Planting Potatoes, Peas And More….

Last weekend the weather was very strange and Linda Darby left a comment on my blog to say they had even had snow in Derbyshire.  Snow isn’t unheard of in April, but it is unusual.

Here in Leicester we had hail stones.  Unfortunately at the time myself and Mr Thrift were mulching around my mother-in-laws roses with greenwaste compost, so we had to stop what we were doing and wait for it to pass:

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Incidentally as there were lots of annual weed seeds germinating in the beds, I laid sheets of newspaper between the roses and put the mulch on top…..this will kill the small annual weed seedlings without having to pull them all up, so it saved alot of time:

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This week I went for the monthly dog walk in Bradgate park with our trainer Steven Havers.  Unfortunately this is the last walk in Bradgate Park as the walk is being relocated to Switherland Woods next month.

The Bradgate Park Trust reported this week they have now brought in a new sets of rules regarding dogs in the park, because people have been acting irresponsibly in Bradgate Park recently.  On their website it says…..

“Incidents have included parents filming children chasing the deer, dogs chasing the deer, fights between dogs, dogs bothering people, mountain bikers riding off permitted paths, as well as dogs killing wild birds.  In addition dog poo bags have been left hanging in trees and vandalism recently occurred over night in areas where the Trust’s rangers have been improving habitats and facilities”

Reading this made me extremely sad and I am amazed that people think that it is acceptable to treat the park and it’s wildlife in this way!

The ranger that took us around the park this week together with the dog trainer, told us that the number of deer calves is significantly reduced due to this, which is terrible.

Deer in the distance lying down

Deer in the distance lying down

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Castle Gardens:

 As I have said previously there are lots of places on our doorstep that we walk past frequently without even noticing how beautiful they are, or how they change in the different seasons.

This week I visited Castle Gardens, which is just five minutes from the clock tower in the city centre and I was amazed at how beautiful it was….again Leicester City Council should be very proud of their parks department:

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Everyone that walked past me seemed to be in a rush missing the beauty I was seeing.  Some walked along talking on the phone and others were listening to music through their headphones….I think this was such a shame as they were missing the wonderful birdsong that I could hear.

I honestly believe that when people sit at the ‘pearly gates’ they won’t be wishing that they had worked more, rushed more or spent more money on material things…..I think they will be wishing they had slowed down more and enjoyed the things that life can offer for free.

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Leisure  – By William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

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This Week In My Garden:

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This week I have been planting my potatoes.  I have planted my usual ‘Marfona’ which are white second earlies and ‘Desiree’ which are a red late main crop.

Over the years I have tried lots of different ways of planting potatoes, but I have found that speading manure / compost over the bed in winter and then digging a trench and using a bulb planter when planting the potatoes works the best for me.  This way I can plant them deep and I only usually have to earth them up once.

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Amazingly, as I was digging my trenches I still found lots of rubble (though I dug the beds well last year) and I even found a big blue brick!

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This week my parsnips germinated.  As soon as the seed leaves appeared above the compost in the kitchen rolls, I moved them outside into my mini greehouse for a few days.

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I then made holes in the ground that were deep enough for the kitchen rolls.  I did this by banging an old piece of guttering pipe into the ground and then planted the kitchen roll into it, making sure there were no gaps between the soil.

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I then watered them to settle the soil around the tubes making sure there wasn’t any of the cardboard tubes showing above the soil (as this acts like a wick and dries the compost out in the kitchen roll).

Then I put mini-cloches made out of ‘pop’ bottles over them to give a bit of protection from the weather and slugs (I use old sticks inserted into the bottles to stop them from blowing away):

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This week I have also been planting my climbing peas.  They are a variety called ‘Peashooter’ which I have been growing for quite a few years now.

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As with all my crops, I  raked in some blood fish and bone a couple of weeks before.

I put up some pea and bean netting using canes and planted the peas.  Last year I grew my peas facing east to west, however the peas at the back didn’t do so well due to the shade from the peas in front, so this year I am growing them facing south to north in the hope they will do better:

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I have given the peas a bit of protection from the weather and birds using old panes of glass that I brought back from my allotment when I gave it up.

You can also see in the photo below that I put weed suppressant in between the peas so it helps to cut down the weeding, where it is awkward to hoe:

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I have continues to deadhead my daffodils this week and nearly all of them have finished flowering for another year, which is sad as they are my favourite flowers….however there is so much more to look forward to in the garden now the weather is warming up.

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We have eaten our first ‘cut and come again’ salads in my greenhouse and today I have noticed that my first radish of the year are ready to eat:

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And the ‘lollo rossa’ lettuce which is growing under glass outside is ready for me to pick the odd few leaves to add to our salads.

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Also the chives I brought back from my allotment in January 2015 are doing brilliantly sitting along my main path and I am picking them to add to every salad we have:

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Also the rhubarb I transplanted from my allotment in Jauary 2015 is also doing well.  I will be picking it sparingly this year so each plant builds up it’s roots system ready for normal harvesting from next year.

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It’s taken me over a year to get used to my small kitchen garden instead of my four allotments.  Finally I am beginning to enjoy working in it, instead of constantly thinking about what I would have been doing at my allotment.

I have had moments during this month where I can honestly say it has been sheer bliss working in my garden, whilst Judy (my dog) has basked quietly in the sun.  One big advantage is I can nip out when I have five minuites to spare and finish a job, deadhead, weed etc. and if I want I can stay out until the sun goes down and the moon shines….. and once again I have felt happy to be alive in my garden, which is how I used to feel at my allotment!

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Thank you for reading my blog today.  I will be back next Friday as usual.

Have a great week!

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19 thoughts on “Planting Potatoes, Peas And More….

  1. Really enjoy reading you’re blog so nice to be reminded of poem think it’s something we all need to do more, glad you’re enjoying you’re garden you have worked so hard to get it to how you want it enjoy weekend with family though think it’s going to be cold 😀Rita

  2. I loved the poem by William Henry Davies and it flooded me with memories of my mother, who would so have approved!
    Being a keen gardener and dog lover from Saffron Walden in Essex, I like reading what you have been up to and thank you for all your useful tips and recipes.

  3. Great post. I love seeing how you are doing and I really enjoy the poem you mentioned – it’s one of my favourites. I spent the morning in my edible back garden today and really enjoyed talking to y growing veg and digging out the weeds.
    xx

  4. I have also planted my potatoes, parsnips and early carrots now. I love to see my greenhouse full of seeds germinating and growing well. Glad you are seeing the bright side of having your vegetables in your back garden again and I’m sure this second year will be more productive than last. It’s my second year in my kitchen garden too. We live on an old railway cutting in South Leicestershire so it’s not soil-it’s rubble we ‘re growing in! Over the last year, I’ve put loads of compost and rotted horse manure in, so I hope to see the benefits this time. I do like to hear what you are sowing and planting, it reassures me that I’m doing things at the right time.

    • Thanks for reading my blog Sally and glad it reassures you. Just incase you live near ….I get the green waste compost from Hawgrips in Enderby Leics if you need any more soil conditioner….it’s £2 for a large bag….if you google it you will find the address.

  5. Shocking what people have been doing in the park. I can’t quite believe it!!!

    Glad you are feeling happy in your garden. I was sad when I gave up my allotment, too. But it is great when all you have to do is step outside.

    Your rhubarb is doing brilliantly 😊.

    • The rhubarb is doing much better than I thought it would considering I planted it in a shady position…it has surprised me. I did think I would have my allotments until I was old, but life has a way of changing your future doesn’t it lol

    • Lol, I was outside walking around in my nighty and dressing gown the other morning too before anyone else was up and it was lovely. It doesn’t matter what size your garden is as long as you love it and it’s yours to do with it what you want. Thanks for reading my blog Marlene

  6. What a shame that some people have spoilt such a lovely place to walk, I can never understand this. It is wonderful that your garden feels such a haven for you now. I am looking forward to my parsnips to sprout in there toilet rolls and I will follow your instructions on planting. Do have a good week.
    Sue

    • Hi Sue, mine are in kitchen rolls rather than toilet rolls as I think you get longer parsnips without them forking……let me know how you get on as it will be interesting to see if you get the same results with the toilet rolls. Have a great week Sue XX

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