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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

What a difference a bit of sun makes!

Due to the warm weather we've been having, some of my seeds are sprouting in no time. The picture below shows some of the faster ones at a week old.

From left to right they are - courgettes, watermelon and cucumber. I have since potted the courgettes on & they are even bigger now. The cucumbers are going in raised beds in the greenhouse, so I have put a couple of those in there already. I now need to build a frame for them to grow up. Last year I used chicken wire, but it wasn't very good, so it's back to the drawing board this year. If anyone has any good tips, I would love to hear them.

I have also planted marigolds out in my outdoor raised beds as companion plants. I have planted them all around the border.The smell should deter pests. Anyway, I think they look lovely anyway, no matter what job they are put there to do. Here's one looking all pleased with himself in the sun!

Whilst I've been out in the garden enjoying the sunny weather I've also had a nice surprise. This is my strawberries a month ago:

Whilst I was watering them at the weekend, I just noticed that they have flowers appearing! I am so excited, as I actually bought some strawberries from the supermarket last week and they were rubbish. They were all white inside and tasteless. The ones I grew last year were red inside and almost melted in your mouth.

I am counting the days till I get get some cream on these!

Thanks for reading my blog xxx

Monday, 18 April 2011

Trying new things

This year I'm growing a few new things in the garden. One of them is kiwi - it looks to be growing pretty well so far.

It seems to have come on very quickly. I am growing it in one of the raised beds in my greenhouse. When I first got my greenhouse (my huband built it for me), I opted for having raised beds in there & it was the best thing I ever did. It is so much easier. Here's the greenhouse a few weeks ago, when there was not much in there.

I'll post another photo of it later this year, when everything is in full bloom.

I'm also growing watermelon this year for the first time - I sowed some seeds about a week ago and they are just starting to sprout. I think they like humid places, so I may cover with some plastic to increase the humidity.

One of my successes already has been the rhubarb - here's a reminder of what it looked like:

And let me tell you it tasted wonderful in a crumble I made a few days ago! It was wonderfully tender!

To stew the rhubarb I cut up, then added a little honey (not too much to overpower the rhubarb though), sugar and orange juice - very nice! When I make crumble I always add a little ginger to the crumble mixture and I think it goes really well with rhubarb too. I need to start looking at more rhubarb recipes now, as I've got quite a lot to harvest. Any good ones, let me know.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 4 April 2011

rhubarb's coming up trumps

If you've been following me on twitter, you might have read that I have been running out of pots to cover my rhubarb with. I have used 4 plantpots, each one increasing in size and gradually they all became too small.

Someone then kindly recommended I place a dustbin over it - so I have. Before I did so, I took a new photo:

I think some of it looks about ready now, so I'm going to be using some this week for certain. I last put a picture of the rhubarb on here about two weeks ago, so it is amazing how quick it grows, as it was only just coming out of the ground before.

I also spent some time this week getting new compost out of the compost bin. Here it is tumbling out at the bottom:

And here's my dog Mischief having a good old sniff of it:

The only thing that didn't seem to have composted properly was mango - don't know why?

Anyway, I've got lots of work to be getting on with this week, I expect the compost won't last me long!