Friday, February 25, 2011

Febury in the Garden

I had not expected to have been able to do much work in the garden this month as I have a VERY busy schedule at uni at the moment. We are doing what are classed as "short fat" courses because of the way they apear on our timetables as a 3 week long block of lectures lasting all day every day. Or it is possible for them to be that lecture intensive... Luckily mine have not been 9-6 every day and have given time for us to do their assignments fairly easily. 

Anyways enough about lectures. I have managed to get out in the garden a little this month as my photos of spring appearing proved, but this time I actually managed to do some garden work. 

In the second week I planted some seeds and used the space under our stairs to germinate them as it is usually nice and warm in there. 
I planted some tomato seeds bought from Thompson & Morgan and placed them where it was nice and warm, on top of the radiator covered in a plastic bag (as it said to on the packet) and I only got two rather sickly seedlings pop their heads up. 
On the other hand my butter nut squash seeds which were taken from inside a squash I cooked for dinner last year have come up brilliantly. There was possibly one seed which didn't produce a seedling and two are a little weaker than the rest but all in all I am very happy with these seeds :D
In addition to this I planted some mixed salad seeds in a planter to be able to have some fresh home grown produce soon.

A week on and the Butter nut seedlings needed potting on so my collection of sauce pots and bottoms of milk cartons finally had a chance to shine and became a selection of small containers (after having poked holes in the base of them). 
I also found a plastic 'greenhouse' in town for a fiver so decided I would have to try this out and see if it worked or not. It is a similar size and shape to a traditional cold frame with a zip opening at the top to be able to put the plants in and then close up again. I have decided to put this on the roof area that I use to pot up plants because it has a much higher chance of getting enough sunlight to heat up during the day here. After being up for one day I ventured outside this evening after uni and found that it had blown over, unsurprisingly since I did not fix it down at all. It now has two bricks to hold it in place and we will see how this works shortly I expect. 

I have placed the salad container and most of the butter nut seedlings under the protection of this device, but have kept a few in the kitchen incase it doesn't work. 

Today I actually did some physical work in the garden by de-weeding and de-creepering  the bed I plan to try and use for veg. 

Here is a basic drawing of the bed in question. I will point out that it says newly FORKED bed and not anything else which it may be read as... 
This bed has been left from when I moved in to see what would come up over the year and not much did, there was the odd plant in the front of the bed, otherwise this section was bare. 
The back of the bed contains a Jasmin and a few other unknown (at least to me) plants and a very strange rock feature (pile). The very left of the front section of the bed has quite substantial ivy covering with a well established tree so I have limited the edge of the soon to be veg plot to where the tree is situated. 
Today I dug this over and removed all the ivy and Jasmine creepers along with a large number of stones! I was very heartened to see a large number of worms in this bed considering how little has been growing there. I also mixed two bags of soil, which have come from my nans garden, into the bed to raise the soil level. 

Now all I have to do is to wait and see if I have the same level of success with the second set of squash seeds and see if the plants survive the 'greenhouse' experiment... 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spring Continued

So today when I was supposed to be getting ready to go to uni I might possibly have got distracted by the thought of what would be out in my garden at the moment. Since my sister got back from her weekend in London and so has returned my camera I thought I would take it out and see what I could find.

The first signs of spring in my bulb pot :D

With an additional burst of spring colour being added by some of the plants...

Although the slugs are trying to make a good go at reducing the display of this one...

Also the plants which got pruned rather aggressively are beginning to show new spring growth which is good as they were already established in the garden when I got it so it seems a shame to remove them now.

Although I do have to say the most exciting discovery that I have made today was this evening when I looked closely at my chilli plant that I have been 'overwintering' on the landing 'shelf' (there is no other way to describe it, technically it is a window sill but the window is much higher than the sill and stained glass so it doesn't get a huge amount of natural light). 
I have never over wintered a Chilli before and did not cut the foliage down on this one as it still seemed to be giving a good display and it seemed a shame to waste that as they are nice looking plants in themselves. 

But here it is the first sign of new growth for this year :D Ta Da...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Well today was the first (semi) proactive step towards getting the garden developed this year and it unfortunately resulted in me spending money on plants and seeds for the garden. This might sound a little silly considering that I don't actually have anywhere in the garden that is ready to take them. But I am hoping that knowing that I have spent money on stuff to go in the garden will mean that I actually work at getting it ready for them to go in.

Most of what I bought was in seed form so this will give me some time to sort the garden before they are ready to be put in the ground. Currently the 'Herb Garden' section is the closest to being ready. It just needs to have some additional good compost mixed in with the existing soil and divided down the centre by a 'footpath' of some kind. This footpath is not going to lead anywhere but will be there to enable me to reach the back of the bed to extract herbs for cooking :D
This is one of the parts of the garden I am looking forward to the most. I do have a large selection at the moment but am looking to expand it this year.

I am still waiting for my daffodil bulbs to do more than just peak above the surface of their pot but have a few flowers to keep me going in the house. I picked up this lovely lilly from an impromptu IKEA trip the other day to help by boyfriend to get furniture for his new house and decided that the colour looked lovely and I would see if it could brighten up the dreary weather that we are currently experiencing.
Currently I am sat attempting to do work for my dissertation and the paleoclimate module I have currently but its all I can do to stop my mind wandering to planning the garden. Which is annoying since I am trying to limit the amount of planning I am doing till I actually get out into the garden and start on the bed to have a place to put all my plans into action!
So on that note I will leave and hopefully return after having hit my garden properly for the first time this year!