with little trouble. 12 red cabbages were a little tricky as space is now at a premium! We are going to have to think really carefully about where the broccoli is going! whoops, too many little plants!

The Vicar has decided to help us in our gardening and has spread a good amount of grass clippings all over our plot. When I first arrived at the garden I was a little upset, but then calmed down and decided to imagine it was infact a very helpful gesture, helping us to mulch the plot in order to prevent weeds!! He came to have a chat whilst we were planting, which was nice!

hmmmm where to put the broccoli....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Into the ground

Things wot we have actually planted in the soil:

Potatoes (Valour and Pink Fir Apple)


Onions (red and white)


Broad beans (Express and something else)


Carrots (eskimo and parano - I think)


Things wot are waiting for the proper soil:

Tomatoes


Peas


Things wot were growing in the soil but shouldn't have been:

Potatoes, growing in the legume bed, that definitely weren't planted by us!

A Tale of Two Compost Heaps

When we took over the garde, we inherited two piles of what can only loosely be described as compost. A couple of weeks ago, Julia and I did some compost redistribution (which is like income redistribution but more crumbly) and emptied the useable compost out of one of the heaps. Last weekend was the turn of the second heap. The evil grass-slime was both grassy and slimy, and looked like this:



By the time Rob and I had finished with it, having moved it from heap two to heap one and added plenty of shredded newspaper and compost activator, it looked more like this:





It's now covered up and starting to heat up nicely, so hopefully we've made something useful from the slime.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Summer's Here!

Today has been really warm and morale is high, so time for a quick update on work done in the last few weeks. The potatoes are all in, giving much trickiness deciding whether to plant the Pink Fir Apples horizontally or vertically! Some broad beans have been planted and the rest of the broad bean area is ready for planting. All the onions are in and the carrots are nearly all in as well. Canes have been purchased for building a fruit cage for the soft fruits, space prepared for the grow bags and clear plastic purchased for making some temporary greenhouses for the tomatoes.

Many chitted potatoes are left over and our experiment to protect the carrots was followed by the warmest day of the year but luckily they were checked today and there is no singing! (how do you spell that anyway? sindging?)

The Repton village show is confirmed as the 2nd of September (as is Newton Solney), so Rob has purhased some "super seed" and is calculating to the exact %age of sand/compost mix he needs for growing his champion carrots and winning the inaugural Dirty Hoe cup!


Rob has also rebuilt the compost bins and they now look really good after the dumping of the first batch of chicken dung from the Pastures!


All that remains is for the planting of fennel and turnips and we're really in business ;o)

....and maybe the odd cabbage...

...I suppose....