Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Kitchen Garden Notes - Potting on

It probably seems very grand of me to describe my little garden as a 'kitchen garden'. I expect it stems from far too many visits to National Trust and English Heritage properties. We live on a large 1980s residential estate which means cramming as many properties in the space available. To compound the lack of space problem our garage is detached so it takes up half of the garden. Behind the garage is a small, sunny spot. The previous owners had a summer house there but it's where we have our greenhouse.
Nearly ready for the radishes
Our first greenhouse was one of those you put together yourself with plastic poles and had a polyethlene covering. It served us well for a couple of years but wasn't up to the harsh Yorkshire winters. If you are just starting out they do make an excellent and cheap alternative to a standard fixed greenhouse but I would advise taking it down in the winter. Since then we saved up and bought an aluminium framed greenhouse. As we have a couple of children we went for clear plastic panels instead of glass.
Will the rocket go wild?
Over the years I've been guilty of buying seeds and never sowing them but this year I've been determined to get organized and get growing. Last month I had a mass sowing session. I found a number of seed packets, many of which were passed their 'sow by' date, and decided which ones to plant first. Somewhat amazingly they have all germinated. In order to make a note of what I have done and for future reference what works and what doesn't I have started a 'Growing notes log'.
'Growing notes' and seeds organized
As you can see I've organized the seeds in one place now which was formerly a box of teabags. At the front are the seeds I've already sown and at the back are the unopened packets. If you are successful in your growing then gluts of crops of inevitable. In order to ensure that we have something to eat week after week I've held back some seeds but we've also sown already another crop of French beans.
Second batch of French beans already on their way
Now the seeds have germinated it's time to transplant them into bigger or individual pots. I've sown carrots for the first time this year. If successful the yield won't be that great but my son loves carrots and I thought it be good to show him how they are grown. The problem with carrots is a nasty pest known as Carrot Fly. You can now get varieties that are resistant to Carrot Fly but these were non-specific variety aimed for sowing with kids. It seems that Carrot Fly is attracted to damaged or bruised leaves so I had to be extra careful when thinning them out.
Careful with the carrots...
The last task of the day was emptying out some of the compost bin. If you want some tips about home composting you can read my post from last year here. It really is one of life's small pleasures to be able to get compost for free and from what would have gone to landfill. The soil around the red currants and strawberries needed some extra nourishment so in it has gone.

I hope to bring you some updates in the coming weeks of how the fruit and vegetables are developing. I just hope it isn't photographs of dead and slug eaten leaves!

Sharing the greenfingers love with Annie at Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

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