Last Post 1180 days 9 hours ago
27 February 2010 08:08:33
Plans have all gone every way for work in the garden.First the weather,with the ground in a mess to work on,and now the 24 hour bug decided to call.Awake for most of the night,but managed to spend an hour or two looking through garden books.After lunch today the electrician was calling to work on connecting up power etc for me.I intended to have the final move made digging outside the tunnel door and having the place ready for that end of the job,but this minute i would not think so now.I did not get to reply to any journal,but will later.
25 February 2010 18:42:45
On the way back.
Another day with that nip in the air.Noticable especially,with not even the slightest sighting of the sun appearing.Time will be spent this evening working on the ground area,outside the tunnel door [under lights] for another section of pipe work.I managed to move out some of the trays from the seed room down to the tunnel [from 4 pm] and gave the trays a covering of bubble wrap.This will be removed in the morning.I have taken note of them in the tunnel book and will add them to my journal another evening.Some more potatoes have been brought in for chitting.All plans for tomorrow evening and the weekend will be to get another step closer to having light in the tunnel.The waterproof light fitting will be picked up tomorrow evening.
24 February 2010 19:58:55
Having picked up a little today temperature wise,a visit from rain left it back to another miserable day.No time was spent in the garden except for a few minutes at lunch time in the tunnel sorting out tubs for filling etc.This evening i managed to do some more jobs in the seed room by adding trays,and modules etc.Tomorrow evening for an about an hour or so,time will be there or longer if possible.Charts will be checked on for the vegetable garden later.
Off now to play the mid week card game and maybe lucky to win the price of some underground piping [delivered tomorrow evening] to supply the tunnel from another area of the garden.This will be buried at the weekend and the area refilled.The weather has not been to lucky,maybe the cards will.
24 February 2010 08:12:38
The weather this morning is still on the bad side with rain calling back again.Has not been the best of a week for gardening in the evening.Took my early morning check despite the poor weather down around the vegetable garden,just after 7am.Hope to spend about 20 minute s in the greenhouse at lunchtime today.
The GIY meeting went well last night.Talks at length,were done on growing seeds,the use of dibbers,modules etc .Groups were formed to chat about how to look after the vegetable garden.
23 February 2010 18:45:14
Plans for spending time in the greenhouse have changed a little this evening.The second GIY meeting will be on later and i will be attending it.Some more members from around the outskirts of town here will also be there.Later on i will fill in the rest of my journal at some stage [all going well].This evening here the weather was back to snow and sleet showers.Despite a nice stretch in the evenings,the weather stops outdoor vegetable garden jobs.
22 February 2010 21:46:52
Setting up time.
Not much time to get any outdoor work done in the vegetable garden this evening.Time was spent until dark in the tunnel.Clearing the table,setting up bins,and bringing in some tubs,window boxes etc.The main pass down the tunnel was given a sweep out.Tomorrow evening,time will be spent out in the main garden doing some more work on getting power to the tunnel.I had intended to spend time in the greenhouse this evening,but another time.Hopefully the weather wont be as bad as reports say.If it just stays cold,that will have to be put up with.Rain or snow will be another story.
22 February 2010 07:56:08
Not to much time spent in the vegetable garden yesterday.Spent an hour or so last night looking through seeds.Picked up a few more pkts yesterday to add to the others.Time will be spent in the garden as much as possible this evening.The greenhouse needs a visit.
21 February 2010 09:41:36
Room To Grow.
Room to grow in todays papers.Fantastic Range of Garden Equipment at LIDL this coming week.Room to grow bargains available Thursday 25th.Noticed the offers while collecting the Sunday papers.
21 February 2010 08:35:01
Its back,our friend the snow.Took a walk around the garden checking on some plans for during the coming week,and to see the snow return reminded me of winter all over again.Though the greenhouse gave a reading on +.5,the nip was in the air for sure..Plans for a short while in the veg garden have been dropped again.Some time will be spent in the tunnel,more or less to take a check on plans for the next move there.
20 February 2010 20:58:05
Keeping an eye on the job.
Started a right bit of a cold morning and did not improve to much throughout the day.The tunnel reading at 5 this evening was just a poor +1.Nothing to shout home about.Weather did not though,hold the plans up.The veg garden was avoided earlier,except for an hour or so in the tunnel.Time was spent working on getting the power to the tunnel lighting.The first section is complete and that was digging a section from the main garden to the tunnel.[Pictures added when job is complete].Hope to spend a few hours in the veg garden tomorrow,catching up on jobs there.
20 February 2010 10:04:41
The frosty sun.
Thats weather,we win some we lose some.Checking readings after 7 am and getting -4 leaves the mounting a little harder to climb.That wont last though and the sun will call back.Spent time in the tunnel from then,trying to arrange areas for seeds etc,for early starting there.For a couple of hours in the afternoon time will be spent digging a trench for some underground cable to supply the tunnel.Light will have to be there by this day week at the latest.The evenings are getting longer,which is great news for all gardeners.
19 February 2010 22:44:16
Just a note about crop rotation,one of the most important items to know.When planning your rotation you will have them in different ground each year.Doing crop rotation can be from 3 year etc up as far as 10 year or more.Here we do a 4 way rotation with one section and a 3 way with the other.The 3 way is perfect for the job.The way they rotate goes [R] Roots [carrots parsnips etc] will go to [O]Others [peas and beans etc] to [B] Brassicas [cabbages etc] I mentioned on a journal some time back about how i remember the 3 ways.They will go as ROB for first year BRO for second OBR for third and back to the start again with the fourth year.The heading for each group is in brackets in front of them.
Earlier this evening i had a little visit from some friends.Despite the weather,they wanted to see the tunnel.Young growers maybe.Hopefully they will be as interested in a few years.Family members all called to the house this evening for to attend our Late Fathers yearly mass [10 years] just a short distance away.Gardening was mentioned plenty of times later in the house.Around the table the craic was good.
18 February 2010 17:46:56
For the next couple of hours i will spend time in the tunnel finishing up working on the tubs along the left side and giving them a clean around.Fresh sand will be added to the ground.Time will also be spent out in the veg area doing some more cleaning around the place.Looks fine one time and upside down the next.All in gardening.At lunchtime earlier on today i managed to give a quick wash out to 4 of the hanging tubs that will be along with the legumes.Some lettuce,tomatoes,herbs etc will be in them.[Picture added later.]
17 February 2010 19:22:55
The new small raised bed.
No complaints about the weather today.Headed straight to the vegetable garden just after 4.30 this evening.I spent time putting together another small raised bed.Over the last few years i have grown lettuce,peas,cabbage,marigolds etc in both half sections of a disused crate.This evening i put both sides back together, cut out the complete top section and turned it into a 77cm long 47 cm wide by 30 cm deep bed.This will be allocated to the top section of the veg garden.The yellow part of the removed plastic inlet door will be dipped and used for draining flower pots etc.No plans for tomorrow evening as yet,but if all goes well time will be spent in the veg garden.If that fails then it will be to the greenhouse.[Pictures to be added.]
Off to play the midweek card game in a short while,and if the luck is anything as good as the weather has been,hopefully all will go well.
16 February 2010 21:20:35
This morning just after 6.30 i headed straight for the vegetable garden to spend a quick hour working in the tunnel.Finished off either side of the potato beds and at the end of the tunnel will have the roots [carrots beets etc] with a few brassicas [cabbages] in the top end.Legumes [peas] will also be there.All to work out to suit crop rotation.That side of the tunnel will be seperated into three areas.All tomato buckets are ready now and notes will be taken later in the week about planting carrots and some herbs in the lower section of the tubs.The tomatoes will all be in bottomless buckets in the centre of each tub to allow other carrots etc grow with them.In another area of the tunnel the cucumbers etc will be placed.Departed the tunnel just after 7.30 this morning and spent about 20 minutes there at lunchtime,sweeping out the place.
Some years back i picked up a bottle holder heading for a skip as i passed by,and since then has been used to hold trays,pots etc.Now it is set up to hold sand,especially during the summer and will be kept damp at all times in the greenhouse during that time.Some of the small trays that will need very special attention with watering during warm weather [we hope] will be kept there,until ready to be moved to the vegetable beds for later plantings.
15 February 2010 19:53:27
Potato beds in tunnel.
After a quick look around the garden this evening,it was straight to the polytunnel to spend more time where the some of the roots [carrot,parsnip,beetroot, etc] will be grown for this year.A section has also been set up for some early potatoes.The area used for the 3 potato beds,had the clay removed and a new layer added,along with some well rotted manure.Having spent an hour or so at the job yesterday,getting the ground ready etc,and from 4.30 this evening all is finished there.Time can be spent with the rest of the roots vegetable beds,with some evenings during the week.The tomato buckets need some finishing touches to have them ready in time for use in the tunnel also,and that will be on the plans.Some study will be done later about certain garden pests,their generations etc,and the trouble they cause in the garden.
14 February 2010 14:24:14
It is not real essential to earth up your home grown potatoes with this method,although the well known way like earthing up etc is preferred,and well liked all the same.The only need for the ground will be some digging over and then manuring in the Autumn.When the time comes for planting your tubers,cultivation time may be cut by planting the tubers individually along the rows with your trowel [without making a trench] and covering the rows with black plastic.This will be tucked into slits you will have made in the soil at both sides and ends.When the shoots start to grow and make little bumps in your plastic,then just make openings with a scissors similar to the plus sign to allow the small growing stalks come out.Your sheeting wild hold moisture,weeds,and keeps off the light from damaging them.Harvest your home grown potatoes by cutting and rolling back the plastic and also lifting them up with your hand fork.May be of some help to gardeners with not much time to spare.
13 February 2010 20:14:18
Tender young chits forming.
Just a little tip about when sowing your potatoes.When time arrives to enter them into the ground you will have been waiting and watching over them for about the last 5-6 weeks while the small chits have formed on them.It will be important as you sow them not to allow a heavy force of clay onto them when in the ground at first sowing.Those little chits will be quite tender and if they receive a sudden thump of clay you will break some of them [chits] and leave you waiting another period of weeks for them to appear above ground.To avoid damage just leave a little clay around and over the potato with your hand and this will break the force of the sudden bang from a full shovelfull of clay.Then you wont damage the chits on your potatoes.
13 February 2010 17:05:49
ALDI garden bargains.
On Thursday the 18th of February ALDI have plent of garden items for sale.From fruit trees,seeds,fruit and vegetable bulbs,Mediterranean plants,mini cold frame etc,to suit the gardeners.Noticed them in todays daily paper.Might be of some help.
13 February 2010 00:00:26
My Favourite part of the veg garden.
Another nice day to get any garden jobs done.Time was spent for about an hour just before 7am in the greenhouse.At lunchtime it was just time for a fast look around the vegetable garden to plan some jobs for later.Managed to do the final work on the first large vegetable bed between 4 until 5 30 with just having to do some final light raking etc there.A part of the brassica [cabbage etc]and some roots [carrots,beets etc] will be placed there in seperate areas.Feeding the beds will be done with general purpose fert about 2 weeks before sowing or planting.
From around 6 this evening it was off to my sisters suprise 50th birthday with all the family.Gardening was mentioned many times from,veg to flowers to herbs etc.All went well and the craic was good.
11 February 2010 22:46:28
Cucumber seedlings [Cucums sativus]
A nice day we have had earlier,with time spent in the greenhouse between 6.30 am and 7.30 this morning.Despite being a little cold then,it was not to noticable.Some more of the shelves were fitted with trays to use for pricking out veg seedlings at a later stage.Details on the daily paper about the bad weather returning before the end of this month changes the plans a little for the garden.As the tunnel will have gained between 4 and 6 weeks time compared to outdoor planting at this time of the year more seed trays will be added to it. Plans for tomorrow morning will be to spend an hour or so in the greenhouse just after 6.30 am.Thanks to lighting and being well wrapped up all will go well there,and hope to spend time in the vegetable garden as soon as possible tomorrow evening.
Had the first sighting of my white cucumbers [Cucums sativus] earlier in the week.[Thanks Liga].Time to spend an hour or so in the seed room and see how all is doing.Some veg seeds will be moved out to the greenhouse tomorrow evening.
10 February 2010 19:15:04
Carrot buckets in place.
What a lovely day we have had.A real touch of almost summer weather.Passing by some houses i could even hear the lawn mowers out.At first light this morning i rushed to the vegetable garden to take a look at what will be next on the move there.All eyes were on the carrot beds to increase the width of the holders for some of them.At lunchtime for app half an hour i managed to empty half of the large flower buckets used last year for brassicas [cabbage] From 5 this evening the remainder were done,to increase the space for growing carrots and to make the holders thicker.Now the buckets are in place and will be filled with,Chantenay Red Cored 2,Early Nantes,and down from them Beetroot [Boltardy].The front of the tunnel will have deeper carrot beds and will be looked at tomorrow evening.Off in a short while to see if i can win the price of some seeds etc at the usual Wednesday evening card game.
09 February 2010 20:20:58
At the sowing of the Peas [Pisum sativum] it is a good thing to remember that one of the most common mistakes that happen with them is sowing them to thick.The peas need about 2 inches apart,in order to get a good crop of nice large pods.A little note to remember being the poem about sowing them.1 for the mouse and 1 for the crow,1 to rot and 1 to grow.
It does not matter even if you lucky and have some left over after having already lost some and they need moving on to have the right distance between them.Get them planted elsewhere and they will grow for you all going well.
08 February 2010 20:25:12
Getting there,little by little.
Had the usual fast walk around the vegetable garden just before 7.30 this morning,and looked over a few plans for later.We had another good day with the weather,and despite being a little cool it was good for gardening.From 5 pm it was into the tunnel to prepare some more of the veg tubs that will be used with some fruits like tomatoes,cucumbers etc and along with the tomatoes some short-rooted carrots like Amsterdam Forcing will be used.Marigolds will also find place there.The buckets are in place up to about half way of the tunnel length and the remainder will be completed tomorrow evening.A tray of Red Baron onion sets was also started to add to the Stuttgarter Riesen sets.
07 February 2010 17:58:45
Come on nice weather.
Collected the usual Sunday papers before 8 am and then decided to have a walk around the garden.Not the best of weather to try and get something done for an hour or too today.A mist of rain started and as always weather came in first place.Quite cool also today.I played along with the weather and looked out the door at the lower end of the tunnel.Time was spent thinking and pondering about the summer sunshine,and what will be going on when the good weather arrives [We all hope] A lot of the place still needs a tidy up but over time all will get back on track.In the summer for example with a quick look at the garden first thing in the morning for about 15 minutes the emphasis will be on the veg beds.I will have a quick check on the brassicas beds [cabb,etc] especially,to see if any of our friends the caterpillars are spotted.To see them on home grown veg is quite a turn off,but they will be at the weakest point in the morning for clinging to the cabbages.They [cabbages etc] will be given a slight shake to remove them [caterpillars] as much as possible,and to destroy them.Have a jar handy,gather them up and get rid of them.The longer they spend on the cabbage leaves during the day,the stronger they can hold firm.Keep a check out for the cabbage white butterflies and if you spot one then it will probably have left small yellow type eggs on the under side of the green leaves.A few seconds will wipe out lots them.If you destroy the eggs then lots of trouble will be avoided with them eating your home grown veg.It has to be done but thats all part of gardening.The nets will do the job of protection again the cabbage white butterflies,as long as they dont touch the cabbage leaves.If the [butterflies] can get even near them they will do as much damage again, as if no net was on.Notes will be checked on later for a while.
06 February 2010 20:38:36
Compost bin outside tunnel door.
With the day starting off on the foggy side all was well after about 11 o clock.The perfect day to get some gardening jobs done.I started just before 8 am in the vegetable garden to work on some of the beds [final rakings etc].Then it was into the tunnel to start on the bed tubs on the left side as you enter.They were given a watering [compost not put on dry soil] having switched the supply back on for the first time since the bad frost and so far so good with no frost damage to that line.[No more watering cans]Once they had been watered then time was spent just after 11 am taking compost from the bin outside the tunnel door.All beds on the left hand side of the tunnel and the row alongside it from the garden were given a equal share.The compost was dug in to all,levelled off,and crates fitted on some.After lunch it was out to the main garden area to work on the centre bed to finish off some of the jobs already started there.[pruning,leaves etc].The remains from the bed were dropped off alongside the clay,sand,and manure heaps,and will be broken up to use as trench composting in Autumn.[Pictures will be added in a short while.] For an hour or so tomorrow,time will be spent taking a check around the garden to see what jobs need doing for the coming week.
05 February 2010 22:39:36
From after 4 o clock this evening it was shopping time for more seed potatoes and a few other items for the veg garden.The weather was good,apart from just been a little cool but dry.The first area to be sorted out was with the potatoes.Some early and second earlies were purchased.I bought some by the name of Orla seed potatoes,with them been an early potato crop for the year.British Queens second earlies,and will collect Roosters as main crop.Some Duke Of York will also be added to the earlies.Why i went for the Orla potatoes this year is because they have good texture,flavour,and have a great resistance again our friend the potato blight.Had plans worked out for this year,the intention was to use a lot of the saved potatoes and get away with having to buy to much of them.The spell of bad frost some weeks back put paid to all them except 9 that survived.Seeds were also collected for the veg garden along with Red Baron onion sets.The onions started late last year are ready for out.
The seed potatoes have been spread out in the lower room off the house.[The picture opposite has a reflection of the mirrors from some spread there.] Overall this evening worked out well for the veg garden shopping.Tomorrow will be spent out in the main garden to do some more work on pruning and cleaning up old leaves etc.Some more of the frost damaged shrubs will be removed.All going well the weather will be on all the gardeners sides tomorrow.
04 February 2010 18:07:23
The inside wall.
For the last couple of hours i have been working on the setting up of some light reflectors in the seed room.First off i used the tinfoil trick [thanks Rachel] a few days back,and since then cast an eye on some old mirrors to make up a cheap reflector.The long mirror at the bottom of the seedroom was removed from the back of a book holder.I never realised it was there until i had pulled out the book shelf section to give a quick sweep out from behind it while having a cuppa just after 4 o clock.With that mirror and some other small unused ones,things are getting on the bright side now.The middle table is filling up and the side area of the seed room has been brightened up well,so now i will be able to have trays ready for moving on from earlier sowings.Time to look through some herbs that will be in use for 2010 and also maybe glimse at a few charts for the next couple of hours.
03 February 2010 19:11:34
Seed room coming on well.
The weather man pays another call,with a poor day.This evening,any outdoor work was left to another time.The wet weather did not help the cause.May have brightened up after lunch but the temp, improved not a lot.I spent this evening working in the seed room,cleaning some more pots and starting some more seeds.Worked also on the onion and shallot areas.Gave a quick check around for any watering needed etc.The Petunia seeds [Confetti mixed F2] have come on well, sown on Thursday the 21/1/10.[small tray at front of table.]
Off for a few hours later,to play the Wednesday night card games,and maybe win the price of something for the garden.I
02 February 2010 17:59:55
Main rose bed prepared this evening.
Time is starting to play on all the gardeners sides with the mornings getting brighter and the eveningss longer.In the vegetable garden this month 1 Any over wintering brassicas dug out,or pests and disease will pay a visit.2 Only sow outside when the soil is warm,3 Prepare veg beds for summer crops,4Start chitting early potatoes,5 Dont compact the soil by standing or on it 6 Sow seeds indoors like onions,peas,beetroot,Brussell sprouts,cabbage,radish [make sure it is the early type of cabbages sown.]7 Outdoors broad beans,spinach,Kohlrabi,sets [onions] early peas.8.Sow under cloches parsnips,turnips,carrots.Make sure the soil is fit to take them with the weather.
Remember the plan of crop rotation.Keep all root crops like,carrots,parsnips,beetroot,together,Brassicas like,cabbages,cauliflowers,Brussell Sprouts,etc,and in the third bed the legumes [peas and beans] together.Take a note of where you plant them.Vital to know for the following years crops.The diary or even the back of a brown paper bag,once you note them down.One thing to remember about the root crops is that they hate movement.Planting little and often [successional is the answer to them]They still can be sown in pots,it is just the likes of carrots for example,they have whats known as tap roots.Bend them in movement and the plan gets out of shape.
About the weather again,be cautious.Wait until the soil has warmed up.Above 7.5 deg you will have growth.Below that mark you wont.Weather will always win,but all the gardeners will play along with it.When the veggies,are gathered,it will be defeated.
01 February 2010 20:16:24
Direct to the vegetable garden.
A cool start,that turned out into a lovely day.From just after 2 o clock today i managed to do some more on the new entrance area which will be used for taking in clay,manure,etc from a short distance outside the bottom gate.Having made a start on the job for a couple of hours yesterday after lunch,some of the clay was worked on first off for removing.With the bonus of the few hours yesterday and from 2pm until 6.30 this evening,the job is done.Now i will be able to transport in the clay,sand,manure,without having to go the long way round from the entrance gate.The job has been done behind the herb house,so will not be noticed as an eyesore to the garden.This is the month slug eggs will be most watched for.As this is a vital month to watch out for them,all outdoor pots,buckets,tubs etc will be looked upon time and time again.Over the next 3 weeks or so any place of hiding for them will be checked upon,to destroy the eggs,and not have them destroy the hours of our growing the vegetables.Eyes will be kept peeled for any hiding place for them.As always some will still appear during summer to haunt the gardeners but even it was only a few hundred eggs destroyed,then it would a few hundred less to watch out for during the summer.