Showing posts with label sweetpeas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweetpeas. Show all posts

Monday, April 10, 2017

Finding Muscles Where I Never new I had Them After Working on the Allotment

Been so busy at the allotment everything progressing nicely!

Hi everyone, been so busy down at the allotment everything seems to be moving on far to quickly for me. Time for an update.

So what you can see below is the cold frame full of plants that were originally in the greenhouse, my aim is to get them out into the ground at the weekend. I thought when I built it there would be plenty of room for the plants that needed to be hardened off but things are just progressing so very quickly.


What we have in the picture above is the cauli's, leeks, beans and sweet peas all raring to go in the ground since I wrote last on my blog about the allotment.



Loads and loads of work to do, the leeks will stay in the cold frame but the cauli's and sweet peas are well ready to go in the ground.


The greenhouse is really well placed with the sunshine on it most of the day, as you can see the courgettes and the sweetcorn are doing really well.


Sprout seedlings above planted last week, up the next week! Amazing....


Tomato plants are just thriving, it really is remarkable how well everything is doing here.....


Celeriac, peppers, melons, unbelievable!

Suntop at home pictured below is to doing really well, lettuces, nasturiam, lavetera, more tomatoes, melons and courgettes.




Now I am going to be honest now, I do have a couple of trays of plants like the one above that I have for some unknown reason not labelled, I'm sure there are others like me that have forgotten to label! Any ideas? I think they maybe peppers but not quite sure.....




Back to the allotment, and I'm not kidding you, my body after mowing the grass and trying to sort the borders with my new push lawn mower and my bare hands is and are sore and very tender, as if I had worked out at the gym two days in a row on all of the different apparatus! Talk about a workout.



Before mowing above......


And after 10 hours hard labour!!!!


The two main men in my life came up and repaired the felt roof, no more puddles in the shed!




They both worked really hard and done a brilliant job (rose bush wasn't to happy though!)



I've also uncovered all of the beds ready for the plants and seeds to go in. The soil was dug back at the beginning of the year and now all I have to do is rake over before I start planting. Just can't wait for this bit in the project.




Lovely new felt roof. Well done my lovelies.....


No sign of chard yet, only time will tell......


Garlic's doing wonderfully.....


And so are the beans.

So there you have it, a lot has been going on since the last time on my blog. And I'm sure that things are going to progress very quickly.

The plan this weekend, put up the wigwams for the sweetpeas and get them in, put the cauli's in, move the courgettes into the coldframe and the tomatoes, sow some seeds into the seed bed, which I have to choose which of the beds is going to be the actual seed bed as I have never had one before but Monty Don said on Gardeners World that we would reap the rewards if we sow them into a seed bed first, so thats my plan.

I have a holiday at the end of May to France so I am planning to harden off everything so that I can move it outside the greenhouse because the greenhouse gets far to warm, my plan is to take one of the tables out of the greenhouse turn it upside down on the decking by the shed which gets some shade during the day then put all the plants on the inside of the table (stay with me!) and then cover the table with netting to stop the birds getting to the plants, I could also feel the bottom of the table with water it is metal and the plants would be fed from under instead of on top, not sure if I have explained that very well but I understand what I mean and I'll show you in a later blog what I mean.

The theory being that the plants will survive a week with me not being up there, your thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Can you see the blackbird in her nest?


My blacky has been on her nest for over 15 days now, surely the babies should hatch soon!

Anyway for now folks thats all up to date, I hope I can make time to come back later to talk about my allotment and update you all with my progress and not leave it so long next time.

Until later happy allotmenting!


Monday, March 27, 2017

DIY Cold Frame Made Ready for Hardening of my Grow Your Own Plants

Look at my DIY coldframe made from odds and ends from around the allotment
Not bad eh!

My goodness what a challenge this was! It had to be done though because everything was getting so big in the greenhouse and it's far to warm in there.


Took me around four hours to do, but I was determined to get it done, I found some old panels around the allotment and after digging out the bed and removing most of the soil I placed two of the panels inside the bed, perfect fit, I then moved the cauli's, leeks and sweetpeas into the make shift coldframe and put two more glass panels on top of the frame with a small piece of roofing I also found lying around placed at the far end on top.

Job done, hopefully when I go up to the allotment at the weekend I'll be able to plant out the cauliflowers.

Cauli's and leeks now in the coldframe, good job done!
Marigolds are doing well, they'll be the next to go into the coldframe and I'll put them out with the tomatoes when the frosts are no longer.


Look at the celearic and the cucumbers, amazing, never thought it would be warm enough but must have a really good allotment plot in the proper place. Although I must say it is really windy at the moment on the plot.




Got quite a variety of tomatoes growing and hopefully the greenhouse will be big enough to take them all, although I will try to grow some in the ground later on. Can't believe how big the courgettes have got so I'll pot them on before I leave.


Nasturiams and lavatera looking good too. I'm hoping to add these to the flower border with the Chard and Sweetpeas. Can't wait to get started on that part of the project. Hopefully the colours will make the plot a lot prettier.


So managed to only just fit in repotting the cucumbers and courgettes before it was time to leave.

I must admit I was absolutely shattered when I left and my knees were really giving me jip. I'm hoping that I haven't caused a really big problem with them, my left knee is already dodgy from riding to long on the bike before stopping, now the right one is through kneeling and digging!



Next weekend, all of the plastic is coming off! I just can't stand to look at it any longer, and then I am going to mow in between the beds and tidy the edges, after that if time is available I will plant out the cauli's into the bed at the back on the left hand side. I also need to get on and sow some cabbages.

Feeling really pleased with myself at the moment, everything that I have grown in the greenhouse and in the suntop at home is flourishing. Can't wait to see it all growing in the beds at the allotment.

The Suntop

So the beans and the sweetpeas are well ready to be hardened off.

Every morning I will take the trays of plants out of the suntop and then put them back in at night and next weekend they will be taken up to the allotment to give me more room to grow my flowers for my garden.

So exciting!



I've also grown a tray of little baby gem lettuces in the suntop so if the ones I sowed in the greenhouse at the allotment don't come up once these have been hardened off they can go in with the parsnips!

The thought of failing when planting in the ground is not an option, so backup plan is in place.

Sweetpeas ready to go up to the allotment once they have been completely hardened off

Beans and more sweetpeas to go up to the allotment once hardened off

Moving on, my little blackbird has been sitting on her nest for about ten days now, amazing to watch the amount of time that she spends sitting there, what patience she has!

I tried to get a picture but was concerned I might disturb her, not sure if you can see the outline of her or not.



So, for now that is it, back to work, hopefully everything will be ok up at the allotment, it hasn't been that warm but just a little concerned that it has been warming up over the last few days and I'm hoping the plants can manage until Saturday!

I really wanted to crack on and speak about Motogp, but as I said in a previous blog I have to seperate the two because as the season progresses there is going to be so much that I'm going to want to say!

Keep a look out for my next blog where my enthusiasm for writing about Motogp, Valentino Rossi and the other riders and riding with my hubby is as exciting to me as my allotment.

Until later, happy sowing, digging, planting and watering!



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Everythings Green and Gorgeously Growing in the Greenhouse at the Allotment


What a lovely surprise to be greeted with after a week away from the allotment...


So to my allotment blog come chinwagwithme....

It was such a surprise to see that the pots in the greenhouse were looking so wonderfully green and fresh after a week away from the allotment.

 I was a  little concerned that having not watered for a week maybe they wouldn't have looked so fresh and happy.

The cauliflowers have now four leaves and are looking superb in their little pots, I will have to think seriously about making a cold frame on the allotment plot and will touch on this later on in my blog.


Courgettes have just started  to appear which is quite a surprise as I only sowed the seeds on the 4th March, I didn't over them either, I must have chosen to sow them on the right day. I remember it was a warm day, perhaps that may have had something to do with it. The sweet peas are looking fab too. Again, another one of the plants that will need to go into a cold frame too very soon.


Tomatoes will need to be potted into individual pots soon, something I will do next weekend as I haven't got the time this weekend to do it. It won't matter too much their doing fine.



Well impressed with myself, water melons and Marigolds looking wonderful, I have never grown a water melon so this is going to be quite a challenge for me. For now though I will leave the baby plant alone and just water but make a point of reading how to take care of this little treasure.


Leeks are doing well after being potted on last week into bigger pots, once the frosts are over probably in mid april I will plant these in with the red and white onions as that is a huge bed and I want to use up all of the space. Should have about sixty leeks!


Very excited that the sweet peppers are showing their little heads, I think out of everything I have ever grown before sweet peppers and lettuce and radish believe it or not have always been the ones I struggle with. I think maybe I get carried away normally and plant the seed to deep. Must have been lucy with the peppers their looking fine and dandy! I'll pot them on next week probably too.


The cauliflowers that you see above are absolutely wonderful to look at, very strong and content in their spaces, I hope that I can get this right, all the time they are i their pots I'm happy its when I have to put them in the ground I worry. My lack of experience with growing veg is going to prove challenging to say the least.


So this week I decided to sow some chard seeds in the long bed in the middle of the allotment plot. It's a very long bed so I am planning to break it up into sections. So to the left and right on both ends of the bed I have planted the chard seeds 3/4 inch deep in rows about 8 inches apart and at a spacing of about 10 inches, fingers crossed, and I mean that, hopefully, I haven't sown to early or to deep!

The weather forecast has just been on and we are going to have another cold snap, I really hope that I haven't started sowing in the ground to early.

I then covered both of the sections with some green netting to deter the birds from getting to the seeds. The rest of that particular bed will have the sweet peas growing up canes and peas on canes too.

Sounds lovely and I can't wait to see what I am visualising in my head actually panning out, we shall see.



So, you might remember in last weeks blog I sowed in this little bed covered with the cloche parsnips and lettuce, nothing has appeared yet. It's gonna be so exciting if something does appear, this is the first bed I have sowed seed in and I have high expectations at the moment, I hope I wont be disappointed.

The broad beans are doing well, once the lettuce show their little heads in the other bed I'll sow some more in the bed with the broad beans, that should give me a constant supply if I sow fortnightly.


Garlic is growing nicely.....


As I wrote earlier I want to make a coldframe at the back of the allotment and I am thinking maybe the little bed right at the back of the plot near the compost heap could possibly be made into a coldframe. I have two glass panels down by the shed that could go over the top of it. Something that I am going to ask hubby to help me with next weekend as the panels are heavy.

I'll show you next week how I have got on.

The plot itself still doesn't look that great, just plastic covers over everything really.

But I have to say to myself it won't look like this for much longer all of the lovely plants growing away nicely in the greenhouse will eventually be in the beds.

 I'm still feeling hesitant about growing in the ground, mad I know, but there are so many things to take into consideration, in pots in the greenhouse you look after the plants yourself, if you don't water then they may die if you over water they may die, it's entirely up to me to grow the plants to be strong and healthy.

In the ground however the little plants are up against all the elements, sun, rain, slugs, pests, birds, mice you name it and the plants have to survive them all and finally grow into food that we can eat.

I really hope that I am ready for this new challenge in my life because I'm not very good at accepting failure. Onwards and upwards, I will succeed!!!

In the Suntop in my backgarden

So the trial begins, I thought being that I was using water from the kitchen tap that the plants in the suntop would be thriving even more than those at the greenhouse at the allotment.

But that is not the case, they are about on average the same, using the water butt at the allotment has made no difference at all to the size or condition of all the plants.


The only difference that I can see is that the soil in the trays and pots at the greenhouse at the allotment have a green colouring to the top of the soil. Other than that on average both the suntop seedlings and the greenhouse ones are much the same.


I really must get a move on and pot on these leeks!


Now, these broad beans are doing extremely well in the suntop, I'm going to pot them on this weekend and then later on in April after they have been hardened off (left outside for a week or so and then brought in at night until frosts are no more) I will then put them in big pots and keep them at home in the back garden.


The sweet peas are doing extremely well, I'm going to pot them on too, later on this week into trays, I'll show you later in my next blog what I am going to do, I haven't done it before but one of my gardening books suggested that you pot them on into old insides of toilet rolls, yes I know sounds mad, but very logical. So when you want to plant them into their final spots you don't damage the roots, how clever is that, because the roll is degradable you just plant the whole thing where you want it to go.

You can just about see the celearic peering up out of the tray at the back of the sweet peas.


Next week I'll show you in my blog how I get on with this technique that I have found.


So the top shelf of the suntop is full of seedlings in their little bags waiting to germinate.



I decided to do lavetera and also to sow lettuce in trays just in case they don't come up in the ground at the allotment.


Now, I no this isn't a very good piccy but I wanted to try to show you the black bird nest that I saw the blackbird fly into today. Watch this space for better piccies as things progress with mother nature.

Anyway thats all for now folks, happy gardening and thankfully no problems or disappointments to discuss with you yet, let's hope it stays that way!