Wednesday 25th April 2018 – Pricking out my cucumber seedlings.

Some of my cucumber seedlings are ready to be pricked out and put into 3 inch pots. It’s very easy to do. Now they’re in larger pots, they’ll have more space to spread their roots.

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Sunday 22nd April 2018 – Emily doesn’t do manual labour.

Conveniently today Mark had to go to London. Apparently he was going to see a friends film (so he tells me), but I think it was just an excuse so he didn’t have to shovel more manure from the stables.

So instead of my husband giving me a hand, I made the kids day, and conned them into coming with me and they helped instead. Actually they were up for it. We loaded 17 bags in to the boot of the car, and it only took us 40 minutes. They did say they enjoyed it, so I’ll remind them of that when I need to borrow them again. George is tall at nearly 5 foot 11 inches, and skinny, but really quite strong, so he was doing ok. Emily on the other hand is 5 foot 5 inches, so average height, but manual labour isn’t really her thing. She’s a great writer and editor, just like Mark. She tried very hard, and didn’t do too badly at all. Even she admitted manual labour wasn’t for her.

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Because I had the back seat down, I could only give one of them a lift, and the other had to walk. Look it’s not far, just a 5 minute walk down the road. Once we’d got back home they helped me off load the manure from the car, and then they were done.

What do they get for helping me today? Well….. respect for starters, then a bit of exercise, some fresh air. What more could you want? Actually we had a drink and a cake. They like my cake.

I then spread some manure, and then moved 1 ton of top soil. Not all in one go, I’m not that strong!

Dinner, and a long hot bath were in order for all of us. A very good days work. The raised beds are getting there…..slowly.

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Wednesday 18th April 2018 – My iPhone doesn’t like the heat, but I do!

Today was another scorcher of a day, so what better way to spend the afternoon than in the greenhouse pricking out seedlings and sowing a few more seeds. The greenhouses are filling up nicely, so I feeling like I’m making progress.IMG_4561

I also managed to find my greenhouse thermometer today, so hung that up in a shady spot in one of the greenhouses. The temperature outside today was about 22 degrees, but inside the greenhouse it got to a sweltering 37!! The doors and the windows of the greenhouses are open from first thing in the morning, and then I close them again just before it gets dark. I was in one greenhouse pricking out seedlings, and had the Bose speaker and my phone in the shade, but it was too hot for them, so I had to put them outside the greenhouse and in the shade. One of the chickens followed me into a greenhouse, but then quickly left as they realised it was too hot. Maybe they felt like they were in an oven?IMG_4558

I pricked out lots of flower seedlings, mainly the Cosmos varieties and the Nasturtiums. I’ve put each flower seedling in a 3 inch pot. They’ll have plenty of room now to stretch their roots and grow lovely and strong.

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I also pricked out a load of tomato seedlings and have also planted one seedling per 3 inch pot. I did make a video on pricking out my tomato seedlings, I just need to edit it and get Mark to download it to YouTube. Hopefully it’ll be up early next week.

I also sowed some more Pumpkins “Polar Bear” and some Peas “Kelvedon Wonder”. Lots of other seedlings are coming through the soil, which is very exciting. At the moment I’m all up to date with pricking out, but give it a week and I’ll have lots more to do.

Time to have a bath before I go out bell ringing tonight, I’m very dirty and a little bit smelly.

Oh, and 5 tonnes of top soil arrived this morning, so tomorrow I’ll start moving that into one of the raised beds. Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter, so I may have to inflict my pale white legs to the world, so sorry about that!

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Monday 16th April 2018 – Lots more sowing!

A gorgeous sunny day today, and lovely and warm as well. Dear weather, please keep this up I’m very happy. Sorry if it was raining where you live today.

I spent much of the afternoon in the greenhouse sowing more seeds. I seem to be making a massive dent in my box now, which is great news. Soon I’ll have to start pricking out some of my seedlings.

Today I sowed some more flowers and some vegetables, so here goes:

Firstly the flowers: Clarkia “Choice Double”, Linum Grandiflorum “Bright Eyes” (not burning like fire though), Lupin “Avalune Bicolour Mix“, some seeds from my sister which she’s named Big Pink Poppies I think they may be “Queen Alexandra”, and some Sunflower “Teddy Bear”.

Now the veggies: Sugar Snap Peas “Nairobi”, some Pumpkin seeds from a fruit I grew a couple of years ago, I think they’re “Atlantic Giant”, some other Pumpkin seeds called “Wicked”, Courgette “Griller Mix”, and Courgette “Gold Mine”.

When the sun shines on the greenhouses they get very hot, so I must make sure I water my seedlings well. I’m starting to feel like I’m getting somewhere. I’ve also ordered some top soil which is arriving on Wednesday.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Sunday 15th April 2018 – An hour to spare.

The sun is shining and everything is right with the world. I have an hour to spare before we go to the cinema, so I can either do some ironing (boring!) or I can go in the greenhouse and sow some flower seeds (I think I’ll do that instead).

Flowers are very important in the garden and on the vegetable patch as they attract pollinators and are also help keep some of the horrible creepy crawlies away.

In the afternoon I had just an hour to spare before we went to the cinema to go and see A Quiet Place. An excellent film if you’ve not seen it yet. But back to the flower seeds. I had quite a few packets to get through, and didn’t manage to sow them all, so will have to do the rest on Monday. Here’s what I sowed so far, and hopefully they’ll give the garden a lovely splash of colour throughout the summer and into the autumn.

Larkspur “Giant Imperial”, Gypsophila “Monarch White”, Poppy “Shirley Single Mixed”, Poppy “Maanzaad”, Nigella “Persian Jewels”, Cottage Garden Cut Flower Mix, Candytuft “Fairy Mixed”, Cornflower “Tall Mixed”, Wild Flowers of California (which I got from the States when we went over, should I have bought them back?), Sunflowers “Giant Single”, Sunflowers “Titan”, Sunflower “Kong”, Sunflower “Russian Giant”, the race is on as to which one will grow tallest, Sunflower “Colour Parade” and finally a Kew Garden wild flower seed mix.

They’ll be lots to prick out later on, but it’ll be worth it when I can sit in my garden and look at it’s beauty.

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Sowing Broad bean seeds

Now is the time to start sowing your broad bean seeds. The variety I’m sowing this year are “Express Eleonora” and they were sent to me from D T Brown. There are load of varieties of broad beans to choose from. I would definitely recommend your also try a variety called “The Sutton”, which are a dwarf variety, or “Monica” which produce some wonderful beans.

Here’s how I sow mine…

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More for Thursday 12th April 2018 – Sowing a few more seeds.

The greenhouses are filling up slowly as I sow more seeds. Some have started to germinate which is always exciting to see. The fog is still with us, but hopefully tomorrow will be brighter.

I spent the afternoon in the garden, firstly lining the inside of the raised beds with cardboard. I had some cardboard boxes left over from our move (they did have the greenhouse glass in them) and they were the perfect size. I opened them up flat and have secured them to the inside of the railway sleepers. Some were very large and needed to be cut in half. The easiest way to cut a cardboard box, is with a saw, who new?

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I’ve managed to hunt down some good manure, and it’s at a stables less than 5 minutes walk from our house! Can you believe it? Hopefully I can pick some up this weekend, and then I can order some soil. The raised beds are getting there slowly, but hopefully soon I can start planting.

Once I’d finished with the cardboard, I then went in the greenhouse and sowed some more seeds. Firstly some Broad Beans “Express Eleonora“. I sowed some in half toilet rolls, but soon ran out, so I sowed the rest in 3 inch pots. I’ll keep you posted on their progress. Then another variety of Tomato “Red Alert”, I feel that this is something they should grow on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek. The captain is always saying  “Red Alert!”, maybe he’s not worried about his ship being attacked, maybe he just wants some tomatoes?

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Then some more Spinach “Medania or Popeye”, and finally some more Mixed Lettuce , but this time they’re “Red Lettuce leaves”.

A chilly day, especially with the fog. I know the sun is there somewhere, but I just wish it would stop hiding, and come and play.

 

 

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