Tag Archives: swiss chard

More Sowin’ and Plantin’

The weather has been a bit variable with showers and some sunny periods so it’s been a bit of a lottery whether I’ve been able to do much in the garden.

However, have managed a few jobs in the flower and vegetable areas.

First, the flower beds – I’ve had a dozen or so osteospermum plants in pots over the winter and I finally managed to get them all planted scattered around the beds.

I took the risk and went to my local garden centre last week as well, always a dangerous thing to do as I inevitably come away with more than I intended. So it proved, though in a relatively restrained way. My objective was to get a couple of Clematis plants for a container that lives at the front of the house. Only one of the plants had survived the winter and that was a plant that was rather disappointing. So two I found two plants – a red flowering and a white flowering plants, both of which might have two flower flushes in the year. They are in the container now and growing well. The old Clematis has been taken out and planted next to the arch that divides the flower area from the vegetables – I needed another climber there so it will be useful.

However, I was distracted at the garden centre by seeing a Dicentra plant – now I’ve tried several times to get Dicentra to flourish in the garden but they only seem to last a couple of years at best – so we’ll see. It’s already planted and seems ok so far.

On the way to the cash desk I passed a stand with trays of brassicas and salad plant – and was intrigued by a tray of a dozen mixed type of cauliflower seedlings. I’ve never had too much success with brassicas in general but haven’t tried cauliflower seriously before so I bought the tray – and they nicely filled one of the raised beds. I think they are hanging on….

Cauliflower seedlings – the CDs are to scare off the pigeons!

The bed with the cloches over (2) is intended for salad cops and I planted a part row longways of ‘Leaf Salad’ (mixed lettuce) under one cloche and a similar row of Swiss Chard (Bright Lights) under the other cloche. I’ll hopefully add more of the rows in a month or so to extend the cropping. Once the cloches come off I should able to plant more salad crops. At least the cloches will keep the birds off for now.

No sign of any of the mangetout peas planted in bed 6 yet, and I’ve planted up a couple of pots in the greenhouse in one of the propagators with ‘Oregon Sugar Pod’ peas as a backup.

In the propagators the flower seeds planted a couple of weeks ago (malop & cosmos) are germinating now and in the same propagator there are more tomato seedlings through (‘Jon Rainbow Blend’ & ‘Marmande’). Also in another propagator some Kale I Planted a couple of weeks ago are now just appearing.

Tomato seedlings and more

 

Kale – just coming through

Still on the kitchen windowsill are the pots of tomato seedlings (still only 3 seedlings – 2 Zuchero & 1 Gardeners Delight), peppers (none yet) and chives (most germinated). Also in a seed tray by a window is a half tray of Marigold and Nicotiana flowers for the flower beds. One cucumber seed has germinated as well on the windowsill.

Still a few overwintered perennials to plant out – mostly Doronicum and a few spring flowering plants as well but it’s beginning to get under control. The main plants to get into the ground are the broad bean seedlings – looking very much ready now.

Broad bean seedlings ready to go in

Just to show spring is here – here is a picture of one of the Kerria plant – it is actually in the veg area as well…

Kerria coming into full bloom

Wildlife

Nothing much different, the Robins still appear if \i’m doing any work on raised beds. The great tits, dunnocks etc. still visiting the feeders and fortunately no squirrels have appeared  – yet.

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Weather Fine – been Plantin’ & Sowin’

A couple of days over the Easter period has seen me in a relative frenzy of activity in the garden as the weather has been pretty good (about 20degC max to day for instance). In fact so sunny it has been pretty uncomfortable in the greenhouse in the middle of the day.

So over the Easter weekend I sowed a couple more cucumber seeds, the previously sowed seedlings are now producing proper leaves in their pots now, but I want to have some ‘spare’ plants – it will probably mean a glut of cucumber though….

Cucumber seedlings

Cucumber seedlings

Other seeds sown inside were – sweet basil (some old seed which may not germinate , so its a test really), and some small sunflowers from a pack of different sunflower varieties I found the other day.

Outside I sowed a row of pak choi (next to the turnip row), and next to that a row of swiss chard. In the furthest bed away from the house I put in a couple of rows of rooster’ potatoes and a row of ‘maya gold’ (both varieties left from last year and sprouting nicely).

The mangetout peas had been outside for a day or so and I planted them in the bed nearest the greenhouse in a double row lengthwise and the aguadulce broad beans that were ready in the beds with rows of beans already.

Yesterday I planted a couple of pots of climbing beans (‘fasold’ – a variety I haven’t tried before). I probably plant some more when I see how they get on. Today, a couple of pots of chilli pepper seeds (;peruvian lemon drop’).

Meanwhile the tomato seedlings are coming on fine:

Pomodoro seedlings

Pomodoro seedlings

 

Outside today – a row of ‘lollo rosso’ lettuce (alongside the chard row). Also, I’ put another set of ‘aguadulce’ beans outside ready to plant out. Some of the existing bean plants are in flower already!

broad_bean_plants

 

In flower!

In flower!

The big job today though was pruning the holly hedge on the RH side (looking down from the house) – that hedge is more a collection of holly trees than a normal hedge – but needs the branches trimming to reduce the shading of the beds below. I recently acquired a ‘branch lopper’ which is adjustable in length, so I could lop branches much higher than I have been able to reach before, which was handy. I also had a go at the yew tree at the bottom of the garden, which has rather gone mad over the last few years and cut back a load of branches. This had the side effect of providing me with a number of ‘canes’ that I can use as supports (yew wood doesn’t rot in the ground easily) so was a worthwhile exercise.

Wildlife

Well you could tell it was warm today, I saw two peacock, a sulphur yellow and maybe a cabbage white butterflies – amazing. Also, the trail cam a the bottom of the garden revealed a hedgehog wandering through overnight a couple of days ago (as well as a couple of different cats!), Bumble bees and ‘bee-flies’ were also around today.

peacock_bfly

Peacock Butterfly

 

Birds, however, haven’t been that exciting. The great and blue tits visit the sinflower seed feeder regularly and blackbirds have been squabbling over territory plus the robins have been around (especially when I’m out gardening). Apart from that not really much going on.