Tag Archive | Daffodils

Planting Broad beans And Homemade Planters.

It’s been beautiful weather at the allotment this week.  Each day has started off cold but by the afternoon I have been working in my short sleeved T-shirt.

I noticed my Forsythia has started to flower:

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and the daffodils are looking lovely too:

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It’s has been feeling very much like Spring.

I noticed that there are buds on some of my fruit trees.  I was especially pleased to see the Quince tree I planted last month is growing.  I always worry a little bit just in case trees that I buy bare-rooted don’t grow (even though I have never had one that doesn’t).  So it is always a relief to see the little buds in spring:

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The area underneath my large plum tree is looking ‘spring-like’ too with daffodils and primroses:

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The ‘Christmas rose’  (Helleborous) is flowering well now and I noticed the first ‘For-get-me-nots’ (Myosotis) are starting to flower.

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Last week I ordered some ‘snow drops in the green’ and they came on Tuesday so I planted them.  ‘In the green’ just means that they have been lifted just after flowering so you can see what you are buying and it’s easier to plant them where you want them in Spring, rather than planting bulbs later on in the year.

I ordered more Snowdrops this year for my woodland area, in memory of my old friend who passed away last February when the Snowdrops were flowering.  I would like lots and lots of Snowdrops in this area, so I decided I would buy a few each year until I have enough.

Snow drops are really easy to plant ‘in the green’.  I just dug a hole and dropped them in and watered them well.

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This week at my allotment I planted my broad beans that I sowed at the beginning of January.  The variety is called ‘Aquadulce’, which is an overwintering variety.

I like to make sure my broad beans are well supported, as they do sometimes ‘flop’ over.  I use small canes and string to support the beans.  I use two strings at different heights:

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I also put little balls on my outside canes to stop me from poking my eyes when I bend forward to weed or pick the beans.  These balls were brought in the sales a few years ago from Argos.  They are balls that are used in children’s ball pits, with a slit cut in each one so I can place it on the canes.

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This week at my allotment I also decided it was time to neaten up the area at the front of my plot.

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At the front of my plot is an area full of couch grass, where I can park my car when I bring it.  It is really useful to have this space as it is great for unloading my plants etc.  However, where it ends it is scruffy.

After lots of thought I decided it would be nice to have some flowers here, in long thin planters.  This would stop the couch grass from growing through the soil, but I found that this would be expensive to do….so I spent a good few months wondering how I could do this cheaply and last week I finally had an idea:

A few years ago my dad gave me some wooden grocers boxes with the bottoms removed.  The idea was to use them as mini cold frames with a piece of glass resting on the top.  For a few years I used them like this and they were great, however I stopped using them when I inherited my polytunnel.  So they have sat on my plot unused for three years, until this week:

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I took the sides off the boxes and used a saw to cut them down to the size I wanted and then put them back together.

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I then gave them a paint.

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I removed some of the grass at the front of my plot…

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…and put the boxes in place.  I hammered posts in the ground to stop the boxes from moving and covered the soil at the bottom of each box with weed suppressant to stop the couch grass from growing up through the boxes.

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I then filled the boxes with my homemade compost.

I think the boxes will look lovely filled with some flowers over the summer….I’ve just got to decide which flowers.

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I hope you enjoyed reading my blog today.  I will be back at my usual time on Monday.

Have a good weekend!

                                                       

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A Cheap Fruitcage, Potatoes And A Flower Patch

This week, I have noticed that it has been slightly warmer in the afternoons and the weather forecasters are promising that it is going to warm up over the weekend.  I really hope it does, as up to now it feels like ‘Spring’ has been on hold.

The only positive thing about the colder weather, is the weeds haven’t started to grow vigorously yet, so I’m not using my hoe every week, as I did this time last year.

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The daffodils are flowering beautifully now.  This inspired me to do a bit of work on my flower patch.  Up until a few weeks ago, there was a swing next to my flower patch.  As my daughters don’t use the swing anymore, I moved it.  This week, I dug the grass up where it stood, so my flowers patch is now an ‘L’ shape and will look much better when I have finished planting it up.  I will be looking out for some cheap plants to buy now.

My flower patch, winter 2012

My flower patch, winter 2012

My flower patch today.

My flower patch today.

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This week I put my two fruit cages up, over my fruit bushes.  I love my ‘cheap’ fruit cages, as this is the third year I have used them and they work a treat.  They are made out of canes and old hand wash bottles.  I find hand wash bottles are ideal to use, as they are made out of a softer plastic that doesn’t become brittle over time.  I bought the nets from ebay three years ago, for approximately £40 for both cages, but this is far cheaper than buying a ready made fruit cage and I can easily take my cages down when the plants have stopped fruiting.  You can see my fruit cage below:

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This week I have also planted my second early potatoes.  The variety I like is ‘Marfona’, which produce a high yield of large potatoes, suitable for boiling, mashing and baking.  I love the first potatoes of the year, boiled and dressed with lots of butter.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it now.

I struggle to dig trenches and line it with manure, before I plant my potatoes, as it’s such hard work.  I have tried different ways to plant my potatoes, but the best way for me is to fork manure into the ground over the autumn / winter and then plant the potatoes with a bulb planter, dropping them in the hole and then covering them up with soil again.  I then earth them up as normal when they are about 10cm high:

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Afterwards I used my bulb planter again to plant some galdioli’s that I had bought form Wilkinson’s:

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In my polytunnel, the weeds are starting to grow now and so I gave it a good hoe.  I then planted out some lettuce that I had grown from seed in March.  The variety is ‘Webbs wonderful’ which my family really like.  I also sowed two rows of carrots and a row of radish.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be warm enough at night, for the seeds to germinate.

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Another job I managed to do was dig over my wildflower patch ready to sow my wildflower seeds next month.  Just in case you haven’t seen the photo’s from my wildflower patch last year, you can see them here.

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Finally, I planted my shallots (over a month later than I normally plant them out due to the cold weather).  My shallots were growing in newspaper pots and they had all rooted well.  I planted the shallots together with the newspaper pots, making sure that none of the newspaper pots were showing above the ground.  If a newspaper pot is above the soil level, it acts like a wick and the plant dries out.

I am really pleased they are finally in the ground now.

My shallots finally planted

My shallots finally planted at my allotment

It has been another busy week at the allotment and I still have loads to do, but that’s what’s so wonderful about gardening, your work is never finished.

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I’ll be back on Monday at 4pm.  Have a good weekend.