It’s been a while since I participated in Six on Saturday so with my 2020 personal challenges hopefully behind me I have decided to take up gardening with renewed enthusiasm and reconnect with my gardening blogging buddies! Raises spade to a ‘Hopeful’ New Year.
Over the years I have been tempted to abandon my often futile attempts to grow fruit and vegetables thanks to the barrage of bugs, blight, blossom end rot, white/grey mold, and humidity challenges to name a few. But then every now and again my tenacity is rewarded and my plan to turn the raised vegetable bed into a chicken run is dismissed.
I used to buy all my vegetable seedling plugs from the local markets but since the arrival of COVID these are closed and my attempts to grow vegetables from seed failed miserably especially lettuce. However, during a recent trip to a local nursery to source a Poinsettia plant for Christmas, I discovered trays of lettuce plugs, broccoli, cauliflower, and leeks!
Night time temperatures over the last week have varied from as low as 4c up to 13C. Most days have been warm and sunny with temperatures rising to around 20C in sheltered areas. Rain… lots of rain. Great, I don’t need to water.
- GROWING LETTUCE IN POTS
I planted these as seedling plugs in early December. I initially covered with plastic covers to protect from our resident blackbird who loves to dig. I now have four pots of lettuce in various stages of development.
I grew these from seeds planted in April last year!
As an experiment we used plastic collars made from water bottles to bank up the soil around the base of the leek.
Knowing how long it has taken for leeks to grow and how much space they need I decided to try growing a few in pots. I planted these seedling plugs purchased from our local nursery in early december. I don’t know what variety they are.
3. CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI
I bought these cauliflower and broccoli seedling plugs end of Nov/beg December-ish. Although I carefully labelled up the bags at the nursery, I can’t remember which is which! I am now waiting for my veg patch to be dug over, the bone, blood and fish fertilizer added and some chicken pooh.. I need to research the latter to see how much is permissible as I don’t want to overfertilize and burn the plants.
I can’t remember exactly when I planted the seeds directly in the container, maybe back in June/July? Anyways, apart from being watered, they have been ignored. No thinning, nada, so they are packed like squashed sardines in a tin. But they grew! Happy days.
During December we dug up all the strawberry plants, removed all the dead leaves and repotted in in small pots while we dug over the bed, weeded, fed with manure and bonemeal and covered with membrane. This week we replanted all the plants. We’ve never used membrane before so fingers crossed it supresses the weeds and stop the soil drying out to quickly.
6. GROWING NETTLES IN CONTAINERS
Yes, that’s right. I have been collecting nettle seedlings and repotting so I can make my own nettle fertilizer. AND, apparently, it makes great tea. We will see.
That’s it for this week, To catch up with more gardening bloggers from around the world Check out the Propogators blog here