Sunday, 19 April 2009

Hello Blogger my old friend...

Ive come to talk with you again.

Sorry if there are any regular readers wondering where I am. I have been in the garden but my mind has been elsewhere I am sorry to say. Apparently my job is 'at risk' of redundancy so my time has been taken up with that.

I have been looking after my garden, weeding tending my little shoots and some planting. Ive also constructed a slug trap out of a hot chocolate jar and beer! Lets see if it works!

I'll get back to this with pics and full colour asap

Monday, 13 April 2009

The last few days...

This is the view of my garden this bank holiday Sunday. I'd been given some seedlings from a local guy who had seen my post on freecycle asking for seeds. But I've been prevaricating about the weather. We've been having glorious sunshine, but with an icy edge to the wind. On Friday I had to scrape ice off the car window. But on Sunday it was just so nice that I gave in and planted, leaving the seedlings to their fate. (Gulp!)

As you can see I now have green things that aren't weeds growing in my garden. The garden that was over run with bramble and weeds just a few weeks ago. Hope you like my wigwam for the runner beans. Made with the branches of a tree cut off by my neighbour who must have shoved them into my unkempt garden while I wasn't looking. Neighbourly eh! But he who laughs last etc.

I had a bit of a minor disaster with the seeds indoors - my sprayer wasn't giving them enough water I guess and after the hot sun of Sunday I found a few of my seedlings had wilted to death. But the rest soon perked up after I gave them an emergency infusion of water.

In the garden the radishes are growing as are the spinach I planted a while ago. Ive also got some tomato seeds poking through. I think a potato has poked through as well.

You can see (when I add the photos) that I found a car tyre dumped on the park field where I take the dog for a run. So I got it home and within 10 minutes it was on a carpet base, earthed up and potatoes planted. Now I just need to find another one to bank up the spuds when they come up.

Its raining now which is great as it will bed all my new seedlings in.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

BBC Dig In Tour dates - free seeds here!

The BBC DIG In roadshow is where you can get your free seeds these are the dates

Fri 10th - Sat 11th April
Portsmouth Big Screen: Guildhall Square
Fri 17th - Sat 18th - Sun 19th April
RHS Cardiff Show: Bute Park
Fri 24th - Sat 25th April
Swansea Big Screen: Castle Square
Fri 8th - Sat 9th - Sun 10th May
Fri 15th - Sat 16th May
Norwich Big Screen: Chapelfield Square
Fri 22nd - Sat 23rd May
Waltham Forest Big Screen: Walthamstow Town Square
Fri 29th - Sat 30th May
Hull Big Screen: Queen Victoria Square
Thurs 11th - Fri 12thSat 13th - Sun 14th June
Gardeners' World Live: Birmingham NEC
Fri 19th - Sat 20th June
Derby Big Screen: The Marketplace
Fri 26th - Sat 27th June
Rotherham Big Screen: All Saints Square
Fri 10th - Sat 11th July
Middlesbrough Big Screen: Centre Square
Fri 31st July - Sat 1st August
Swindon Big Screen: Wharf Green
Fri 14th - Sat 15th August
Leeds Big Screen: Millennium Square

See the website here

Seed Bounty

This is the huge pile of free seeds I have received. Every thing from chives, to beans, to salad, even 'lime wedge' seeds from Gordon's the gin people. So more fun.

The rain seems to have worked wonders in the garden, the radishes and the spinach are now showing above the ground - so soon I will have produced my own food - isn't that something. Although I'm not sure that a diet of just radish and spinach will be good for me - even if I am a vegetarian!

The money I have spent so far has been negligible, my biggest outlay have been in the secateurs which cost me 99p at Lidl and the leather work gloves at £2.99. These were a real necessity to protect ones hands against the bramble - as it is I have scratches up my arms and legs and even a few on my body where Ive been caught through my shirt.

Most of my seeds have been given to me or have come via various promotions by companies like the BBC .

The biggest investment of course has been time and effort. But as I am trying to lose weight anyway the 500 or so calories you get for an hours worth of digging is well worth the effort.

Monday, 6 April 2009

WooHoo. Here's my sproutlings - ain't nature a wonderful thing? These are tomatoes and salad sproutings. I also have basil and courgette - I think. (I'm not too good a labelling - got to get better at it!)

Below you can see my garden after a busy Sunday afternoon. Another bed dug, some more seed planting - beetroot, carrots, more salad, more tomatoes.

Lots of clearing and tidying also which culminated in a large bonfire and only one complaint from a neighbour. But don't you just love a good bonfire?

I'm also enjoying the garden for the first time in a long time. Just sitting in the sun, with a cup of tea and the newspapers, waiting for the muscles to stop shaking from the digging and wondering how painful the backs going to be tomorrow. But I've also started to re appreciate baths. I haven't had a bath - meaning I use the shower - for a long time, but since gardening I have renewed my acquaintance with that pleasure - lying in a bath reading a book and a magazine - bliss.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Dig In Roadshow and Free seeds

The BBC's Dig In road show came to Plymouth to day. I think it was the first stop on their tour of the country. The website seems to have gone live now and you can send off for free seeds.

  • Beetroot - Boltardy

  • Tomato - Gardener's Delight

  • Squash - Hunter

  • Lettuce - Lollo Rossa

  • Carrot - Early Nantes

These will be in my garden tout suite and I'll be following the advice on the BBC website.

Seeds and being good to bees

I wanted to spend last evening getting some more seeds in while I can, especially now that I have two beds dug. I think its wise to plant them and then get on with the rest of the garden. And also after I get home from work, there's not so much time. Later when the days are longer I can do more.

So in the raised beds I planted, purple sprouted broccoli and leeks which are a long term crop. And in the pots and various containers I have planted a bush tomato, Moneymaker tomato, sweet corn and courgettes.

Also as the pic shows I have been good to the bees and planted flowers for them.

This is the result in the various recycled containers, plastic food trays, Coke/Pepsi cans and a Heinz beans tin

Also in other news, my salad is sprouting - that's quick, The Basil I planted the other day is also starting to sprout. Its exciting.

And I sourced some more wood for the raised beds.