Thursday, 28 June 2012

While I do nothing, nature grows

As promised I have been out and taken pictures of everything that is growing. Things are looking very fruitful.

So, without any further ado, please see below.

The Thyme



Sadly, the Rosemary started to break through, but didn't shed it's seed wrapper and I didn't spot it in time to try and save it.

Flowers on the shop bought Thai Corriander (I think it's that anyway)

The peppers, still in small pots inside (probably ready for upgrading soon)

Indoor chilli plants; the ones outdoors are rather less impressive looking!

Indoor tomato plants; these are growing very impressively and have flowers on them already

One of the hanging basket tomato plants, sadly the main trunk appears quite badly damaged, following the storms of the last few weeks

The other tomato plant in the same hanging basket as above. Looking much more healthy.

Herb garden, looking slightly battered from the storms, but still fruitful. The parsley was thinned in a drastic manner by hillbilly. In the background are lots more tomato plants, all of them more squat with very thick trunks having survived the weather.

Apples :) in total there are 16 fruits on the tree

Stuttgarter Giant Onions

Karmen Red Onions

Red Sun Shallots (with major weeding required behind the plot)

Casablanca Garlic

A healthy looking row of parsnips

The single surviving tomato plant

Cabbages growing well under netting

Lettuces looking promising too

The main bed potatoes, in need of earthing up AGAIN

A potato flower; I didn't even know they had flowers!

Last but not least the sweetcorn bed.

So there you have it, not much difference to the last time I updated, but it is still interesting to see how things are growing.

Plenty of weeding is required over the weekend, with clearing behind the beds almost as important as picking out the invaders which are springing up faster and faster all the time.

Thanks for the comments and interaction via twitter and facebook; I do love just how many people out there are attempting to grow their own and are sharing their experiences to assist other people.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Tomato Flowers (and maintenance)

I've been a bit lax on this blog recently as the motivation to do it has been lacking due to things happening in my life...

But I have still been doing bits and bobs around the garden and maintaining the plants (which are growing well).

I'll try and get a full photo shoot done this evening (if it isn't pissing it down) and update later with how everything is coming on, but this post is a quick update about the tomato plants.

They FINALLY have flowers!

The plants outside are behind the ones inside (obviously) so this post is entirely about the inside plants.

There are about 10-15 of these flowers now across the 4 plants that have them showing :)

Another thing that I have been doing is pruning the plants; removing the suckers that grow in the crooks between main trunk and branch.

You do this to keep the main trunk strong, avoid nutrients, water and sugar being diverted away from the fruits, and to stop the plant becoming "bushy".

Here is an example of a sucker that has grown on one of the plants.

I have pinched it off as close to the stem as possible.

This will now go into the compost.

I have had reports from some people who I gave plants to that they are seeing fruit developing already; how jealous am I! Fingers crossed the sun comes out and these plants accelerate again and produce a good crop of tasty tomatoes.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A ton of soil is a LOT of soil

The potatoes have, as previously described, been growing too fast for me to cover them up using soil dug out of other parts in my garden so I decided to get myself a ton of topsoil to sidestep the problem.

This was delivered yesterday and wow a ton of soil is a lot.

The soil ready for moving to the potatoes.

I bought this soil from Springbridge: the link is here. This was a VERY easy transaction, and their delivery driver dropped it off exactly where requested on the form, despite the fact I was at work when it was delivered.

So, with the soil delivered all I had to do was cart it down the garden to the potatoes.

It took six or seven loads of the wheelbarrow to cover everything to my satisfaction

The potatoes in the car tyres are doing really well, I'm now up to five tyres high!

This is the main bed potatoes, before I covered them...

... and this is after.

Now I have a little bit of very good advice: If I were to grow potatoes again I would do them ALL in the tyres (or the clever wooden frame linked elsewhere on this site) as it is proving a COMPLETE pain in the rear to earth up these main beds.  I have heard someone saying you can also grow the potatoes length ways, by leaning the plants over as you earth up; obviously most of my plants I can't do that with as they're planted closely together but that could be another option; plant each seed potato at the head of a defined trench (between retaining walls) and every now and then lean it over GENTLY and earth it over, guiding it down the prepared trench.

Anyone with any additional thoughts on this please do contribute :)

Finally, a few more pictures of flowers around the garden that I took this morning before leaving for work.

 A potato flower :)

 A rose - gorgeous
 The bush with the above rose on it

Blackberry blossom :)

right, enjoy :) that's my lunch time done with..

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The incredible therapy available through the simple expedient of Cutting the Grass

Last night, for the first time for a few weeks, I went out and cut the back lawn.

I was feeling really crap, really REALLY crap actually, but as I pushed the mower over the grass, watching the lengths of tidiness extending behind me, the simple pleasure of just achieving something, no matter how small, spread through me.

Tonight I will explore this by experimenting with the soothing nature of weeding; once again I have left my veg beds a little too long and I could see a fair amount of weeds encroaching when I cut the grass next to them.

I will try and take some pictures for you of the current progress (the cabbages were looking quite strong yesterday) but for today here are a couple of juicy specimens taking a load off on our pond side bench.

Where was my .22 when I needed it!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Clearing the front ditch, wild flowers, and tomato flowers

Sorry for the delay in blogging; life got in the way and there hasn't really been that much to report.

But I am back and I will be updating this a bit more regularly again as things start to happen in the garden.

So today's update has a couple of sections.

First of all, taken a few days ago, the first of the tomato flowers starting to develop:

The flowers are quite hard to spot, but are right in the middle of the picture below the new growth at the top of the plant :)

Secondly (and as an entry into the "I have worse weeding troubles than you" competition that I appear to be in with @izbrian) I have recently cleared the horrendous mess that the front ditch had become.

Before; there is a ditch with water in it somewhere down there...

During; I have been in the ditch in my wellies and pulled two wheelbarrows full of weeds out of the water.

After; grass cut, ditch much clearer and me feeling good about myself.

This little fella swam past me as I was clearing the ditch, not the only frog I saw while doing this either.

Finally a selection of photographs taken today of flowers around the front garden. These are all wild flowers, none cultivated by me at all. I just thought it was incredibly pretty so here they are for your pleasure (and don't even try and ask me what they are... if you know what they are then please let me know and I'll update to identify):

So, there you have it. What a pretty garden. I've given away a LOT of tomato plants to various people, and the ones I am keeping are all doing very well. The potatoes need more earthing up and I've run out of earth to "up" them with so that is something I need to solve very soon (one or two of the plants looking a little unwell as they've been exposed to the elements a bit too much)

I'll post again soon I promise.