• Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
So far this year has been quite good for gardening. I have been harvesting regularly some of the lettuce which I sowed in my cold frame back in February. It has been growing really well (the wild rabbits haven’t spotted my crop yet) and I am starting to have a bit of a lettuce glut actually.
Home Grown Cabbage
Cabbage at last is a success and this is a first for me since previously my cabbages had been badly attacked by the white fly which lays its eggs on the leaves and then the caterpillars devastated all my vegetables.
The only thing is: I am not so keen on that type of winter cabbage (Durham Early). Funnily enough no other pest has had a go at them either! Although I noticed that this variety of cabbage is available from major supermarkets (at a cost of £0.85 each and the seed packet cost me £1.70 for hundreds of seeds).
• Saturday, March 14th, 2009
You know things are bad in the garden when your neighbour starts enquiring to your other half about why you are growing bottles in the garden. I guess that, to this traditional neighbourhood, the idea of using cloches to protect plants and help them grow quicker may seem a bit faddy. And if you don’t have any cloche, what better way to do the job than to create some with 5 litre water bottles?
Gardening magazines often come up with list of things that you can do easily in your garden if you have a few minutes spare, but admittedly I’ve never read about forcing rhubarb with empty cartons of Bordeaux wine. Usually a black pastic container or a clay rhubarb forcer is advisable to force rhubarb effectively but I didn’t have any. So I improvised with my carton which I secured to the ground with stone and also by digging the edges in and then added some straw on top. I was a bit concerned about the rain but the card box did resist well as you can see on the picture above and once the rhubarb has been forced and harvested I can just recycle my card box and straw straight into the compost bin.
Necessity is the mother of invention and it doesn’t come any better than recycling your old boxes.
• Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
I like to dig my vegetable plot every winter/spring – not only because it is good exercise at this time of year but also because it allows me to give the area a good clean up and prepare for the spring time. It allows me to release any stress or anxiety that may have built up during a busy working week in the office.
Digging my garden
Now you don’t have to dig your garden if you do not want to, particularly since it is now commonly acknowledged amongst experienced gardeners that as an alternative to digging you can mulch and cover your soil with compost or well rotted manure. And you can just let the worms get on with the task of incorporating the organic matter into your soil.
Personally I prefer to dig my vegetable plot every winter because of the nature of my soil – heavy clay which benefits from being broken up and enriched regularly.
As I am writing this I realize that I am behind on my digging and currently I am still tackling the area where my squash, sweet corn and dwarf green beans were grown last year.
Naturally my faithful mascot – Fat ball Rob – will come and join me and seek any little worm which I have exposed in the process.
Obviously any arduous activity such as digging is always followed by a comforting cup of English tea and that’s me for the day!
My top tip: if there has been a lot of rain recently it is best not to dig the ground not just because it will be messy (this has never stopped me!) but trampling over wet ground only compacts it further.
Was it tip-top for you? Please leave a comment.