Stourport 2010

Stourport 2010
Winning vase 5x 'Sarah Louise'

Saturday, 31 May 2014

"Casting a clout cus May's nearly out!"

I've been thinking about how i'm going to do this blogging business and have come up with an idea. Im going to try and do a weekly update rather than try to post as and when I can. With this little  bit of discipline I'm hoping to keep everybody up to date with what's going on here.
It was a plot morning today and this started with putting all the polycarbonate sheets back into the roof of the greenhouse and to start planting the cucumbers in there. I take the roof panels off in the winter to allow the rain to soak the soil in the borders. The black buckets are to prevent the plant stems from getting too wet and rotting and the pipes are for directing the water to the roots where it's needed.
In the big tunnel we have leek moth! Never had much of a problem with it before but its come in from somewhere! I have sprayed and i'm hoping its stopped the little sh*t in it's tracks...

Planted the squashes out today aswell. They are all 3ft apart each way. They are a mixture of butternut, marino di Chioggia, autumn crown, little gem and justynka.
They have alittle Vitax Q4 mixed in the planting hole and a good soak and that's it.


Garlics coming on well in the to tunnel now. The bulbs are just starting to swell so now is the time to keep them well watered and not let them dry out.

Strained my first batch of comfrey feed today. This is for the tomatoes, peppers and aubergines; I will be feeding this alongside a purchased tomato food throughout the summer 4 cups to a watering can so its the colour of weak tea.

Sweetcorn 'Rising Sun' has been planted also. About 15" apart; I have managed to get 20 in this bed next to the self blanching celery. Like the squashes, these have had a dressing of vitax q4.

Last day in May and I've picked my first lot of onions! These are obviously Japanese onions planted back in September in the big tunnel. They've grown steadily over the winter and have come out clean and pest free. - definitely worth growing under cover...

A view across the tunnel beds. There are three beds, all of them new in this year. Each bed is backed by espalier apple trees in the making.

This bed is the self blanching celery. There are two varieties here, golden and green. You can just see where one ends and the other starts. The key here is plenty of water and, this year, plenty of slug pellets!

Moving onto the next bed we have celeriac. Again this is one for plenty of moisture which, inevitably encourages all the neighbouring slugs and snails. So liberal amounts of pellets are put down and the rows are regularly hoed. This not only prevents weed growth but also creates a dust mulch which slugs do not like to slide over (slide? crawl? slither? - or whatever slugs do!)

A view from the tunnel beds looking up one of the plots towards the top tunnel. In the middle of the picture are the cordon sweet peas, bordered by French marigolds.

Behind the sweet peas is the new fruit cage- destined to be covered with netting...

This is inside the fruit cage. There is a row of cordon redcurrants (first year cuttings) and in front of them is a row of 'Elsanta' strawberries- looking good for Wimbledon!

I'll end on this beautiful pear tree. I'm sure you'll all agree its a fantastic colour on these immature fruits. The ripe pears are green with an equally charming warm rosy blush...Its making my mouth water now so enjoy and check back next weekend for the next instalment! Thanks guys Adam.

Friday, 23 May 2014


So so busy with work that I haven't been able to post as regularly as I like. A (pushy) friend of mine always puts me back in line when I haven't posted so thanks to him (again) here is another fresh post...
This year i'm growing some sweet potatoes in the big tunnel. I refuse to pay the price that some companies are charging for rooted slips so I have grown them myself instead. First of all I purchased a bag of sweet spuds from Aldi and planted them into pots of John Innes and placed on the heated bench in the greenhouse. Within two or three weeks there were throwing a wealth of shoot which I detached and rooted in 3 1/2" pots. They are now planted through black membrane in one of the beds in the tunnel. I shall be regularly watering and feeding them as they are a hugry/thirsty crop.

This time of the year you realise your greenhouses and coldframes aren't big enough. Its always a constant juggling game here when there are trays and trays of things that need to be hardened off.
The big tunnel down the allotments is handy to have and acts as a huge coldframe and certainly helps ease the green congestion at home!
Ive been busy in the garden at home as im giving a talk/presentation for our gardening club in August all about our garden. So ive been doing work on the Japanese rockery, woodland stumpery and the new 'Monty's garden'.
Tommorrow if its not too wet im going down the plots so ill try and remember to take the camera and get some snaps to post on here. Things are growing well now. I think the allium leaf miner has got into a couple of rows of setton onions as they look terrible and are dropping like flies! Celery and celeriac is planted out and enjoying the rain. Leeks in the tunnel have got signs of the moth! The early spuds are just showing signs of flowering which, luckily, has coincided with this rain which will help swell the forming tubers- mother nature can be compliant sometimes!