Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The effects of wind and rain.....


Firstly, if you're visiting me via the Castle Bromwich Gardens blog - welcome! I hope you're not expecting me to talk any sense cos I'm not overly sure what I'm doing just yet, but you're more than welcome to have a look round :-)

I've finally managed to get back onto the allotment after a break of about a week because of the nasty weather. The intention was to show you my beautiful broccoli cage but the bad weather had other ideas and showed up my workmanship for exactly what it is - dismal! More of that later....

Right now I want to show you my potatoes! Woohoo! Look at them! They're HUGE!!! The pouring rain must have done them some good :-)

And some of them even have little flowers too :-)

All I've got to do now is figure out how to tell when they'll be ready to dig up - erm suggestions anyone???

So, too embarrassed to show you the state of my broccoli cage, I will at least show you the broccoli I've planted inside what's left of it :-) They're looking a little sorry for themselves at the mo. I think they're just grumpy cos I've moved them from their comfy pots. I hope they'll feel better once the water has soaked down to their roots.....

Feeling much the same are my pumpkins.... Now I suspect I've planted these too close together but I had serious trouble digging this bit of ground and these are the only places I could get holes big enough for them. Although Paul usually does most of the digging, I have done some and I tell you, I have never had so much trouble getting through it. I eventually dug up huge lumps of earth as solid as rock. I tried to break them apart with my various tools but it was seriously hard work. I think I quite disturbed the usually peaceful allotments today!

My runner beans have enjoyed the rain and are doing really well although you can probably tell I need to do a little weeding here :-) The weeds also like the rain.....

I've got my first flower growing on my peas - awww, so pretty!

And then my very kind allotment neighbour had left me some french bean seedlings to say thankyou for the seed potatoes I gave him a couple of weeks ago - I love this sharing stuff thing. Everyone's so friendly!

I made another wigwam style structure for them to grow up because I seem to remember they don't grow as tall as runner beans. Is that right? On the other hand, it may just have been the variety I grew last year....!

Some of my onions have finally made it out of the greenhouse and into the allotment. These are in George's patch which isn't looking too good at the mo. When I left it last there were the beginnings of beetroot and spring onions but some greedy little thing has decided to nibble them before they got a chance to get started :-( If needs be I'll replace them with some beetroot and leeks from the greenhouse.

So this is pretty much what my allotment looks like at the mo. You can just about make out the amazing collapsable broccoli cage in the top left corner, even though I tried to keep it out of shot :-) I have to say, a few hiccups aside, I'm really quite pleased with what we've achieved in such a short space of time.

And a very quick greenhouse update..... I have some colour on one strawberry!!!! It won't be long now before they're all juicey and delicious :-) I must remember to take a photo of them all before I (I mean we) eat them :-)

And my baby tomato is getting bigger (there are a few others dotted about too now!)

This is what my indoor pumpkin looks like - much happier and healthier than the ones I've just planted on the allotment!

And my teeny, weeny leek seedlings. I sowed these seeds a bit late so I hope there's still time for them to grow properly!

Right, I'd better be off! See you again soon!

Love 'n' hugs,

Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Greenhouse Update.....


Horrible, horrible weather today so no allotment for me..... At least my plants won't need watering :-) I thought I'd share with you the progress of some of the things I've got growing in my greenhouse....

These are my pumpkins. I'm hoping I might be able to get at least one that's big enough for carving this year. Something ate mine last year - and it wasn't me!!! These will be going to the allotment soon.

I've kept one of them in a big pot in the greenhouse. Not sure how it will do for space in there but we'll see!

More veg destined for the allotment: This is my broccoli. I've built some sort of a structure (that looks nothing like it did in my head! Piccies soon....) to keep them safe when I move them to the allotment, hopefully next week....

Some onions.....

And a bit of beetroot.... The seeds I've sown at the allotment haven't been doing too well - something's been nibbling the leaves :-( 

And then a pepper plant I'm going to keep in the greenhouse..... The pepper seedlings I bought earlier in the year died (frost, I think) but this one is grown from seed.....

My tomatoes will be staying in the comfort of the greenhouse.... Very happy with how they're growing. I love the smell. Reminds me of when my Grandad grew them when I was little :-)

Lots of hopeful little flowers.....

.....and one almost tomato :-) Woohoo!

And then my current pride and joy - my strawberries! Still green at the mo, but soon......

I've got a few people visiting me now who have proper allotments and know what they're doing so if you're one of those people and you see that I'm doing something silly or missing something completely, pleeeeeeease tell me! I would really appreciate your advice :-)


Love 'n' hugs,

Saturday, 21 May 2011

It's starting to look like a REAL allotment.....

Look! Earthed up potatoes! Just like the other plots :-) My allotment is finally growing up and not looking as much like a newbie as it was.... I'm really chuffed! In the top-left corner you can see some of my neighbour's plot (I say neighbour, but she hasn't been since she was given the plot in March!) - it's a nice reminder of how far we've come in such a short time....

My runner beans are doing very nicely, thankyou.... A bit of protection from various creatures with my sections of pop bottles until they get too big - this is one of three plants I started in the greenhouse:

And my peas are doing well too! The seedlings are about this size at nearly every point I planted them. Big smiles :-)

And these are the twiggy sticks I promised I'd show you last time. Quite small scale but I'm running out of room to work with! I haven't planted any peas here yet. I still seem to spend more of my time weeding than anything else! Nevermind - I find it quite relaxing :-)

Things to come: I really ought to give you all an update on my greenhouse goodies - tomatoes and strawberries are doing very well (how exciting!) and I need to build something to put my broccoli under. I've got the bits and pieces I think I'll need, I just need a bit of time and a car that's bigger than mine..... :-) And then there's George's veggie patch. It's started showing signs of life (and not all of it is weeds!) so I'll get some piccies of that to show you too.... In the meantime, fingers crossed for more sun and just a bit of rain - that watering can is getting heavy!!!!

Love 'n' hugs,

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

I've been building stuff.....


Don't my piccies look nice 'n' sunny :-) Needless to say, these were taken last week before the mega thunderstorms and downpours that scared the living daylights out of me and had me checking the oak tree at the bottom of the garden was still ok at 2am! From the window, of course!

Can you just about make out my bean supporting structure??? It'll show up much better in my piccies when it's all covered in gorgeous greenery :-) Fingers crossed!

Here's a close up of my pea wigwam that you can see just beyond my bean structure... I spent ages threading the netting onto the canes and then "sewing" it in place with string..... I'm experimenting. Will they grow better up this thing or the twiggy sticks I managed to find? Photos of them next time!

I've covered all my pea and bean seeds with sections cut from 2 litre pop bottles to try and protect them from any sort of wildlife which might want them.... I know there's stuff out there. Something nibbles through my string every time my back's turned. And I found about a third of a rabbit buried on my plot (not nice!) when I was planting my potatoes. Whatever it was came back for the rabbit and dug up some of my spuds :-( I replanted them but it happened again so now I've just left a hole there as if to say "Look! No rabbit!"

Now left to their own devices, my potatoes are coming along quite nicely. I must earth them up but I get so carried away weeding whenever I visit. I lost my favourite weeding tool. I may have planted it :-) I've searched and searched but no luck. Maybe the wildlife wanted that too? I've bought a new one which I'm considering painting bright orange so I don't lose it!

Right, I'm off.... Thanks for looking!

Love 'n' hugs,

Sunday, 1 May 2011

I've got green stuff!

WARNING: A picture-happy post.... I got a bit excited :-)

Firstly, my allotment as it looked a few days ago with George's veggie patch at the front, my new woodchip path and some more potatoes and carrots planted just beyond it:

And this is the left-hand side where I'd planted all my potatoes a few weeks ago:

And this is most definitely a potato plant - woohoo! I've got green stuff :-) Not just one of them either - there's loads popping up :-)

Then I finally got round to taking some piccies of my greenhouse goodies. Well, I say greenhouse.... It's one of those PVC covered walk in thingies - you know the ones? These are my onion seedlings :-)

And this is my one and only pea seedling - only 1 out of 6 has made an appearance so far - what's all that about???

These are pumpkin seedlings! George loves these - they've grown HUGE! I'm not sure I'll plant them all out - might not have enough room :-)

My runner beans - I'm off to buy canes this afternoon to make some sort of structure to support them. I've seen other people's... I think I know what I'm doing :-)

And then strawberry plant 1....

And strawberry plant 2 - both with oodles of pretty flowers :-)

Tomato plant 1:

And tomato plant 2 - there are a few flowers but too small to photograph yet.... I've pinched out the side shoots. I think that's right. And I'm started with the tomato food now. Fingers crossed!!!!

So very excited! Love this gardening malarky :-)

Gotta go - my Sunday roast is nearly done and I'm starving - can't wait till I'm serving up my very own veggies with it :-)

Love 'n' hugs,