My Gardening Diary

14th April Well at last the rubbish weather has broken and we've had a few nice days.

Not much happening on the vegetable plot - things are growing nicely in the warmth but nothing required from me !  Just a little bit of potting-on of seedlings in the Greenhouse and replanting seeds eaten by the mouse.

So spent the time getting on top of the rest of the garden with lawn mowing, weeding and general tidying up.
7th April 2024 I finished the second Carrot Cage but then decided to put it in a different bed to the one sieved yesterday so more sieving required !

I have planted the large Carrot Cage with Autumn King and Early Nantes 2 which I grew last year.  The seed are just broadcast rather than being in rows, I don't even bother thinning them out but just wait till they are ready to eat.

The new smaller Carrot Cage has been sown with St. Valery in a single row.  These will be looked after 'properly' and thinned out to see if I can get some nice large carrots for the show !

And a new 'pest' in the Greenhouse - a mouse which has been nibbling at my Courgette and Sunflower seeds that had just germinated !  Not sure whether to set a mouse trap or shut our cat in there:
Large Carrot Cage 7-4-2024Small Carrot Cage 7-4-4024
6th April 2024 This morning I spent sieving the raised bed for the carrots, I like to do this to reduce the chances of the roots splitting into funny shapes.

The soil is still a bit sticky but it was just about OK for sieving, I'm using a 1/2" sieve made by Father.

It took two wheel barrows to sieve into then the soil is returned to the bed and raked.

All I need to do now is to build my second Carrot Cage, this afternoons job.
Sieving 6-4-2024Sieve 6-4-2024Carrot Bed 6-4-2024
5th April 2024 The order from my favourite on-line supplier arrived, which included some mulching sheet and netting.

The mulching sheet is for the second strawberry bed, the plants (Cambridge Favourite) were donated by my Sister-In-Law Hilary and have been temporarily planted in one of the other raised beds since the Autumn.  In the left hand bed is Elsanta which where planted last Autumn.  I'm hoping that if we have a hot summer (like 2021) the mulch sheet will help them survive.

Also in the order was some pea netting which I have put over the Sweet Peas planted last week.

I then tided up the raised bed that had Brassicas in last year and planted some Gladioli.  I usually just replant last years corms but have found that gradually one colour is becoming dominant so I have bought some new colours for this year (from Billing Garden Centre and Aldi !).

Finally in the order was some more fine insect netting to make a second 'Carrot Cage' - that'll probably be tomorrows job.
Strawberries 5/4/2024Sweet Peas 5/4/2024
31st March 2024 The weather forecast for this weekend didn't look too promising but in the end we had two dry days which allowed me to make really good progress in the vegetable garden.

Traditionally you're supposed to plant your potatoes at Easter though not sure how that works as Easter moves every year !  Still that's what I've always done and it seems to work.  In addition to the earlies planted last week I've put in Maris Peer (second early) and Kind Edward (main crop).

The runner beans are in, possibly a bit early as they may get caught out by frost but I usually get away with it !  I'm growing Painted Lady, Streamline, Scarlett Emperor and a runner bean from the Heritage Seed Library who visited the gardening society a few years ago.  I haven't bought runner bean seed for many years but collect my own from the year before.

I've also put out the sweet peas sown a few weeks go, they just need some netting over them to climb up.

In the raised beds I have sown Beetroot (Boltardy), Spring Onions (Lisbon and Tondo Musona).  I've also sown some Snap Peas and another pea from the Heritage Seed Library - I'm using pruning's from the blackcurrants for them to grow up, they'll probably root so if anybody wants a Blackcurrant bush later in the year ?

The pots sitting on the path are Laurel hedge cuttings taken last year ready to replace a rather tatty hedge next to the compost bins.

I was also busy in the greenhouse on Saturday, pricking out more annuals and sowed some lettuce and spring onions ready for planting out in the greenhouse and vegetable garden in a few weeks, they will be ready before those sown directly outside.
vegetable plot 31/3/2024Raised beds 31-3-2024
24th March 2024
At last the ground on the main vegetable area has drained enough to start digging over ready for the potatoes.  I've just planted the first earlies today - this year I'm growing 'Red Duke of York', these were very successful last year and cooked well and also 'Swift' a new one to try.

In the greenhouse, pricked out a few annual seedlings into trays.

16th March 2024


Probably the first day I've managed to get out when it wasn't cold or wet !  so gave the fruit and veg plot the once over:

  • cut down the Autumn fruiting raspberry's (a bit late but I'm sure they won't mind)

  • picked the last of the Brussel Sprouts which I'd planted in one of the strawberry beds in the fruit cage after the strawberries finally died last summer having never recovered from the hot summer of 2022

  • cleared the sprouts and tidied up the bed ready for some new strawberries - I'm going to grow them through a mulching sheet to see of that helps to keep them from drying out

  • I've grown some 'over winter' onion varieties - Red Winter and Autumn Winter which seem to be doing OK, whereas the seed onions sown in the autumn (Augusta) didn't germinate ?

  • the Garlic are doing very well, I'm growing Solent Wight for the first time in addition to my usual 'French' garlic - don't know the variety a friend brought a bulb back from France for me a few years ago

  • the Aquadulce broad beans sown in the autumn are also doing OK, I planted some more a few weeks ago but they are not showing yet ?

  • and finally turned one of my compost heaps which is full of worms that are doing a good job of breaking it down


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