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End of March antics

Floer bed end March

Flower bed at end March

Here we have the Tulips finally beginning to bud up, might even see some colour soon!

The Strawbs have come out!

The Strawbs have come out!

The weather has been so nice lately that I have removed the cloche from the strawberry plants that have been overwintering. I guess the huge holes in the cloche helped them harden off and so far so good. I have also laid down mulch mats under all plants to help protect them more from slugs ‘n bugs etc will see how they pan out.

The meteor peas are shooting ahead now

The meteor peas are shooting ahead now

My early peas are beginning to grow pretty fast now. They have been well protected from the elements with a thin layer of protective fleece and I have now added some old dry willow sticks to help support the baby plants. They really like to climb!

Suki enjoys the nice weather

Suki enjoys the nice weather

Transplanted Cos lettuce seedlings

Transplanted Cos lettuce seedlings

Following Hubbie’s lovely gift of a plastic coldframe I decided to transplant some of the first lettuce seedlings to see how they would do. Looking a wee bit wobbly just now but hopefully they will settle in and heart nicely.

The difficult to grow onion seed

The difficult to grow onion seed

A red wan!

A red wan!

A yellow wan!

A yellow wan!

Pot of lettuce and carrots getting bigger!

Pot of lettuce and carrots getting bigger!

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Catch Up Time

Despite my early and well paced start to the growing season the rest of my life has been particularly hectic this last month leaving me with very little time to update my wee blog. So lets have a look through the last picture upload and see what’s been happening.

gardenmarch

The Garden in March

Here is Suki and his visiting friend, we call him Trouble, chasing each other around the garden. You can see to the left a new plastic tomato growhouse which is still not in use yet as too cold. Next to that we have my lovely baby greenhouse with lettuce, lobelia and sweetpeas all busy growing away.

The flower bed to the left is going really well now with crocus and primroses popping out in the recent sunshine. Tulips are now looking much better after a dousing of organic slug pellets and are almost ready to pop open.

Hubby also found me a great bargain on a plastic coldframe from lidl the other day so that was a lovely surprise. I think you might be able to spy it up in the distance to the right of the white cloches.

crocus1

Spring Crocus

Speaking of which, the cats have made my cloche a bit useless after one too many games of hide and seek through it! it is now full of holes! At least I can still use the wire frames to support fabric later in the season.

The peas are going really well although I have just realised I haven’t photographed them recently.

I am quite excited about seeing how the fruit canes fare, they are growing rapidly now and I am keeping my fingers crossed for some juicy fruits!


berrycanes3

Berry-good growth

Rhubarb has also now made itself at home. Hubby and I thought that one of the crowns had failed to grow but it turns out Hubby had planted it the wrong way up so it has grown all the way around and has popped up somewhere a good distance from the crown. Very cool!

rhubarb2

Right-way-up Rhubarb

honeysucklemar

March honeysuckle view

patios

Beginnings of container gardening

blossom

Pretty Japanese Blossom

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baby red pepper plants

baby red pepper plants

Has been a fresh and blustery day. Hubby and me got up early-ish and headed out to the garden to get some bits and pieces done before the weather got nasty. I took the four plug pepper plants out of their little safe gel filled pots and moved them up a few sizes. I read somewhere recently that a good tip is to mix in all the gel from the plug pots with your potting compost as it will help retain moisture in the soil, so I did.
I have 6 small tomato seedlings that I am attempting to nurture. They were looking a bit wobbly in their wee Dobbies 6 pack so I decided to pot them up to individual pots with a stake in each. I have also added some organic fruit and veg feed which i scattered on top and then watered into the soil. They are all looking very droopy now, I’m hoping they are just knackered after their busy day but I guess we will see how they are tomorrow.

Knackered tomato plants

Knackered tomato plants

After all that potting, I had a quick rummage through my seed packets that are all lined up itching to get growing. Had a bit of a panic when I realised it’s March already and most things are good to go from now on! So filled an old planter with potting compost and planted some new lettuce leaves around the outside of it. This one is different to the Cos I planted before, it is called Lattuga Misticanza and it says it doesn’t transplant well so I think having some in it’s own pot will do it good. Also means I can get it growing in the plastic greenhouse just now while the weather is still chilly. I’ve been reading about using veg as decoration instead of flowers so decided to experiment by sowing some Carrot seeds in the centre of afore mentioned pot! The are funny carrots that grow into round balls, I’m sure we wont get many but 5 or 6 is enough for a wee side dish or good to go along with the lettuce leaves in a salad. So far it looks like this.

Carrot and lettuce in pot

Carrot and lettuce in pot

Have also tidied up the poor sweetpeas that had begun to look quite neglected in the greenhouse. Their seed was taken from my first ever set of sweetpeas grown last Summer. I made newspaper pots in the Autumn and planted around 8-10 seeds in the moist pots. Almost all have survived despite the cold and a random slug attack. They had got a bit moldy on the pots and top of soil so I have cleaned them up, added some more compost and added a small stake into each one to help them stand up a bit more. I pinched a couple of tops out last week and some have already started to offshoot from there. I think I’ll need to get some more seeds sown though as the slugs just love these so they might not go far once they are outdoors.
Used some leftover garden centre pots from last year to sow a few sweetcorn kernels, I’m using a supersweet variety, F1 Hybrid from Unwins, looks great but who knows what will happen. Apparently i have to plant them out into a block so they can pollinate each other properly so I will have to assess the space and see how many we can squeeze in, I imagine they will be pretty big when all grown up! I have planted 8 seeds so far maybe another 3 or 4 would be enough? Hmmm.

That is all today, I’m sitting in front of the fire keeping warm and dry and there is now heavy sleet coming down outside and very strong winds.

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Hedgewars!

There's a hole in my heeedge dear neighbour, dear neighbour

There's a hole in my heeedge dear neighbour, dear neighbour

Well I’ll admit I’m a bit new to this suburban living, tenement flats have been my thing for the past 10 years. But, I’m pretty sure hacking someone’s hedge down like this is not the way to make friends and influence your neighbours! We are unlucky in that our right hand border is shared with two lots of neighbours instead of every one elses one. This means we have one neighbour who wants the huge hedge in the middle of the garden and another who doesn’t want the hedge at their bit of the garden! So we have ended up with a border that has wee hedge, no hedge, huge hedge, wee fence, tall fence!! And when I tried to start putting reed screening up last week to even things off on our side the ones who want the big hedge came over and went nuts. I just cant win. I reckon we should get a fence the full length of the border but know there will be arguments about where the boundary sits as the title deeds are not clear. Oh dear, going to be a struggle. But will keep you posted.

Lettuce seedlings

Lettuce seedlings

On a brighter note, the Cos lettuce seeds that I planted last week have got off to a great start in the wee plastic greenhouse. Showing seedlings already, I have them kept under a plastic propagator in addition to the greenhouse as it’s so cold. No sign of the Lobelia or red onions yet.

In the raised beds the peas and garlic are still all quiet but my homemade cloche appears to be working well at keeping the wood pigeons away from the peas.

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Had a good bout of dry weather at the weekend so Hubby and I got out and got stuck in to the garden for the first time really this year.

The extra bed and standing platform

The extra bed and standing platform

First, Hubby created an extension to last years raised beds. This will be used for salad crops and random experiments. Also added a slab in the middle to make getting to the central bed a lot easier, was quite a height before so is much better now. Moved some of last years potted herbs all into the one area at the small back bed.

Hubby making the bed

Hubby making the bed

Here is Hubby checking the slab is all okay!

Last years canes are looking good

Last years canes are looking good

Checked the growth on last years Raspberry canes. We were given them as a present from our friends when we moved here last year but the garden wasn’t quite ready for them so they got off to a slow start. Looking good for this year though, got lots of buds on them already. I have spotted the Wood Pigeons eyeing them up already.

new growth on Honeysuckle

new growth on Honeysuckle

Maw-in-Law helped us keep our young Honeysuckle in check last year to avoid it growing woody at the base, just had to remember to keep nipping the new twin sets of leaves of so it would encourage more growth. Seems to have paid off so far and is looking like will be lots of cover for our wee arch and bench.

Sowing of early 'Meteors' under homemade cloche

Sowing of early 'Meteors' under homemade cloche

Attempted an early sowing of ‘Meteor’ peas, heard they were a good cropper and great for being nice and early. Have sown under a homemade cloche made out of some leftover wire hoops, some remnants of winter plant fleece and plenty of tent pegs to keep it all tethered down in the wind.

Strawberries undercover Feb 09

Strawberries undercover Feb 09

Already ahead of the game with the strawberries this year. We were really disappointed with our plants last year and had them in one of those terracotta planter things. When the plants started sending off runners we sat smaller pots around filled with compost and they soon bedded into their new homes. Then we cut off the runner plants after a few weeks and left them in the plastic greenhouse until early October, when they were planted in two rows under a fabric cloche bought from Dobbies. They are looking great so far, here is the inside view.

Tulips, crocus, primrose and pansies

Tulips, crocus, primrose and pansies

And then the flowers! We have created a bed along the left of our garden which can be used just for flowers.

Last Autumn I planted random bulbs around and they are now showing their heads for the first time. The Tulips are up but seem to be getting eaten as there are small scratch marks up the leaves, will try an organic insecticide and see if that helps.

Also crocuses and snowdrops appearing in various places. We bought some primroses and pansies at Dobbies last year for really cheap as they were past their best but they are now setting up for a flower. Have noticed a few slug attacks though so putting some organic pellets down straight away.

Phew! Told you it was busy! Finished the Sunday off by getting into trouble from the neighbours because we attached some reed screening to their fence, (We thought it was shared!) but we have since removed the ‘offending’ item and depending on how nice they are to us we might keep it down as they thought it looked a right ‘monstrosity’ from their side, pretty nice from ours though!

After it got dark and we had made ‘friends’ with the neighbours I remembered I had to get my Garlic bulbs in too so split the bulbs and planted in a nice spot in the front bed behind the strawberries. All planted by torchlight which was cool!

Got a new cover for our plastic greenhouse for £7.99 from Dobbies and set about sowing some cos Lettuce, Red Onion seeds and some trailing and bushing Lobelia.

Will keep you posted on how it all goes.

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Cats are good at Maths

Lolly fast asleep up her brothers behind!

Lolly fast asleep up her brothers behind!

My wee cat lolly has been having a bit of a rough week. She had to go in for an operation on Tuesday as seems to have got into some scrapes with either a fence or another big cat.

Vets said it was a really nasty wound that had ripped her muscle tissue, eeeuch! She seems to be doing okay now, lots of messy stitches and has to wear one of those horrid collar things. Every time she tries to eat her dinner off the plate her collar pushes all the biscuits off the other side! Poor thing. She also point blank refuses to take her antibiotic tablets.

So anyway, the maths thing, earlier on, when I wasn’t looking she somehow managed to get out of the catflap. I’m pretty sure this is physically impossible as the hole is about half the size of the collar diameter, only explanation I can think of is that she’s good at angles! Hubby has been having to sleep in the spare room to keep boycat happy otherwise he just sits and wails for his sister, who obviously cant go out to play! I swear, it’s just like having kids!

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The last of the Snow

The snowman mutated

The snowman mutated

SO my snowman started to fall over a little so when the snow returned a few days later I pimped his ass and turned him into this lovely Snoopy-esque snowdog. very impressed with my efforts. Sukicat was happy chasing snowballs all day until right at the end I got him square in the eyes adn he ran away in a huff and wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the night. Sorry! I think that my over enthusuastic snowcrafting ahs given me a full blown cold and since the weekend I have been at home under the duvet with various sneezes, coughs, headaches and snot in general. Feeling a bit better today though and hoping it waill all clear up in time for tomorrow.

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