About Me

Hi I'm JAMES 60 and married with three daughters all left home now, daughters that is not the wife.I enjoy Gardening /Football and working on my Farm.The picture above in the header slot is where i live and work.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

May 29 th where has the year gone

The carrots and potatoes seem on the whole to be making steady progress this month with quite a surge of top growth in the last week on the potatoes especially, and I have been thinning the carrots down once or twice a week and now most stations are down to just one plant. I try to resist the final thinning as long as I dare as I can suffer a bit with jackdaws pulling them out at times and there is nothing more annoying than empty stations so I hold back till the last moment when the last plant is well rooted and they don't seem to bother as much.
Now that June is in sight and the 5 day weather forecast is quite favourable I decided that it was time to get the greenhouse sorted out, it's amazing just how much clutter seems to build up in the last month or two with all the bedding plants that have been growing on and others that needed overwintering inside, add to that all the potting on over the last few weeks when no matter how hard I try compost and other rubbish seems to get scattered about the floor, so it was nice to get everything outside that will be planted out over the next week or so (except my hopefully giant pumpkins that I potted on only a week ago and will be better inside for a fortnight yet) and have a good brush up, leaving me the space to set up the leeks onions and tomatoes that I grow in large pots in their final positions for the summer plus some cucumber and pepper plants that I am trying for the first time this year, if I get everything sorted this bank holiday weekend I can relax and watch the world cup and as I'm an optimist I think we might do well this time making the final at least.
I will try to get some pictures uploaded in the next few days but just at the moment I'm having trouble working out how to do it on our new computer which is an Apple I think? and seems to work a bit different to our last model, one other problem I am having is it simply refuses to open the NVS web site saying it cannot connect to the server so I am missing out on all the banter on the members page which is a pity or is the site down for everyone I just don't know.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Frosty nights and dry days

Blimey we have had a couple of cold nights this week, down to minus 6 at Shap, which is our nearest weather monitoring station Thankfully it's not got quite that cold in my garden but it's been pretty nippy with a frost and it has meant that the potatoes have needed protection along with some bedding plants that Judy put out last weekend into three really big old metal pots that were once used for boiling swill for feeding pigs in the dim and distance past, another thing that has long since been banned, though it would probably be thought of as pretty trendy recycling now. I brought them from the farm when we moved home. Fortunately a builder's bulk sand bag just fitted over each of them and gave them just enough protection, the potatoes are still small enough to be OK with an upturned bucket over them but it's just as well that I don't grow too many as I had a bit of a job finding enough old buckets. Mind you, even though it's been cold it's been so dry here with almost a month without rain that I have had to do a fair bit of watering just to help things along especially my carrot drums so as they don't get dried out and start wilting.

Its a bit ironic just as it turns cold my 3 pumpkin seeds have germinated though I hasten to add they are well tucked up in the greenhouse and in my propagator at a nice 60+ degrees.They only got planted at the end of last week and they are up and away already, I think Heidi would be proud of them, now I just have to see if we can keep them going without a check till planting
out in June. If they keep growing at this rate, the centre one was the same size as the two on the outside yesterday, they will be big plants by then.

My dahlias are starting to put on some good growth these last 10 days since I divided them. For some reason I don't seem to have a lot of luck at taking cuttings, probably because I start a bit too early in the year when they are not growing as vigorously, so this year I thought I would divide them first and maybe try some cuttings at the same time or later. The cuttings that I took are under the milk carton that I popped over them so as they had a bit of protection from the bright sunshine. If you look carefully at the second picture three plants have quite a distinct yellowing on the young leaves compared to all the rest, they are the variety Marys Jomanda so I am hoping it is just a quirk of that variety and not something more sinister.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Weekend off but no time to put my feet up

It's nice to have a long weekend off and I have been making the most of it with getting on with some much needed weeding, done in my flower beds, before they really get away on me, one problem of making a new garden out of what was an old pony paddock is that there is a large reservoir of weed seeds just waiting to germinate, and they reckon it takes 10 years to begin to exhaust the supply so on that reasoning I should be all right in about 4 years. The hard winter that we had, has left us with some casualties having lost a couple of Hebes and a Cordyline plant that I was particularly proud off, plus others like a ceanothus that has had all its leaves killed of but fortunately it is now just showing signs of coming back with quite a few shoots starting to show on the main stems, it won't be much of a show this year but with a bit of luck it could be back next spring.
My carrots have germinated fairly well with most stations through now with just half a dozen not showing as yet, it may be that they failed because I didn't start watering them soon enough to help them along, the problem being that the drying winds that we have been having made a crust form on the top of the mix and I suspect that some have not been able to push their way through and died, I am thinking of popping in a long beetroot seed in the failed stations as i think it a bit late to resow carrots.
I received my Kelsea onions that I ordered about ten days ago and as they wern't as big as I thought they would be, instead of planting them out right away I just potted them up into some 3 inch pots and kept them in the greenhouse. Its only in the last few days that they seem to have started to move forward so I think it could be another two weeks before they get in to their final position, most will go outside but I will keep about ten in the greenhouse in 20 liter pots to see how they do compared to the ones grown outside. I have been watering them from underneath as in the picture to see if I can encourage them to get their roots down searching for water rather than just stay in a tight ball it might work you never know.

Tonight there is a chance of frost forecast and sods law today the first of my potatoes have pushed through so I have had to earth them up with a bit more peat and the covered them with some upturned buckets to keep them nice and warm, the ones in the yellow buckets are growing Winston with Kestrel in the white buckets and in the bags are my NVS varieties, yellow bags Sherine and blue bags Amour, It's all colour coordinated and planned out you know.