Sunday, 22 April 2018

Up and Away

Vegetable garden blogging is a contradictory activity:  Either you have nothing to report and all the time in the world to blog, or you are so active that you don't have the time or the energy to blog.  Recently I have moved from one phase to the other.  Aside from the improvement in the weather dictating a change of gear I have also been helping out in a school vegetable garden lately so demands on my vegetable growing time have doubled.  Having made my excuses here is an update.  Pride of place goes to the migration of the sensitive plants to the greenhouse where they are resident 24 hours.


Tomatoes




Courgettes and Butternut Squash



Chilli Peppers

Outside the greenhouse the former occupants are disporting themselves across the "patio" area.

Spot the bench to relax on.

Indoors the sowing programme continues with the second round of brassica sowings.  Nowadays I am much more disciplined about labelling everything at the time of sowing:




This year, after sowing, I log everything on a spreadsheet.  I realised today that I have now made my 100th sowing of the year.  (That is home sowing:  school sowings have their own log.)

Onwards and Upwards:



Saturday, 14 April 2018

Up Up Up

Bee on Willow


After lolling about in the doldrums at 6C or below for a week the temperature today has followed the following pattern

7am   7C
8am  8C
9am  9C
10am  10C
11am 11C
12noon 12C
1pm 13C

Unbelievable! And on the subject of bees. the bumble bees have woken up and are prospecting for nest sites. So far they have evaded my camera lens. Above is the best shot to date.

Here's the most uplifting song I can think of to reflect the mood:







Thursday, 12 April 2018

Purple Reign



At long last the purple sprouting broccoli has started cropping.  This one plant is in advance of the other three, probably because it is the tallest plant and the only one the pigeons were able to attacked  through the net. The next in line has just the one central crown (which I removed today)


Together with the rhubarb and the last of the carrots (not pictured) it felt good to be heading home with a significant harvest today.



The rhubarb has come on tremendously in three weeks:


Rhubarb Today

Rhubarb 3 weeks ago

Tune dictated by the title:


Sunday, 8 April 2018

Something Nice in the Woodshed....


Too early to sow tomatoes?  Well these were sown in January:



I figured: If you have a propagator and lights, why not use them?  Of course I hadn't reckoned on one of the coldest springs on record. So I have been watching the outdoor temperatures and biting my nails since then.  This week I have potted them up and today I potted up the chillies that were sown at the same time. They get to spend days out -  in the greenhouse - but still get pampered at night for now. This hardening off lark is no joke



On the plus side I have refrained from sowing beans sweetcorn or courgettes up until now!

These pictures are a week or two old - my trusty pocket camera has jammed and is off at the repair shop. 

One song for the tomatoes:


and one for the camera:


Monday, 2 April 2018

Easter Eggs?


I am so glad the weather improved for an hour or two on Easter Sunday.  The delayed Good Friday planting finally went ahead and the first two rows of tatties went in.

The potato patch gets underway

Just as well,  as the weather turned at midday and after another frosty night today went from bad to worse with "wintery showers" developing.

We live in hope:




Friday, 30 March 2018

HXB

In time honoured tradition



This year's batch.

Looking at the weather outside I don't think I will be keeping the other tradition - planting potatoes.  It is grey windy and cold (4C) in Edinburgh today.



Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Roots and Shoots


Finally getting towards the end of the carrots.  These have been left in the ground, but covered with straw, throughout the winter.


Also covered with straw - but only recently -  rhubarb.  The bin went on in February, but I had plenty of straw doing nothing.



Another overwintered crop, but one not requiring any protection, is Jerusalem artichoke. These reached 10ft high and were chopped down in two stages.  First to about 6ft  to protect them from wind damage, and then to two foot after the frost had killed off the tops.  The yield is phenomenal - at least twenty fold.  There's only one problem: the limit to the number of times you can serve up artichoke soup before rebellion sets in.

Jerusalem artechokes
 The autumn sown broad beans failed, but these autumn sown onions look like they have survived and have started growing away!

Japanese Onions
That puts me in mind of an old song....