Monday, 25 May 2009

May Be

...just maybe we're in for a good summer this year.

With all the recent sunshine, everything's been springing to life. Just look at the spud planter, overflowing already. The beans are finally all planted out - I put them out in stages, half a dozen at a time. So far the later ones are looking better for being kept in the cold frame a couple of weeks longer.

The giant pumpkin has been out a few nights now, under a polytunnel. It's growing fast - I'm starting to wonder exactly how giant it might grow. I planted out the mini corn today, with the full size corn still looking too spindly to go in the ground. The cabbages are growing well, though they bear no resemblance to the Greyhound variety (as yet), and the broad beans (left) are looking good too.

Of the caulis I planted out, some have survived, others been eaten and a few succumbed to the cold. I'll be pleased if I end up harvesting a few - haven't ever managed to get them to grow before.

Most exciting development of the week (in the garden, anyway) was putting up the mini- greenhouse and getting the lanky tomato plants off the kitchen windowsill. It was easy to put together and will easily hold four tomatoes and two cucumbers (or gherkins, as I prefer) as well as a top shelf for shorter plants. I may have to find some chillies to put up there! It must be keeping the tomatoes nice and cosy at night as they're looking really happy in there. At the end of a hot day, it feels like a hothouse in there!

Still have several types of squash and pumpkin yet to go outdoors, but noticed today that none of the butternuts have germninated. Hastily sowed some more, hopefully not too late. They're my favourites!

Sticking with the seed sowing approach, one last go (this year) to grow some artichokes and haricot beans too. They went in today.

A few more pictures from today, then. See below for the bean row, rhubarb and spagetti squash with a touch of frost bite.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Make Your Own Mini-Greenhouse (Or Grow-House if you Prefer)

It won't look smart (except in an existential way) and it won't look pretty, but on the bright side it won't cost you a penny either, as long as you have lots of unused or even unusable tat and of course a wild and free imagination. And if you're lucky (and I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one) as an added bonus it may work! Time will tell, and yes, I will spill the beans on whether the tomatoes will ripen. So far they have spent two nights out under plastic and I have to say they are looking healthier than I would be after camping out at this time of year.

Ok lets get specific. Materials used - one sack-truck (seen better days and one wheel falling off), one large plastic sack (see-through, came as wrapping on something), three plant pots 6" to 8", two tomato plants grown to two feet high, one gherkin plant about a foot high so far.

No need for instructions - it's fairly self explanatory. Takes one plant to the back and two to the front. As an afterthought I put some trays under the pots, for ease of watering - removed the need to take the plastic sack off to water. The sack will need removing on a regular basis in the daytimes, for pollination, but it fits well and lifts off easily.