It’s been another busy and challenging week in the garden. We can’t go anywhere, do anything or see anyone so the bugs, birds and plants have the pleasure of our undivided attention.
1. Beetroot Blues
Only two seeds of the Hullahup beetroot I planted on Feb 22nd have finally germinated
Over a month of twice daily motivational pep talks resulted in just two weedy specimens. They are so small I’ve highlighted their location with a big red arrow.
I was amazed when I saw the roots, I thought they grew like carrots. They don’t! I won’t waste any more of these prescious seeds planting directly in the ground.
I don’t want to spread conspiracy theories but I think the ants stole them. I wrote about it here: Ants Are Stealing My Seeds!
The Rollo lettuce seeds I planted in a seed tray on the 2nd of February have now been replanted in one of the lettuce containers. I have five containers each with different types of lettuce and/or in stages of development.
3. Red and Yellow Peppers – Little and Large
I planted a coule of varieties of red pepper from seed California wonder (Red) 2nd February and Corno Mixed on the 27th Feb. Nothing. I planted yet another variety, Spanish Doce on the 7th March in small pots and two seedlings have already germinated.
|California Wonder (Red) on 2nd Feb|
When I went to my local garden centre I conceded defeat and bought five yellow and five red pepper seed plugs. Five planted in one of the new raised beds and the others will be planted today.
Gnome planted his first chitted potatoes on the 12th February.
Potato plants as at 26th March. Anyone else grow potatoes in pots? Ours seem to put all their energy into the foliage. I can’t believe how quickly they have grown! The biggest problem we have is deciding how much water they need. Too much or too little, either way, the leaves will turn yellow.
5. Upcycling Plastic
Since the second wave of COVID we have home supermaket deliveries so all meat and some fruit and veg is prepackaged in various plastic containers. Much to Gnomes annoyance I don’t throw any of these away. I recently gave 25 large water bottles to a friend to reuse as plant pots.
I also use to make mini cloches and seed trays.
And since my experience with ants infiltrating my cloche area and stealing even more seeds I’ve moved my seedling trays to the cacti and succulent display area on the terrace.
6. Raised Vegetable Garden and Nets
A couple of years ago Gnome bought me a large plastic cloche for my seedlings. I was delighted but after just one summer the plastic cover began to disintergrate and it rained plastic dust over the young plants. The cover was binned but much to Gnomes annoyance I kept the frame – just in case. Our garage (for those of us old enough to remember the TV show) is like Steptoe’s junk yard. We hoard everything just in case it can be repurposed.
This year the frame was repurposed to support a netted area for the brassicas. Unaware of the cabbage white’s tenacity I used strawberry netting I found in the garage to cover the frame. That will stop the ‘cabbage whites’. Nope, they even found their way through that. Today, we add more layers so it becomes more of an assault course to penetrate the area.
I also use plastic crates and old fridge trays to protect the plants from birds.
For us, gardening has come to the point we are constantly trying to outwit nature so we can protect our meagre crops.
That’s my six words of gardening woes and wisdom for this week. Now coffee, plant some bedding plants, thena glass of wine while I peruse fellow Saturday gardeners challenges and success stories.