Sunday, 10 April 2011

Something's eating my radishes

Progress has been made in the garden, and we've inspired the neighbours to get some raised beds. This is, apparently, the green side of the street!
This picture shows the garden two weeks ago.. I have, unfortunately, started multiple jobs and not really finished any of them, though the veggies are the first thing I always start with - to make sure I'm planting when I should be and keeping an eye on any weeds.. My square feet gardens are taking shape, and I'm using two rectangular pot side by side to create 2x2 gardens for leeks and carrots that need deeper soil. The plastic covers are held on by bungee cord - which stops them flapping about in the wind. I've also kept a triangle of fleece on each garden during the day to provide a little bit of shade for any new seedlings that have been planted out.
Other than the veg, the main tasks have been to start to create a bed out of a boggy patch right outside the backdoor, and to cut branches off the trees that are crowding the garden. The boggy patch needs improving as we have clay soil, so I've been turning the soil over and incorporating compost & vermiculite - but it's hard going and not yet complete. Cutting branches down left a huge pile of scrub and branches in the middle of the garden that needed sawing up and disposing of.
This picture above was last weekend, with the work party who were tempted to come and help out with the offer of a roast dinner. This left my kitchen floor rather muddy as I ran in and out of the house combining gardening and cooking. They also brought tools with them that I don't have - a brush cutter, and a chipper (that I've kept hold of for the moment) which meant that we attacked a huge bush in the front garden that was threatening to take over the driveway, made a huge dent in the pile of wood and scrub in the back garden, repotted the heathers in the "frost-proof" pots that cracked and fell apart, repotted the clematis that I'd dug up from the old garden with an obelisk for it to climb, and got some onion sets and potatoes planted.. Something has been nibbling at my radishes and broccoli - but it's not caterpillars or slugs or snails...

Yesterday I spent most of the day in the back garden, and am a little bit pink as a result.
I spent a bit of time with the square feet gardens, thinning out any seedlings that needed it - SFG recommends station sowing and then snipping any additional seedlings that come up, rather than pulling them out as that can disturb the roots of the remaining plants. I also planted some additional leek , pea and onion seeds where the seedlings had either died after transplanting, or hadn't come up. New sowings included climbing french beans, peas, leeks and lettuces. I had a discovery yesterday - I have been finding sowing difficult because I soak the seeds first and then they stick to your fingers and don't fall in the hole. Yesterday I picked the seeds up with a small stick and then washed them into the holes with a little water.. Some of the potatoes have started to peek through, so I've been earthing them up. Our first harvest was the thinnings of the lettuces I planted a few weeks ago - so we had those leaves in our sandwiches at lunchtime. Finally the gnomes are outdoors and guarding my veggies.
I finished off the pile of wood - adding the chippings to a bed at the end of the garden, discovered a patio that had been covered in soil, and mowed the lawn for the first time since we moved. Next job is to start levelling the lawn - hmmmmm..

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