Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Eat your heart out Cinderella

I am so excited. One of the original pumpkin plants not only has flowers but also a few teeny weeny pumpkins on it. No doubt some will fall off as it grows bigger, but it is most gratifying to see, especially in light of my previous pumpkin troubles.

I potted this plant up to its final pot which is about 30cm/12" wide and will be feeding it on a regular basis. I've never grown this variety before - Summer ball - but hopefully it will do as it says on the packet and I'll be able to harvest baby ones to use as courgettes. Just as well because my courgette/marrow plant is way behind, despite having sown all the seeds at the same time.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Brassicas Galore

I meant to do this post back on the 6th June but my pumpkin troubles took precedence.

Turned out quite well anyway, as I just compared the two photos of my transplanted brassicas - 1st taken on 6th June, 2nd taken yesterday - and I am really pleased with how much growth they've put on in just 12 days. Amazing what a little warmth and water will do.

If things go on this way, my concerns about the garden being too shady to grow decent crops will have been unwarranted and come the Autumn, I will be tucking into tenderstem broccoli, red and green cabbages.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Pumpkin Troubles

I was doing a little experiment growing a summer Pumpkin called Summer Ball (Sahara). I had planned to grow one in a container and one in the open ground to compare how each of them performed.

I was already having trouble with the one in the pot - not sure if it was snails, but something was chomping the leaves with one leaf completely gone. Then to make things worse, when I went out to see how they were doing yesterday, the one in the ground looked all limp and lifeless. On close inspection, I found the stem was completely severed.

I suppose a gust of wind could have just caught it and snaped it off, but it hasn't been windy and I would have though the top bit would have blown away, so I am resigned to the conclusion that something ate it through, even though there wasn't really any damage to the leaves.

Very disappointing.

I have re-sown 3 seeds directly in the ground in the hope they will germinate relatively quickly and catch up.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Training climbers

Things seem to be growing at aan alarming speed. So before they all got out of hand, I decided to start training my honeysuckle and clematis plants, both of which are in pots which I brought with me from my last place. At least these two don't seem to mind the lack of full sun.

They are both against a wooden fence next to each other - probably a bit too close if I'm honest. I did start them up canes, but they outgrew those in a matter of a couple of weeks so now I'm tying them to a very basic support I bodged together by hammering in nails at either end of the fence and tying string between them. Worked out fine and didn't take any time at all to put up. The hosta is also doing better than it has done for years.

I'm particularly pleased with the honeysuckle bought last October, which already has quite a few flowers ready to bloom. Looking forward to that wonderful scent.

Friday, 4 June 2010

1st Setback in new garden

I sowed some peas in a trough and was somewhat dismayed that not many germinated - only 3 in fact. I thought perhaps the seed was old but not to be put off, I put some more in the gaps and yesterday when I looked, a new one was popping up.

Today when I looked I was horrified to find a snail chomping on one of the larger seedlings.

In my other place where everything was grown in pots, I managed to get a relatively slug/snail free zone. I don't like using chemicals on my edibles, but did use pellets just around the pots so none of the nasty stuff got into the soil.

I did the same here but obviously, it hasn't worked too well. Now I know where all the other seedlings have gone. GREEDY SNAILS! This one even clung onto the bit it was feasting when I pulled it off.

There again, strangely, as you can see in the bottom picture, the trough with the lettuce hasn't been touched at all.

I was planning to train my clematis and honeysuckle later today which would mean having to move the pots so I'll put down some more pellets and keep my fingers crossed.

The other strange thing is, the seedlings in the proper garden bed don't seem to have been affected by slugs/snails at all and I certainly didn't put any pellets on that ground. There again, none of my parsnips have germinated so perhaps they started on them first.

I'll have to get some beer in and lay some traps. Slugs love beer so if you sink a container to soil level and almost fill it with beer they plop in and die a merry death. Looks gross though and you need a strong stomach when emptying the container.