Leafyleith's Blog

June 6, 2009

Hoe, hoe, no!

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 11:55 pm
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A fundamental novice gardener error has been made at Leafyleith. Because space is a bit tight in the veg patch, I have to admit I didn’t exactly follow the instructions on the seed packets. How much space does a carrot actually need, I asked myself? I’ve now learned why space is kind of important.

Unless you want to be on your hands and knees weeding with a trowel, then always leave at least a hoe’s width between rows. It’s not rocket science and it’s what will be happening in Leafyleith come 2010.

Weather-wise May was a sensation. Me and the plants were loving it. That’s the reason why I haven’t been inside in front of the computer. It’s been so marvellous, we even had the parasol up for two days in a row and Leafyleith had its first harvest.

radishes

I ate a couple of these whoppers earlier and they were delicious, delicious, delicious. It’s exciting stuff – for me, anyway.

This afternoon I invested in some pea and bean mesh from a shop in Portobello. I thought it would be simple. I only had to string up about a two metre distance. Told you, space is tight at Leafyleith. Boy, was I wrong.

What a fankle I got myself in. It took me about two hours. Shed and Lawn Man says it looks fine, but I am not convinced. And I am not sure the RHS will be happy with my efforts either. It’s horrible green, plasticky stuff, I wish I’d gone natural and just used old branches. 

pea-support

Top tip: those little Gu chocolate pots are not only delicious but they stop you poking your eye out on a bamboo stick, as well.

I planted some runner beans a couple of weeks ago and had them in individual pots in the grow-house. The books say not to be hasty with runner beans and, for once, I followed the rules. A weekend inspection showed there were tiny cracks in the soil and, low-and-behold, another inspection four days later made my heart skip a beat. They’d grown about 15 cms and had fully established sets of leaves. Result! So I’ve planted them out with some sweetpeas for company and they seem to be growing a treat.

runner-beans

The rhododendron has come alive over the last couple of weeks and is looking completely amazing. Photos don’t do it justice and a neighbour says its the best he’s ever seen it (but I think he was just trying to make me feel good). The bees are loving it. It’s Bumble Bee Central out there.

rhody

April 29, 2009

Radish Result

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 8:47 pm
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growhouse

This is my new lean-to growhouse complete with geraniums, marigolds, sweetpeas and various sleeping herbs. Got some plug plants a few days ago and have been busy potting them on. 

Not sure how the geraniums are doing as they were looking a bit sorry for themselves tonight. But I suppose I’d be feeling a bit sorry for myself if I’d just arrived from the warm Guernsey sun.

I’ve just been for a garden tour and I am pleased to announce that the radishes have pushed through. I’ve been getting a bit anxious about my seeds, you see. It’s been a bit cold of late and I thought I’d been a bit premature with my sowings, but tonight my spirits are lifted.

polytunnel-extraordinaire

I thought it might have been down to the polytunnel, but in actual fact the seeds have sprouted outside the tunnel as well. The gardening books do say radishes are easy to grow and this appears to be the case at Leafyleith.

Fingers crossed the beetroot, carrots, lettuce, parsley and dill make an appearance soon.

I am also taking part in a pea trial for the RHS to test out sugar-snap peas and mange tout. The packets arrived through the post last week, so I really need to get my act together and get them into the ground. Unfortunately there are over 500 of the blighters and the space at Leafyleith just isn’t big enough, but will have a go and see what happens.

seed-trial

Cats have moved off the veg patch (thanks to polytunnel extraordinare) but are now crapping by the compost heap. I’ve planted some Cat Shoo plants in their new ‘litter tray’ to spoil their fun. I’ve tried coffee grinds, half empty bottles of water, orange peel, you name it. Cat Shoo is my last resort. I don’t think I’m ever going to get rid of them now.

April 21, 2009

Going gardening crazy

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 8:48 pm
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I think I’m getting a bit obsessed with this gardening lark. It’s really quite addictive.

The last few days I’ve been concentrating on herbs and vegetables.  It’s been quite warm and sunny. It may have got my guard down and made me plant too prematurely. But isn’t it looking lovely?

march 2009

The sweetpeas are coming on a treat in the growhouse. I’ve bought some plastic tubs to plant some veg. We don’t really have a lot of room, so thought the extra space could come in handy.

The small vegetable patch is located beside a big hedge. Not the best location apparently. I have reservations about it. It’s only about 1m wide by 3m long. I’m going to give it a go this year, but I’ve got big plans for a raised bed next year. Oooh, get me!

Veg status so far:

  • garlic – in and sprouted
  • carrots – in ground
  • beetroot – in ground and in a tub
  • radish – in ground
  • lollo rosso lettuce – in ground
  • flat leaf parsley – in ground and in the growhouse
  • dill – in ground
  • cumin – growhouse
  • mint – growhouse

I really don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Tried to follow the planting instructions on the seed packets. But getting such conflicting evidence from various blogs. So I’ve sown and will be damned.

There are loads of warnings from Mr Fothergills to not behave too hastily. Just couldn’t help myself. I hope I don’t regret my actions, so I’ve held back on the rest. And a polytunnel is in the post!

In the pipeline:

  • butternut squash
  • pak choi
  • parsnips
  • runner beans
  • courgettes
  • chilli
  • sugar snap peas
  • mange tout

Where the heck am I going to put all this stuff?

April 18, 2009

Plants galore!

Filed under: Gardening Year 1 — by leafyleith @ 7:02 pm
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Been quite busy today as a heap of plants arrived through the post. So I’ve planted:

  • Deutzia
  • Echinops blue globe
  • Jasmine
  • Eucalyptus gunnii
  • Black bamboo

The kind people at J Parkers also supplied some anemones, trailing begonias and an acer free of charge so will get them in tomorrow.

I’ve got the wee lean-to greenhouse up and out now (much swearing from JB during its construction last week) and the sweetpeas are coming along nicely in there. Sunflowers are coming through and the Blue Peter bee seeds have sprouted!

Garlic has also made an appearance. No sign of the carrots yet. Not sure what’s happened there because they’ve been in for a few weeks. Too early for these cold Edinburgh nights, methinks. I had some coverings over the soil for the last couple of weeks and I’ve invested in some big plastic buckets for veg so need to get organised with them. It’s all go.

Talking of which, Mr and Mrs Bird seem to have moved out of the hedge because they were being terrorised by a group of magpies. Feel a bit sad about that. I liked their tweeting.

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