Friday, May 18, 2007

Warming up

It is a very toasty 20 degrees this morning out in the garden and it is absolutely glorious. I just wish I could spare the day to work in the garden rather than being stuck indoors. The recent rain has been great for the veg and our 100 litre water butt filled up in no time!

Still, it is a good day to begin hardening off the tomatoes. I've put them outside in a sunny spot and will do this for the next few days before planting them out.

6 Tomato 'Tigerella' and 4 Tomato 'Totem' (cherry)

The slug repellent granules seem to have been washed away a bit though after all this rain so I'll need to top these up. I can see that the broad beans, french beans and beetroot have been nibbled a bit. The beetroot has grown quite a bit over the last couple of weeks and is looking pretty good. I can't wait to harvest some sweet baby roots for a tasty salad!

Beetroot 'Bolivar' growing nicely

There are signs of life in the carrot containers - not as many have germinated as I would have liked but I am using up an older packet of seed which might be why. Still, I can easily sow a few more seeds in the gaps. These carrots will be picked when they are young to be eaten as whole baby carrots.

No need to thin them out at least!

The foliage on the potatoes is astonishing and seems to be on a mission to take over the garden! Its a good job they are in potato planters! The jerusalem artichokes are looking equally as healthy and are growing vigourously too. They must be at least a metre tall now. I am now impatiently waiting for flowers to appear amongst the potato foliage as an indication that we can have a poke in the soil to see if they are some tasty little potatoes to harvest...

From the back: Salad potatoes, jerusalem artichokes and shallots

Everything is coming along well in the coldframe too. I really do need to get the mange tout peas out in the ground so they can begin to cling to the climbing frame we have made for them. The leeks have gotten to a good pricking out size now too and are ready to be put in the ground. I'll them sow some more.

The spinach has grown a lot quicker than expected and could even be harvested as baby leaves. I'll sow a couple of rows in a length of drainpipe as soon as I can so we have plenty to harvest. We have a packet of nematodes now ready to treat the salad bed so we should be able to start planting into that in a couple of weeks time.

The two rows of mixed lettuce and rocket are coming up nicely too. We have been harvesting lettuce from our first crop and it is delicious. We have a wonderful pot of coriander now too.

In the coldframe: Mange tout peas, tagetes, calendula, spinach, leeks, lettuce and rocket

There are many jobs that I want to get done but I have so much other work to do for my final college submissions at the moment and with the preparations for starting up my design practice it is becoming very difficult to find the time.

I need to repot the courgettes in the nursery, plant out peas and leeks from the nursery, sow more seed, prepare the ground for the tomatoes, treat the salad bed with nematodes and a border of copper tape, make a lean to polythene 'greenhouse' for the aubergines... I'll stop the list there.

I may be helping with the final planting for one of the show gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show this weekend too - very exciting to be involved in the run up to the show opening next week... no wonder I have no time to work in my own garden though!


Unknown said...

Wow! The potatoes and artichokes are really growing like crazy!

How's your basil going?


Kim said...

Its still alive! I've had to take the lid off now as it has reached the top and was getting squashed. I'm hoping it will straighten up ok though.

Have you tried the sushi propagator yet?!

Unknown said...

Yes! I am now using sushi propagator, salad container propagator, every kind of smallish transparent plastic container with a lid!! Thanks for the great tip!

This week some perilla seeds and japanese vege seeds arrived from my order from the USA, so now they are houses in these propagators too.

Do you want some seeds to add to your collection? I'd love to see some of these Asian herbs in your garden!

Basil doing well, and I've also taken the lid off mine.

Kim said...

Wow, thats very generous of you, thank you. I'd love to grow some for the garden.

Do you have email and I can give you my details? Or you could email me at and I can then reply to you.

Anonymous said...

I love the scent of tomato leaves... so spicy.

Your seedlings all look so beautiful (my carrots are showing their little frilly leaves too).