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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

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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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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Let it Snow!

cool man

cool man

It was lovely today! Although the snow wreaked havoc in the rest of the country it was just nice here in Catdonald. Suki was very excited to see his first snow although Lollycat decided that the towel on the heated bathroom floor was the most sensible place to be for the day.

Hubbie pointed out that the first of the snowdrop bulbs I planted have popped their heads up which is really exciting for me! I have some indoor crocuses appearing and some tulips in teh wee plastic greenhouse, wont be long till we’re back in full gardening mode again.

Spent all day prepping for a big boring meeting tomorrow but managed to sneak outside this evening to build a snowman, First one in the new house! Neighbours spotted me and must have thought I was mad! Then I ate nearly a whole bag of mini eggs and felt ill, wont be doing that again in a hurry, at least not until I’ve worked off all the calories on the cross trainer!!! (Which hubbie has been using as a coat hanger lately) Off for a kip now, cant wait for tomorrows meeting to be over, will be great to get rid of this project!

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Feeding the birds

Feeding the birds

What a week it’s been, Barak Obama was sworn in as the first African-American President of the USA, YAY! Britain ‘officialy’ entered a recession, BOO! And Andy Murray is romping through the Oz Open making great progress to his first Grand Slam victory, WOOHOO!

I’ve had an extremely mixed week. With all the Blue Monday-ness hanging around it’s been a tough one.

Unfortunately Hubbie didn’t get the job at the Beeb that he was hoping for so things are a little low again today. He has taken it quite hard and it’s tricky to know what to do. Think I’ll do what I’m best at and make a tasty dinner for this evening, might even hoover the house too!

In the garden things are a little brighter. The spring bulbs that I planted last Autumn have started to surface and serve as a great reminder that better times are just around the corner. 🙂 Chin Up

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shrodingers cat

shrodingers cat

Following the purchase of our new Sony Bravia TV Hubbie decided to save us £50+ by modifying our old TV stand. It used to hole a 26″ Sanyo TV and had little plugs to make sure the tele stayed in place. Huby sawed these off and then spray painted the stand black so now it matches the new fireplace and the black surround of the new TV. Clever Hubbie! My amazing friend from back home donated 4 rhubarb crowns to our new garden so while I was working on Friday Hubby planted them in their new home. We’ve tried one at the back of the garden which is quite shady and we’ve added another one into a sunnier space to see which one fares better. The second spot had also been well manured last season and I’ve heard that will help so finger’s crossed. We had some friends over last night to enjoy the warm fireplace and savour some of our favourite Sailor Jerry rum, sooo tasty! The weather is completely wild today, heavy winds and now the rain, it’s my least favourite type of weather when I’m stuck in the city. When I used to live beside the sea I would love this weather as you could get all wrapped up then walk along the front and see the huge waves crashing on the shore, at some points on the island the waves would smash onto the main streets! great fun and quite humbling to remember how small we are. After a few rums last night we moved onto the topic of Quantum theory , not one of us managed to explain the very basics, which is terrible! need to brush up on Schroidingers Cat!

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Yikes, first day back at the office after an enjoyable couple of weeks break. Found it hard to unwind during the holidays though, one of the joys of running your own business is never being able to switch off from it!The day went okay though, had expected a frantic influx of calls and emails but nothing major so far, meeting BizPartner tomorrow to make plans for the future and we are also pitching for funding for a new project tomorrow so is quite an exciting time. I have a feeling this year will go by pretty fast as there is lots to keep us busy!

Managed to divert some of my attention over the holidays to thoughts of this years vegetable patch. Have received our seed catalogues and have been perusing the best varieties for our wee plot out back. Our seed potatoes have arrived from our supplier already so am trying to keep them out of the light so they don’t start sprouting already. Have got some sweet peas growing in the temporary greenhouse and am pestering hubby to build me one seen as he is still job hunting at the mo. He got some good news toda, got an email from the BBC asking him in for some training so fingers crossed will lead to some freelance work, a nice start to our first week in the new year.

Hope my new cross trainer arrives soon, I have been so lazy over the holidays and it’s the one time of the year when I actually eat chocolate! Couldn’t decide whether to sign up to the gym or whether to buy a bit of kit for the house but as the trainer is also a bike and as it’s the equivelant price of only 2 months gym mebership I figure it’s worth a shot.

Hubby made dinner tonight in what is quite a rare occasion, was funny to see him with the pinny on for a change! He is trying to stop smoking so perhaps it a diversionary tactic, one that I will be encouraging!!

And that’s been the start to the New Year!

And here is where we left the garden at end of last year!

The garden Before

The garden Before

The garden After

The garden After

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