Thursday, 26 April 2012

Believing in Spring!

Hello there from a cold, wet, blustery north! I know much of the UK is sharing this nasty spell of weather with us and it's hard to believe it is Spring, but today I wanted to show you some of what I have been up to outside despite the weather. Hubbie & I finally got the potatoes planted, there in those two beds covered in the black plastic...
Not very pretty at this stage I know, but it won't be long before that is hidden by the potato plants & I find this method works a treat. First we weed & dig over the bed, then cover it with black plastic (we use the cheap packets of weed control sheeting a lot of the supermarkets sell off at the end of the summer!). This helps warm the soil up over the next few weeks until we get a time to plant. We cut a cross shape in the plastic & bury the seed potato about 6" down. Apart from watering that is job done for the season. No earthing up as the potatoes are already totally covered from the sun, & best of all no weeding! 
We also planted our onions. I love the look of a freshly prepared bed! But once the onions are in I cover them with fleece so that the birds can't pull them out. Once they have developed roots the fleece can come off & I can watch them grow :) This year we discovered mice had overwintered in the fleece I normally use for the onions so it was wrecked, but I found a fleece cover for one of those growing rack units we no longer have so we cut that up & used that instead. The green zippers look a bit funny but our neighbors are used to seeing odd things in our garden!
Then the rain returned so after a cuppa it was into the greenhouse for me.  First off runner beans...
I think they must be one of the most beautiful seeds :-) So colorful, the dark reddish pink with black markings on that glossy lozenge shape - no wonder Jack believed they were magic! One by one into their own little pot they go... Next up tomatoes...
 The seeds are rather tiny & plain in comparison but the end result will be yummy, sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes hopefully! So one little tray of pots all ready to hop into the propagator...
The rain continued outside so on with the seed sowing. Next come the courgette seeds... 
Fairly large & with a flat shape, these do best sown standing on edge so they don't rot... 
After the courgettes we have the cucumbers. I have had mixed success with these over the years, it really depends on how the summer turns out as to how many we get, but cucumber is one of my favorites & homegrown is just so much tastier than store bought so I have to give it a go and hope for the best...
 Then comes something I haven't tried before. The tiny black seeds of purple basil. Hubbie loves the smell of basil in the kitchen & these caught his eye in the garden center so here goes...
 Back to the old familiar seeds now, little round cabbage seeds - you can see the picture on the packet below...
These next seeds are slightly odd looking, they are the herb borage. I grow it as an annual each year because I love the blue hairy flowers, I have no idea what it tastes like!  
 Last but not least come these strange cluster seeds - can you guess what vegetable they are?
They might look like chunks of granola but they are beetroot seeds! Yes, I kid you not! I was rather surprised on opening the packet the first year I tried these ;-) But I promise you they will grow into deep red globes of beautiful beetroot that we will be eating next winter :-)
The leeks I sowed about a month ago are growing well, & if you're wondering about the guttering along the front? There are peas planted in there! They get a good start in here safe from the mice & when they are a decent size & it's a bit warmer outside they slide out of the guttering into a shallow row in the veg bed! 
So despite the rain I managed to make a good start on the veggies for the year. Some of these I will sow again in a few weeks so that we have a succession of produce in the summer, but for now the greenhouse is starting to look more like it should in spring!
Hopefully it will start looking & feeling more like spring for all of us this week, but wherever you are I wish you happy days! 


  1. Great pictures! Wish we had a garden! (We're in a flat at the mo). My Mum grows some of her own veggies, they really do taste so much better than shop bought. Laura x

    1. Thanks Laura, you will get there too - we started out in a flat dreaming of a little bit of green to call our own ;)

  2. Wow you've been busy! How lovely to watch all these grow and best of all eat them :-)

    Lori xxx

    1. Always lol it's amazing how much happiness seeing the little shoots emerging brings! Probably eating the peas is the best tho' ;)
      Helen xxx

  3. You certainly have been busy! I totally agree with you about how much better home grown fruit and veg tatse.

    1. Thank you :) It's a shame more folks don't get to experience the real taste!


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