Tag Archives: Leek

Garden September 2013 update

The last batch of Desiree potatoes (they’re monsters):
We’re going to be eating my potatoes for some time to come.
Things to look forward to long term are just the leeks, which still look a bit weedy, but they always do:
The Bramley apples are nearly ready, I’ve tested a few already:
Sure, they tease me, but these, the first Spartan apples on my 2 year old tree, taunt me!
Daily defence against toddler attack has left me pretty protective of them now only those three remain.
This year I’ve been inundated with frogs (of are they toads?) of all sizes, but hundreds of babies like this one:
There’s no neighbours that have ponds to my knowledge, so it’s a bit odd. They are tiny and very cute.

Late July garden update #gardening #food

Everything appears to be going well apart from the runner beans aren’t flowering yet.

Another batch of early potatoes that are actually pretty large:
One point devil kilos, 1.666kg. There’s another couple of rows of three plants left (on the left / just above the onions):
The main crop won’t be required till August:
But the plants still look good, they’ll keep growing and growing, muhahahaaa.
The onions are starting to gain weight:
And the leeks are doing well too:
The plum tree is still heavy (though a few have fallen)
Half the apples have fallen, but there are still some remaining
Lettuce consumption falls (in my house) when the potatoes are in season, but they are still cared for (watered):
(Sorry for sideways photo)

The raspberry plants are providing a constant supply, we’ll freeze some as we quickly get bored of them.
Strawberries are small and not very many, but my toddler loves them, so I don’t get to have any… maybe there are more that get eaten and I don’t see them.

And finally, who said lazy gardening doesn’t pay off? I’ll soon have blackberries because I couldn’t be bothered to clip back the brambles:

Early June garden update

This butterhead lettuce (though not fully grown) has my name written all over it, won’t be today, but soon, very soon….20130608-181338.jpgOK, not longer after the photo and I’ve picked it 🙂

Other developments in Tim’s garden? Well, funny you should ask….

The pixy plums are putting on weight:20130608-181812.jpg
Note: spot my new and 90% finished shed in the background 🙂

The first apple buds on the young Spartan (three years old / second year in my garden). This is the best photo I could get: 20130609-110816.jpg
Then the potatoes, earthed up (still a few to do):20130609-214030.jpgEvery time I cut the lawn the grass cuttings will go around the potatoes. They make a good mulch, talking of which, it’s very important for runner beans, he’s one just starting its run:20130609-215239.jpgSure, a little slug munched, but it’ll be fine. I think you can see the slug pellets in shot, I’ve tried other techniques but pellets are the only thing that have coped with the demand.

The leeks are starting to be more visible in photo now, still a bit grass like next to the onions:20130609-214342.jpgAgain, it’s worth saying again, I’m really happy with the wire, it’s protecting against the cat running through and holding the onions up a bit more.

Finally, the raspberry plant had some bees gathering nectar points from it:20130609-220210.jpgIt’s surprisingly difficult to photograph a busy bee!

Garden early May update

Following on from my recent posts about enjoying the baby lettuce and spinach (Mini lettuce salad and Not quite a salad, but it’s a start), here’s the latest update from Tim’s garden:

Here’s the second batch of Runner Beans (first beans didn’t germinate, probably because it was a cool start to spring) in seed trays, just before transplanting into bigger containers:20130511-161437.jpg
Also just behind is another batch of spinach taking shape.
And a transplanted photo:20130511-161423.jpg
I try and get them as big as possible before they go out in the wilds and get attacked by the slug army, the blackfly, the cat, foxes, etc.

The thinned out lettuce are taking advantage of the extra room:20130511-161430.jpg

The first early (Arran Pilot) potatoes are starting to grow nicely now we’ve had a few nice weeks, to the left you can see the main crop of (Desiree [red]) potatoes that were planted at the same time are a little behind in terms of growth:20130511-161445.jpg

The leeks in front (hard to photo them as they look like bits of grass at the start) have taken to living outdoors under the protection of the wire:20130511-161451.jpg
And the onions are doing really well under the protection of the wire too, they have grown through and will lie on top of it as the leaves get larger and flop down:20130511-161458.jpg

Happy growing!

Garden early April

The onion plan, grow in egg trays in green house until they sprout, then transplant. Theory is they won’t be pulled up by blackbirds or destroyed by animals, plus avoiding late frosts which we’ve had a couple of.
The protection from the cat I am going to try is:
Which is some wire shelving / mesh laid on bricks. I will tie it to the bricks once planted. Ken gave me the idea, the idea is the onions grow through the wire and lay on top of it, cats don’t like walking on it, so they are protected.
I’ve no idea where the leeks will go yet, talking of leeks, here’s the start:
Then the lettuce:
And the spinach is growing well so far:
Potatoes and runner beans haven’t broken the soil / compost yet. Fingers crossed.

This time of year is by far the slowest, waiting for the temperature to rise and the sun to come out. Nice to see some things growing now.

Garden August update and harvest #gardening

First up I have to say how much we are enjoying the butterhead lettuce. I planted in a small space and we are eating the inbetweeners as we fancy. I expect only two will reach maturity, but that’s fine with me, better than wasting:
These are the garden bargain of the year, packet of Wilko seeds for 54p! Actually and even better is that these were a gift, so they were free 🙂
They are the tastiest lettuce I’ve ever had, shame they don’t grow overnight and that I’m not organised enough to plant weekly for a regular crop.

Next are the runner beans, the plants are full of flowers and small beans, notably top heavy with very little growing low down, but they are rather sheltered under the trees:
I’ve nipped them and they keep growing, but of note is they exploded with flowers only after I’d started nipping the growth. So I’ll remember not to train them so long next year.
There are some nearly ready to pick:
The funny thing is that I thought there were more, then I realised I took the photo after my wife had raided them:

My monstrous broccoli plants aren’t doing too well now, mostly bolted and now catapillars are munching through. I think the cat isn’t chasing the butterflies now, she’s moved onto bigger prey I guess. So only small bits rather than watching it flower:

Next up is an update on other things in the garden, the leeks are doing well:
There’s weeds growing back, I think I’ll put some grass cuttings down as a mulch, not sure what the expert advice is, but weeding leeks isn’t on my list of things I enjoy doing.
Those with a keen eye will notice how we’re getting through the potatoes just to the right of the netting. We’re now on the main crop (Desiree). The wife loved the early potatoes (Arran pilot) boiled and insists we grow more next year even though I think the yield is poor and she doesn’t like boiled potatoes, well, until mine I guess. Next year I’ll space them so I can walk down both sides of the rows as watering was hard.
Finally the Merryweather damsons are changing colour:
Really looking forward to a couple in this first year, given the normal damson fruit I’ve had in the past these look huge, more like plums. The wife hasn’t ever tried damsons so she’s going to have a treat I hope.
I’m disappointed the pixy Victoria plum tree hasn’t produced yet, but be patient Tim I keep telling myself.

Garden July update 4 – the cat solution?

As you can see from the following photo, the cat has destroyed my onion patch in the back garden:20120724-141823.jpg
I’ve previously blogged about my front garden where I planted the spare onion sets, the cat hasn’t destroyed them so I’m hoping I’ll get some onions from there instead.
So in light of the cat’s destructive powers I’ve decided I needed to protect my leeks from her and of course other animals too. Pigeons have also been shredding my broccoli too, so netting seemed a good plan. Here’s my first attempt:20120724-142020.jpg
Some of the netting I used was left in the shed when I got the house and that covered half the patch, the rest was 50p low quality fruit netting 4m x 2m from ASDA. I bought three lots thinking I’d need more, but one was enough. The canes were £1.28 for 5 from Wilkinsons, I needed two lots, and I used a metal rack I had lying around to cover the last 18 inches of gap (my place of entry to the netting on the right side, not visible in the photo).

The potato plants are spreading more horizontally than vertically now:20120724-141907.jpg
The ones closet to camera are the earlies, still 50% left to dig up, they are lasting well, but then we had a lot of potatoes given to us just before they were ready.

The broccoli, still looking ok, but I’m worried about bolting after one has (it tasted good though), there’s also been some black fly maybe on it, but just a few that I’ve shaken or washed off, also note the pigeon damage closest to the camera:20120724-142012.jpg
Worth mentioning the cat has one use, she loves butterflies, so I don’t have butterfly problems with the broccoli!

Then the leeks, the reason for all this netting:20120724-142003.jpg
I’m really happy with the leeks for the moment, I’m hoping the weeding effort and this netting will be worth it.

The Runner Bean plants climbing the fence:20120724-142029.jpg
Some of the beans I’m watching:20120724-141855.jpg

Any finally my first attempt at round lettuce have been planted in the greenhouse soil:20120724-142040.jpg
(pellets down as I’m not taking any chances with mr slug)

Garden July update #gardening

While the rain took a rest I thought I’d take another garden snapshot.
First up the broccoli has started to get bigger now and finally started to grow the erm… broccoli?

Next up over the last two weeks I weeded the leeks, the furthest ones grew noticeably while the others awaited weeding
New potatoes / earlies (Arran pilot) should be ready
So I picked a plant to investigate
Alas, there were only 6 small pots, so I think I’ll leave them another couple of weeks (the bucket is a very small bucket!)
Note: I had previously earthed up the potatoes and later emptied grass cutting on them too, mainly because the composting bin was getting full but also because it is meant to keep moisture in and suppress weeds.

The runner beans are still climbing, not many leaves, but they’re flowering

The onions are still a mess, some look strong but I’m not that hopefully at the moment.
We’re getting a nice supply of raspberries and some small strawberries.
I’m currently growing salad leaves on the windowsill and the beginnings of some lettuce are in the greenhouse.

I’m enjoying this relax and rewarding hobby thus far, impatience is hard to overcome, but I’m sure next year will be easier as I’ll know what I’m doing and what to expect.

Garden update

Last night I posted a snapshot of the garden on 26th May, well a fair bit has changed since then, I mentioned some of the changes, but I thought some more recent photos would be nice, so here’s another update…

Can you spot the leek seedlings?

Here’s one, the tell-tale folded leaf on the seedling:

The potatoes have exploded, here’s a photo to compare with the last post:

I earthed them up on the weekend:

And even the spares growing in the soil pile have really come on:

The broccoli look happy now I’ve weeded them:

The cat features in the top corner of the photo, she was around my feet for most of the time, sucking up after eating my charger cable!

The runner bean race was won and the strongest looking one did indeed reach the top of the fence first:

Another Damson picture, look carefully and you’ll see a fair few damsons:

I’m looking forward to educating those who never tried a damson 🙂

The raspberry bush is looking plentiful, the children will enjoy these this year:

The strawbs are looking much better this year:

Last year I eat most of them, maybe this year others will too.

Finally, not strictly garden related, but I’m trying bean sprouts (Mung beans). A tablespoon full, warm water and a jam jar:

Placed in a box (padded with news paper so it doesn’t tip up:

Closed up to keep the light out:

This is trial and error, we’ll see how they go.

Spring in the garden (again, but with pictures) #gardening #green #money

The end of the garden needed some use, so I’ve taken up gardening!

I went a bit mad this year and planted all the onion sets I bought in a 500g net, I’ve got onions everywhere! I need my neighbours to take up growing their own so we can share sets, seeds etc. Whilst we are deciding what to plant in the front, there are onions there too, at least it adds some green shoots rather than plain soil. Notably the sets in the front were untouched by the blackbirds, but there are a fair few missing out the back where they spend more of their time.

The front onions LHS:

A few plants then some more:

The front onions RHS:

(argh, weeds growing too now)

At the back:

The new apple, plum and damson trees are showing signs of blossom and small leaves, but the old bramley is still pretty bare.
The pixy plum:

The damson:

The Bramley:

The Spartan apple tree:

It is about to flower, when the fruit buds come they are to be taken off so it puts its resource into growing rather than a couple of tiny apples.

The raspberry is slowly sprouting some leaves:

We really enjoyed the bush last year (our first year here), so I’m hoping it will provide a nice crop this year.

The strawbs are flowering nicely:

They were poor last year, so fingers crossed for this year. They are in big pots, I feel like planting them in the garden, but it’s another thing I should have done already and I don’t want to disturb them at this stage.

My runners are about 10cm high, slug munched, but hanging in there:

I started them off in the door-less green house, some weren’t ready, so they are waiting to be transplanted:

(a lot of slug pellets surround them now, at least 20 dead slugs I’d seen within 24 hours!)

Broccoli and also leek seeds sown, eagerly waiting to see some growth there (see top image between the new trees, broccoli on left and leeks in centre, right will hopefully be potatoes).

I’ve been meaning to plant my potatoes for some weeks now, they’ve sprouted (chitted) a little, but as they have been in a cool place they haven’t done that well. I keep putting them off as there’s a fair amount more digging to be done, but this weekend maybe…

I’m amazed how into this growing my own I’ve become, maybe my love of food and hate of spending money combines into a good (second) hobby for me. I do hope it’s worth it, we should save a fortune and really make the most of what I hope the garden will provide us.