Hello and welcome to my new look blog! It's a bit shinier looking than the last one and I've added a couple of extra things including some pics of things I have made. Does what it says on the tin. There's not a lot there yet but it will be added to in time! Hope you like it! BTW, anyone who had an RSS feed, I didn't manage to carry you over from my old blog so you might want to set that up again, sorry!
So, to gardening. As you will know I have ventured into the land of veggie gardening, with mixed results. Thought I'd give you an update as to how my little crops are doing and sum up what I've learned so far.
- Maincrop potatoes in their tower of tyres are still growing, had a few pretty flowers that my dog hasn't quite managed to jump up and bit off, little madam. They're hardy things as she REALLY wants to chomp her way through the leafiness.
- Onions are a bit sad, I'll come to that in a bit.
- Salad leaves were doing well till a few white cabbage butterflies laid their eggs and now the leaves look more like Swiss cheese than salad.
- Purple-sprouting broccoli are doing a great job sprouting enormous leaves but no actual broccoli. I'm reliably informed by veggie grower extraordinaire Emma Cooper (http://coopette.com) that they probably won't sprout till spring.
- Peppers are growing v slowly, paint dries at lightning speed in comparison.
- Courgettes, only one plant left but that's got lots of little dinky courgettes growing on its very long stalk!
- Tomatoes, 43 of them to be precise, are okay, took some advice from Tuesday's Gardener's World and lopped off the top of one plant above the fifth truss (get me with my lingo). Two are turning orange so I have high hopes for the other 41.
- Strawberries served me very well but are now on their way out. Most of the leaves are red and the last two strawberries will be gobbled up tomorrow.
- Garlic is nearly done, stalks need to go a bit more yellow.
- Last three aren't technically veg but let's not be rigid!
So, what have I learned in first foray into gardening? A lot! To the experienced out there the below will seem pretty obvious but remember back to the first crops you planted, did you get it all right first time around? (Shush if you did.)
- A hanging basket is ideal for strawberries, no nasties get to them and they look pretty dangling in the air.
- When you fill a bed with compost, press it down because in time it will settle and look like you put in half the amount. Because I didn't do some bed squashing my onions don't have enough soil to grow in, hence their sad look.
- Purple-sprouting broccoli takes up a lot of space. I mean a lot. Courgette plant kind of amount. A lot.
- You have got to cover up salad leaves. Otherwise they will get eaten by the wildlife. For definite. (Any advice on the best and most practical way to do this gladly received.)
- Tomatoes look good, and grow well, in a window box, just be sure to fill it to the brim with soil.
- Growing potatoes in tyres works! Okay I haven't dug them up yet but look at the piccie, whatever's going on in there has to be good!
- You really do use a lot less water with a watering can rather than the hose.
- Growing your own veggies is fab. It's rewarding, it's cheap, it's interesting, it benefits you and your environment (local and global), you learn loads plus you get to eat the efforts of your labour.
- People who don't garden are easily impressed with anything you have managed to grow. Or I have polite friends.
- Gardening books are inspirational (see below) but you can't beat advice from real-life humans too (thanks bruv!).