Thursday, 31 May 2012

Gardening at Warp Speed!

 As you know, I've whinged endessly about our wet summer, autumn and cold spring.  So now that finally the sun is out and the temperatures are up, I have to start moving pretty fast.  We've been clearing the beds at warp speed and starting to plant almost immediately afterwards.  I bought some bedding plants for around my house at the weekend and picked up a couple of allotment plants as well.  Here are some bell peppers, which did surprisingly well last year despite our atrocious summer, so I bought a couple more and put them in the left over space at the end of the runner bean bed.  It's the first time in years I've planted runner beans directly into the soil, but it's warm enough now, so they went in a trench with horse manure at the bottom.
The potatoes, which suffered badly with the early frosts, have now recovered and doubled in size in a few days.  Since I took this photo they've doubled again, no doubt will put on more growth this weekend following today's rain.  I'll give them some more potato fertiliser this weekend.
Another purchase from the garden centre - 8 tomato plants, dwarf size as they do better at my latitude.  The ones at the front are Tumbler and they're already flowering.  The other 4 are Totem, I've grown both of these before successfully.  The advantage of getting plants grown by others is they are way ahead of anything I can do myself, grown under heated lamps.  It makes all the difference in our short growing season.
The garlic is doing particularly well although it does need weeding!  They're all the thickness of pencils now so I'm looking forward to another good crop, we're still eating last year's crop, which has kept very well.  In the last few days we've planted spinach, chard, courgettes, parsnip, cabbage, lettuce, spring onions, herbs and beetroot, in advance of today's rain, so we're moving on fast now.
Outside the house my pots are now looking less sparse.  I have three colours of poppies along here - blue, red (oriental) and the local wild yellow variety which seeds itself all over the place.  The daffodils and narcissi are now over (you can see a large pot of them behind the hosta) and in order to spare myself the sight of empty pots over the summer, I have planted nasturtium Tom Thumb in each daffodil/narcissus pot.  This will take over as the foliage dies back.
A final poscript on my starlings.  Three chicks were coaxed out of the nest last Thursday, though one decided he didn't like the outside world too much so headed back indoors on and off all day.  The other two were a little braver and balanced precariously on the telephone wires outside for a while.  But the next morning, at the insistence of their parents, the family was off into the fields.  I saw a small flock of starlings in the pastures nearby yesterday so I expect they're all there now!

So, for a very long holiday weekend, hope you manage to get lots of gardening done!
Post a Comment