I started writing my gardening post at seven this morning yet here we are nearly seven in the evening and I am only just finished. We have been extremely busy in the garden this week and the three raised veg beds are almost finished. I will create a separate post to review those later in the week. Who knew lockdown could be so physically exhausting. All the jobs you never found time to do and ended up at the bottom of the ‘JOB LIST’ are now at the top.
1. Plan B
What a week. The cat returned, barricades were erected and war declared. At 4.15 in the morning, the little monkey jumps over our gate, strolls nonchalantly up the drive, across the back terrace does its business on the raised vegetable patch then leaves.
Apparently the only effective cat deterrant is lion’s pooh or Plan B.
2. Spinach – Winter Giant or Winter Whimp?
A few of the Winter Giant spinach seeds I planted on February 2nd are just about ready for harvesting. If I don’t eat them now the slugs certainly will Why does commercially grown spinach never resemble a crochet sampler? I planted another batch of seeds on the 16th and they are just poking through. A disappointing show for six weeks TLC. My conclusion: Either the soil never had enough nutrients, spinach does not like full sun or not enough/too much water.
3. Lollo Rosso Lettuce – A Home-Grown Success Story
This is excellent variety to grow from October through to February. I planted the seeds on the February 2nd and the seeds were ready for potting by the 25th February, although at this stage I was not sure if these were the Rossa or Bionda. I sowed a half tray of each. None of the Lollo Bionda germinated so I either forget to plant them or they were duff seeds.
I transferred to individual pots on the Feb 25th and once they had more space they changed colour!
After ten days (I needed the yoghurt pots) I replanted in their final home, a large recycled container which I cover with a plastic open veg crate to protect the baby lettuce from the birds and cats.
I’ve already made a note to sow another crop in October.
3. Marta’s Cherry Plum – Portuguese Tomatoes – Parentage Unknown
Last summer, when life returned to some degree of normalcy and we were allowed to socialise (within limitations) we went to some friends for a socially-distanced lunch. She gave us some of the sweetest tomatoes we’d ever tasted. The shape reminded me of grapes. Apparently, she bought them from an old Portuguese farmer who’d been growing this variety for years. Never one to miss a ‘seed’ opportunity I saved some of the seeds to some paper serviettes which I left on a shelf in the garage to dry, and then forgot about them. Imagine my delight when I found several serviettes covered in blobs of dried tomato – I am easily pleased.
Not expecting them to grow I cut one of the serviettes into squares and placed spaced out in the seed tray, sprayed with water and then covered with a layer of soil.
The seed trays are upcycled meat trays. Normally, I avoid buying prepacked meat but thanks to supermarket home-delivery I don’t have a choice.
Less than a month later they had germinated.
and were ready for potting on by the 12th March.
the youghurt pots are also upcycled.
The fine brita is to dter the slugs and snails and the babmoo canes to deter blackbirds and the cat.
4. Bolting Brocolli
I am extremely disappointed my brocolli has decided to bolt and the promosing little heads are opening in readiness to flower. I have been doing some research and apparently it is either not enough water or the soil is too hot. Well, it’s not the latter as the soil is wet underneath, so it must be the soil is too hot, which I also find hard to believe. Maybe I just decapitate them, remove some leaves and see if anything shoots from the side.
They remind me of Nabo Greleiro (Turnip Greens). I recently purchased 3 packets of these seeds in error mistaking them for sprouting broccoli. The devil is always in the detail.
5. Lemon Thyme, Purple Sage and Chocolate Mint
I wnt to the garden centre looking for Basil. No basil.They were only €1.80 each so why not? I’ve planted them in large pots for now until they are established.
Both handles of our plastic laundry basket have now split. Gnome threw the basket in the pile of rubbish destined for the r bins, but I had other plans.
While he was out for a walk I attacked the basket with a Stanley, knife, secaters and scissors until …
Voilá! Where there is a will there is a way.
I now had the plant tray I need for my seedlings complete with a moat of gravel.
That’s my Six for this Saturday. Heartfelt thanks to The Propagator who inspires me to write a gardening post once a week.