This butterhead lettuce (though not fully grown) has my name written all over it, won’t be today, but soon, very soon….OK, 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:
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:
Then the potatoes, earthed up (still a few to do):Every 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:Sure, 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:Again, 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:It’s surprisingly difficult to photograph a busy bee!
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:
Also just behind is another batch of spinach taking shape.
And a transplanted photo:
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:
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:
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:
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:
The lettuce (there’s not that many) are big enough to start thinning them out so there’s enough room for the remaining ones to grow further. So today I’ve finally made a proper(ish) salad, baby butterhead lettuce, spinach and onion leaves:
I’ve also planted the third batch of spinach and lettuce. My plan is to plant 5 – 10 every month to start with then reduce the numbers when I run out of space.
It’s only spinach and onion leaves, the lettuce isn’t ready yet, but I love spinach so I enjoyed it on the side of my dinner plate:
This spinach is my first, so I’ve underestimated how many plants I need to get a good crop. Fortunately there’s lots of time for the second batch to catch it up.
Any spinach growing tips would’ve appreciated 🙂
The last of the potatoes:
and some small onions which are the best of a disappointing crop:
Also, is this another ladybird or a beetle of some kind:
Either way, it is welcome if it keeps the aphids off the beans. The runner beans are still looking good, more have been eaten by the wife and a visitor without me seeing them. So there’s only tiny beans growing left, but a lot of them, so fingers crossed they mature nicely and we get overrun.
As you can see from the following photo, the cat has destroyed my onion patch in the back garden:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Some of the beans I’m watching:
Any finally my first attempt at round lettuce have been planted in the greenhouse soil:
(pellets down as I’m not taking any chances with mr slug)
Posted in Gardening
Tagged BlackFly, Broccoli, Butterfly, Canes, Cat, Leek, Lettuce, Netting, Onion, Pigeon, Potato, RunnerBean
I dug more early potatoes yesterday and there’s a mix of tiny, small and mid sized. I was fairly happy but they were taken from me before I could photo them, they tasted nice the next time I saw them though. There’s a couple of kilo left, but a photo now wouldn’t do it justice.
A couple of bits of the broccoli have bolted, I expect more will too, but I’m ready to harvest the small heads before I lose them. It also has got black aphids or flies, i keep shaking them off, but I might have to come up with one of those magic potions to kill them. No photos again sorry. Some plants have been pigeon nibbled, I’ve put up some netting and that has protected it a little, more netting is required and the time to do it too.
Anyway the reason for this blog entry is the runner bean progress, I haven’t seen any wildlife eating them thus far and I’m starting to get excited
The tip of the plant in the last photo was heavily loaded with flowers but I accidentally snapped it, I was gutted, but it has promoted growth of the beans rather than climbing, so it might not have been such a bad thing.
I’ve covered the roots with grass cuttings to try and retain moisture in the soil now we’re going to get some summer.
Not a lot of other developments other than I’ve given up on the onions in the back garden, next year I’ll plant where the cat won’t destroy them. There’s still hope for those in the front garden and I gave them a good watering can full of feed, just so they know I’m looking after them.
The onions in the back garden have been my biggest disappointment and probably one that i’ve spent the most time on. In reading online forum posts I see gardening for food isn’t always fun, keep your chin up, spread your bets and enjoy what works. There are always other things you can grow, other varieties, other ways (e.g. Grow bags when the soil has blight), etc. Never give up, you’d have to weed that patch either way!
More potatoes, this time some white early (Aaron) and some red main crop (Desiree).
I’m disappointed by the earlies, but they were planted a bit late and maybe we’ve not had enough sun.
Why did I dig up these? Well, these were the spare seed potatoes I planted in the spare soil pile and for no reason other than I felt like it.
Some onions in the front are looking good, the cat has mostly destroyed the back ones
And I’ve tried to support them with plastic bottle necks and stapled together bits of plastic bottle in a cone shape
As they were leaning a lot, some haven’t grown as a result, so this is a bit trial and error, fingers crossed.
Posted in Gardening
Tagged Onion, Potato