Potting, Potting And More Potting!

In my my younger days, when I was much more sensible, I would start potting at the end of March when the wildlife conservation season had ended and do a bit each weekend.  Now I leave it until the very last moment – usually Chelsea week in late May and try and do it in all one go.  Thankfully, this year I didn’t have the cacti and mesembyanthemums to do (most of these are potted on/repotted every other year) however it was still far too stressful – never again!

It should be noted I suppose that in the past I had probably three times more plants than I have now.  Anyway here are some photographs of work in progress.  I will show photographs of completed greenhouses in my next post.

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The Smallest Allotments In The World: Update One

I thought I would post an update on how the two very tiny vegetable beds either side of my top greenhouse are progressing.

I made the mistake of sowing all the most appetising vegetables to slugs and snails in the bed facing the top shrub border – which I keep quite wild with log piles and lots of leaf litter for the wildlife – inevitably I have had a lot of losses; I will sow them in the bed between the two greenhouses next year.  I did get some tips on snail control from other bloggers which have helped but there is a very wild area immediately behind the fence at the top of the garden so there appears to be a never ending number of extremely rampant molluscs coming through.

The first sowing of carrots failed, although many did come up but were subsequently eaten off, and I have made further sowings; ditto further radish sowings.  I have a row of beetroot, spinach and salad leaves (I bought a packet of lettuce seeds and then lost the packet – thats how hectic it has been recently!) plus the peas are germinating well – no sign of the broad beans though.

The shallots and onions are doing well and I am giving them a light feed of Phostrogen when I water them.

There are some, not very good, photographs below and apologies for the weeds – I have been extremely busy potting plants in the greenhouses lately (thats my excuse and I am sticking to it!).

May

The May (Hawthorn) is well out now.  I took this photograph last week.  For me this is the most evocative native shrub; the pungent scent of its open flowers never failing to take me back to my childhood in a remote village in Wiltshire (England).  There was very little home work in those days (early Sixties) and the children would be out playing in the fields and hedgerows almost immediately after getting home from school.

Hawthorn in full bloom

Hawthorn in full bloom

Memories!

Two house moves ago I had two large greenhouses; one of which was devoted to a sizeable collection of cacti.  Although I still have a few cacti left, most have been given away or lost over the intervening years.

I recently found this photograph of part of the old cacti house – I must try and find more.

Things That Need Improving – Number One: The Lawn

Our neighbour kindly gave us the turves for the lawn last summer – their source best not mentioned,  I am not sure what type of grass is included but the resulting lawn in very patchy (the same could be said for the top of my head but we wont mention that either!).

The lawn is somewhat raised as it is on soil (top soil and subsoil) that I removed when I extended the fish pond.  Although I made strenuous efforts to trample it down it has still sunk in places and the dreaded bindweed is coming through in places too – in spite of what other gardeners say I don’t think you cam completely remove it; certainly not in deep soil like ours (24+ inches in places).

I put Growmore down before I laid the turf but I haven’t fed it since, so that is another job to do.

The Smallest Allotments In The World!

I haven’t made any posts recently as I have been very tied up with work.  I am behind with everything in the garden too.  I haven’t started potting yet and I have four greenhouses to do; the ground elder in the mixed border is out of control and all slabs around the pond need relaying.  Phew!!!

I have managed to sow some vegetable seeds though – well I have to give the slugs and snails something to eat!  Apart from pots on the patio and three mini greenhouses (temporarily bereft of plastic after next door’s cat tried to climb up them!) I have two tiny beds either side of the top greenhouse.  Each is two feet by eight.  I had earlier sowed radish, carrot and spring onion seeds plus onion and shallot sets and this weekend I added beetroot, parsnip (too late I know), spinach, different carrots, broccoli, leeks and more radish.  I will sow peas and beans in the week.

The radish, and possibly carrots, have already been partially eaten so I may have to reluctantly get one of the wildlife friendly slug/snail treatments.  I used to pick the up every night and take the up to the wild area beside the railway track!  Sadly time is in short supply at the moment.

No prizes for the number of weeds you can spot in the shrub border the other side of the path.  I tend to throw old compost along this bed so the weeds grow to gigantic proportions – one of the turtles does eat the dandelion leaves though!