Month in Pictures – April Blitz

Most of this months pictures were the result of one weekend’s endeavours.

A two pronged assault during a sunny break in the middle of the month proved to be an excellent opportunity for pulling the plot together.

Weeds were pulled, beans were planted and my resident constructionist re-built last years rather poorly looking greenhouse. The plot looks like a growing environment once again!
Month in Pictures - April 2009

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Month in Pictures – August 08

Month in Pictures - August 2008 

Despite the grotty wet weather, August still flourished and I spent almost all of my gardening time harvesting crops. Can’t complain about that but it does mean I failed to sow any overwintering crops, hopefully September sown spring cabbages will still be productive.

Blight inevitably struck towards the middle of the month so I pulled up all the spuds up and kept my fingers crossed for the health of the greenhouse tomatoes.

With the major crops out, and the blight spreading across the outdoor tomatoes the plot began to look a bit tatty towards the end of the month. Shame really but I suppose that’s the way with gardening, its time to start looking forward to the view of freshly turned soil.

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Month in Pictures – June

So June has been and gone and I can’t believe I managed to miss the summer solstice. I was pleased to discover while putting together this months – Month in Pictures, that I was at least on the plot on the 21st – sowing more carrots. If the summer solstice is also known as midsummers day, that would also suggest that I missed the whole of the first half of summer, I’ve been assuming we were still in spring – when does summer actually start?

Month in Pictures - June 08

June was a good month on the food front, the broad beans were finished with but were replaced at the end of the month by runner and borlotta beans. Spuds were worth digging up from the 2nd week, although I’d probably have got some earlier if I’d taken some anti slug measures.

Seeds germinated at break neck speed this month, it’s worth remembering next year that I shouldn’t stress too much about getting all my plants in early – they soon catch up.

I’m already planning next years seed order, I suppose it’s a bit too early to send the order off but I’ve made my choices of squash, pea, bean and tomato seeds from the Real Seed company. I’m going more exotic next year and avoiding some of the poor choices from this year.

I’m not bothering with Feltham First next year, they may over winter well and crop early but they are gross. In fact I am wiping all smooth peas off the drawing board – only wrinklies will enter my seed box from now on. I think I could manage 3 rows of broad beans as well, I’ll stagger two sowings of Aquadulce and then try something different for a late spring sowing.

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Month in Pictures – April

Month in Pictures - April

Progress report for April

What a crazy month its been, at the beginning I was so worried about the broad beans that I resorted to exhaling over them in an attempt to thaw the snow cover and by the end of the month I was blistering in the sun.

I’ve planted out loads of the over zealous seedlings from the front room nursery and so yet again I am watching the weather with crossed fingers. Surely we can’t have a frost in May? I have the feeling that April is the pivotal month in the gardening calendar, we are so vulnerable and yet the temptation to get a head start with the tender crops is almost irresistible.

Here’s a quick spin around the plot (as at 27th April 2007) so I can compare progress this time next year.

Spud Hillocks

Starting next to the shed we have the spud bed, most of these have peaked through the surface but I am still able to keep on top of the earthing up process.

Spin to the right and you get the fruit area – strawberries, rhubarb, gooseberries and blackcurrant.

Strawberry Puddles

Then the second sowing of peas are coming though.

Pea Wave

Early Cloches

These are the cabbages I planted way back in week 1, I’m not terribly impressed with them. The blue ones are incredibly strong and need boiling for about a week before you can serve them. Some are riddled with white fly and most have juicy slugs living in the cosy hearts. I imagine I will compost these soon.

Next to them I have a few onions left but I’ll have eaten them all in a couple more weeks. As they go I am planting parsnips and carrots in their place, not having much success with either of these though, the carrots won’t germinate and something is eating my parsnips.

Beans, Garlic, Onions.

Here are the broad beans I’ve been so protective over. They seem to have survived although Ive probably lost some flowers and therefore productivity with the snow but I’ve eaten all the tips so far and started on the small pods.

Next to these we have the garlic – 2 forgotten varieties and the 2 overwintering onions.

Chard and Beans

I’m happy with this section.

Under the cloche are the ruby chard plants which are beautiful and tasty and productive which makes them number on my list. Next to it are my second sowing of broad beans, also now in pod.

Peas and Holes

Right at the bottom of the plot I have the first sowing of peas with a backdrop of pear and plum trees and a selection of holes awaiting my squash plants.

New Bed

On the other half of the plot we have the pond, a predominantly empty bed with sowings of french bean, kohl rabi and turnips.

Under the cloche are transplants of greyhound cabbage, they are pathetically small though.

Finally we have the bed with the 99p cloches. I’ve mostly got salad crops in here – mustard, rocket, radish, lettuce etc.

Salad Crops

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Month in Pictures – March

Month in Pictures - March

Progress report for March.

March has been a wash out weather wise and we even managed a bit of snow. A little creative jiggery pokery with my annual leave arrangements has enabled me to make the most of the very occasional dry spell to get on the plot and the results have been satisfying:

  • All spuds are now planted. Heaven nows how I am going to eat them all but that’s a problem for June, not March.
  • Copious quantities of broken paving slabs were collected from a freecyclist, a job that took the best part of a day due to me nursing the worlds worst hangover.
  • Paths were laid a few days later when I finally recovered.
  • Broad beans seem to be surviving despite doubtful glances from the old timers.
  • Shakti seems to be doing wonders with the seedlings in her care and has happily turned her front room into my nursery.
  • On the second to last day of March I completed digging the entire plot. Not one inch remains untouched. I am shattered but content and perhaps wondering what on earth I am to do with myself now.

March marks the end of my first 6 months with the plot so here’s the before and after shot:

Six Months Hard Labour

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Month In Pictures – February

Month In Pictures - February 2008

Progress report for February.

The weather was remarkably mild and I enjoyed a good few sunny weekends on the plot.

  • The peach was planted and tentatively pruned to within an inch of it’s life.
  • Paths and a seed bed were constructed in a fashion.
  • The Hellebore flowered beautifully and provided a lovely welcome to all frogs that were considering setting up residence in the pond but none came.
  • The broad beans were exposed to the elements as they were growing too big for their toasty covering.
  • The peas were staked.
  • First row of spuds were planted – Swift.
  • Aubergines and tomatoes were sown and promptly shipped off to Shaktis for nurturing on the window ledge.

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