Getting Ready for Spring… The New Raised Bed Diaries

Hello all!

After a weekend away, I’ve been back in my garden. 

It’s nearly March. March is the biggie month – the start of it all! ‘Spring’ is just around the corner, and things start heating up – hopefully figuratively and literally!

I’ve filled my greenhouse up with trays of sown seeds… as yet not much is happening. So far I’ve sown:

  • Various kinds of tomato (moneymaker, Ailsa Craig, sun gold, black cherry)
  • Leeks (I got free with my subscription to Kitchen Garden magazine)
  • Ailsa Craig onions, as recommended by DT Brown
  • Red Baron onions, which as the name suggests, are red onions!
  • All year round cauliflowers
  • And some cayenne peppers from seed, which Nana kindly gave to me, though with a warning that they were a little out of date, and should be sown with a pinch of salt.

So far, not much has happened, except…

I made a vlog! Check it out:

Who knew I had such a strong Yorkshire accent? Looking back at my video, I laughed for about half an hour over how I pronounced ‘greenhouse’. Anyway! This video seems to chiefly be about my cauliflowers. Here’s a pic of them!

I counted 29 little seedlings here - they're going strong!
I counted 29 little seedlings here – they’re going strong!

Whoa! Look at these bad boys! I counted, and I have 29 cauliflower seedlings! These, added to the two strong cauliflower plants that have overwintered on the bed itself, bring me up to 31 of the vegetable! Now, if you read my blog last year, you will recall that I had an issue with cauliflowers…

They all got eaten! They came on great, grew to a couple of inches high, and then I sowed by them some infected radish, or maybe there was already something nasty in the soil. Either way, a whole crop of radish, turnip and my cherished caulis were wiped out by nasty horrid maggotty things. Many tears were shed!

So this year I’m doing things proper. I’ve got my cabbage collars. Those pesky bugs aren’t getting anywhere near my brassicas! I’ve bought netting and all sorts. Last year was a trial run. This year it’s serious stuff!

What have you guys started at the moment? Have you got any seedlings coming up yet?

Katy

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Windy Day at Windy Farm

Happy New Year! This is my first blog post in a long, long while, but I’ve had a lot on my plate at the moment – something which I will discuss in a later post. However I hope I should have more time to spend blogging, as I’ve been a very bad blogger in the past!

Perhaps God is an avid blog reader, and was quite cross that I hadn’t updated in a while… Disaster struck at Windy Farm!

After having a pretty rubbish week – rubbish in some ways, but also good in others – I was looking forward to a weekend to myself, mainly in my greenhouse. Was it last weekend when it was really windy? The wind had destroyed my plastic cloche, and so everything which had been overwintering in there had been moved into the greenhouse. I was planning on starting off some tomatoes in my propagator. However I got up on Saturday morning, firstly to a fallen-down tree in the garden:

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Check out that disaster! This is in the “back” garden which is the “front” garden as you approach the house. In the foreground you can see my two apple trees: how it missed the tree to the right I have no idea. The tree was in the hedge, and it had been part of a split-trunk: as the weaker trunk, it took the brunt of the wind a little too badly, and fell over.

But that wasn’t all…

I went to make my cup of tea, and looked up towards my beds and my greenhouse. From the kitchen window I can see the front door of my greenhouse (so the photo below is from the back, as if I was stood in the pond). I could see something shiny on the grass behind the greenhouse. A sinking feeling in my stomach, I went out (in my dressing gown, in the 80mph winds) to investigate.

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The wind had blown the entire back of my greenhouse out, and smashed the majority of the glass on the floor. To say I was gutted doesn’t even cut it!

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The greenhouse has a sliding door that doesn’t seem to close properly. We think the wind blew the door open and got into the house itself, and then blew the glass out. Luckily the glass didn’t get on any of the plants, and a couple of pieces were still in tact.

So there goes my weekend! So we need to get new glass (which is a pain, because when we opened the glass in the first place some of it was smashed), and also try to fashion some kind of latch to fasten the door.

Just another windy day at Windy Farm!

Did your gardens suffer any damage too in the wind?

The Raised Bed Diaries #12 – Out of Control Spinach

 

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I now have a backlog of drafts and photos to plough through! I seem to be doing them on a crop rotation at the moment, so today’s Veg in the Spotlight appears to be… SPINACH!

I don’t understand why people don’t like spinach… maybe the Popeye marketing campaign backfired. Anyway, spinach was amongst the first seeds I got. I started it out in the cloche and then when I had an abundance of it, I put half of it into a bunch of small pots in groups of three or four plants, and the other half I sowed out into the raised bed.

Initially the pots flourished and were top notch. Then they seeded and went not good and were thus condemned to the compost heap. However the sown-out spinach, a bit of a slow-starter, soon grew out of control, and began to take over my plot! I like spinach and pick the young leaves to have in salads or sandwiches, and then grab loads of the big leaves and wilt them down like mad in a pan with garlic and butter. But we have far too much for just me and my mum to snaffle.

On the left is a picture of the spinach wildly out of control. I have hacked it back a bit at the front as it grew over the kale I had sown and about killed it before it had even begun.

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The spinach was madly out of control, so in a fit of madness last Sunday, when I had been in energy-conservation mode all morning after being at York Races the day before, I got out my scissors and violently hacked away at the spinach, resulting in the below shot of my bounty!

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Think it’s safe to say I can grow me some spinach!

I then went through it all and bagged up the baby leaves to have in salads. Mum and I then had the big leaves, wilted down to about nothingness with tea. Mum then also did an Allanby version of saag aloo with some leftover potatoes (not home grown sadly). Hopefully now the spinach will be easier to control!

But now that I’ve cut back the spinach, as a bonus, I’ve discovered some mangetout!

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