Sunday 23 February 2020

Veg garden update - I cant believe its 23 February already !

                    Still harvesting leeks sprout tops and celery .
    We were a bit disappointed with the Kalettes ,I grew them from seed . They are still very small , but maybe they will get bigger as the weather improves .
 My neighbours are twice the size , his were starts , probably grown in a polytunnel so they had an earlier start .
This is the first time I,ve tried growing them . I think I,ll just stick with my favourite , more reliable old Kale varieties in the future .
  O.k I,ll give them a few more weeks !
 My sprouts were good though , I picked lots for the freezer and now we are enjoying the last few fresh Sprout tops , they are really good !

                     The Leeks have been good and still lots more to come .
 On my windowsill upstairs I have a pot of Leek seedlings just germinating now .
 Sweet peas are also germinating which makes me feel so happy ! 
 I,m getting ready to sow lettuces , other leaves for salads, more spring onions  and tomatoes next  .
  Potatoes are chitting away nicely on the windowsill and I have a delivery of Onion sets on the way .
 In the veg trug -  the veg trug is full of spring onions, we use lots , but they are looking very battered after the big storms that we,ve had recently , I hope they will pick up again .
     Hey !  Lets be happy ! .....March is nearly here !

Saturday 8 February 2020

Cornish Violets in the Hedgerow

                                                    Viola odorata
 There are Violets flowering everywhere along the hedgerow down our little country lane . Violets and Snowdrops , There are one or two Pink Campion ,  Celandine and Daffodils . Primroses here and there .

We have had a fair amount of rain and the water runs off down into our lane from the fields around and on down into the valley which then leads down to the beach and Poldhu  Cove . So the the hedgerows are always fairly cool and damp , with dappled sunshine breaking through here and there .
  These are the perfect conditions for our Violets , they do very well here, both in the hedgerow in the lane and in my garden and my neighbours gardens .
 Actually they are to be found all along the cliffs here too .

             Four little Violets in my tiny spotted vase . They smell so sweet !
Sorting through my veg seeds.
       Very special unusual and rare varieties that my friend who lives the other side of the village so generously gave me .
    I am very excited to grow these ! I will update you as I begin to sow and grow these lovelies !
The sun has been shining all morning , birds singing and blue sky , but now it is beginning to cloud over and the wind is definitely picking up .
  There is a storm brewing out at sea .
This one they have named Storm Ciara and are saying that tomorrow , there could be gusts of wind 80mph , torrential rain , structural damage, trees falling , not to travel by train along the South coast unless you really have to and that power-cuts are likely .
                    Batten down the hatches !

I've brought in wood for the fire and am now sitting at the kitchen table sorting through my vegetable seeds wondering which to sow first .
  This time last year I made a list to remind myself of how I did things and how it all went .
        I started off sowing some seeds in the first week of February -

     Chitting potatoes in the shed -- Well this year , I,ve got them chitting on the windowsill of a fairly cool room at the moment and I think these first earlies will be planted out in about three weeks time .
  Last year I did the Ruth Stout Method of growing them thrown on the ground and covering them with hay. It wasn't all that successful for me because I didn't have enough hay . So this year I,ll be doing it the old fashioned way planting them in shallow trenches and earthing them up as they grow. More hard work and I,m trying to cut out digging , but I think it will be well worth the effort to show my four year old grand daughter where potatoes come from !

Back to the list -

 Sown  Leeks Musselburgh , Blue de Solaise and D'Hiver de St Victor which are lovely and we are harvesting now . These I find easy and very reliable . Leeks are so easy to grow , everyone should grow them!

 Lettuces Lobjoits Cos Romaine , Little Gems and an unknown red leaved variety- these are always successful for me . We love our salads .
PSB  Purple Sprouting Broccoli - For the "hungry gap" also , these are SO expensive in the shops !  Note to self - make sure the nets are in good repair/buy new .

 Tomatoes Gardeners Delight - These did well , but I want a bigger variety for this year .
   I,m very excited to try Medwyn's Y Ddraig Goch ( The Red Dragon ) this year and a few other varieties undecided yet !
 I really need slightly bigger and more flavour .  Scrumptiousness is what it's all about , that fragrant sweet tomato juiciness and a bumper harvest too !

Lettuce Coriander and Dill - I grew these last year according to Charles Dowdings instructions and it really worked well . I cant wait to start sowing these again , next few days .

 Onions for Spring Onions for our salads too - I have some spring onions coming along nicely in the shed from a very late October sowing , I cant remember which variety they were . At the time I remember thinking they're probably not going to make it , but they're looking good !
                     Happy me, loves onions !
 Red Baron and Stuttgarter Giant onion sets  - I cant remember planting them but do remember harvesting them and we had a good supply all through this winter from storage in the shed .
The Autumn planted onions are coming along nicely .
          We love and use a lot of Onions !

 As for flowers in my garden , I made a start and have sown three packets of Sweetpeas - Air warden , Hunter's Moon and Erewhon  .
 It feels so good to put my hands into the good earth again . I even love the smell of the earth !
                                           Lovely Primula vulgaris

    Time for a cup of tea ! Keep warm and stay safe in this rough weather all !

Friday 7 February 2020

Snowdrops in the Hedgerow

                                 Snowdrops in the hedgerow here today .

                    Aren't they beautiful ?! I just had to share them with you .