Water Butts, Sunny Days and Taste Test..

As I sit down to type this latest blog post it is actually raining , it has been on the news recently about wild electric storms and places being flooded by torrential rain, well we have had neither here.

The weather has been really good to us over several weeks now but i must be honest and say, i am pleased that the rain is falling today. What has also gone at present it that tiresome clammy heat that seems to drain the life out of you, long live summer weather.

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Waterbutts with feed..

The plot is coming together nicely, we decided to get rid of the few cabbage and Kale plants we had grown as they take too much room up, so instead we have made a long wigwam and underplanted with French Dwarf Beans, something that doesn’t take forever to grow nor take up too much room. The two rows of radish are through already, they took just 3 days from seed to plant, amazing.

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Dwarf French Beans

My son has very kindly set us up with a couple of waterbutts down amongst the beds, this will hold the BioCanna Vega  Organic feed we will use on the plants weekly to help them grow healthy and strong. I planted out about 6 Sweetcorn plants last week as something of a gimmick, they are really growing well, i am so surprised with them.

The most important time in the life of growing organic food is the taste test, if you get this wrong, what’s the point of all the extra effort you have to put in to keep it free from pesticides and herbicides, well, i can reveal that the strawberries we are growing taste absolutely fantastic. We bought a  punnet of strawberries from our local farm shop that looked amazing, we thought we would struggle to tell the difference, not a chance. The shop bought ones were a beautiful colour, reasonable flavour but were firm to the bite, ours on the other hand were of a similar colour, but the main difference was the flavour, ours were a real strawberry flavour and easy to bite, we are just too greedy to share any for a better taste test, but we will have too.

Strawberry Taste test
shop at top, ours below..

We have been eating strawberries for a few week now, it is surprising just how many fruits a plant will give up over the season, and they are still flowering so hopefully more to come yet.

The Peppers and the Tomatoes are growing away strongly, it will soon be time to plant them in  their final resting pots, i have already done a few peppers and tied them with string to support them as they grow away. We have planted quite a few different types of tomatoes as it will be fun tasting all the different coloured ones we have to come, i know they will taste of tomato, but will the flavour be different or stronger, time will tell..

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Peppers in pots and tied up..

 

 

A Couple of Owls in Pastel..

I came across this picture the other week of an owls face on one of the copyright free sites I visit on my travels around the net. I thought just how stunning the eyes were and yet so piercing too, almost seem to be watching and waiting for you to turn around before accending down and swooping you in its talons.

I am continuing to use the carbothello pencils and conte sticks for most of the work, but when i need a colour i dont have i either layer two together, or i open my  Faber Castle Pitt pastel pencils tin in hope there will be something closer in there.

This is the first one i did, i followed a chap on youtube called Unmask Art, he even supplied the photo and line drawing with which to get started.

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Owl No 1..

This second one is from a picture and i made the line drawing and used my own colours, it is really a great process to do, start with the darks and overlay the lights, try it..2018-05-26 08.40.09

Hot days, Bolted Onions and new pumpkin bed..

For late spring days the weather is really hot. Moving on from beast from the east and its sibling which took out a few of my seed trays and sent my Rocket plants to seed, its gone full circle to almost mid summer temperatures.

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Plot looking good in the sunshine

As the days stride on into the summer season and the heat rises, watering becomes an almost hourly chore, using the Canna Bio Terra compost which has quite an open light consistency, which is great if you are using an ebb and flow system, but as we have it raised beds it drains away quite quickly and needs constant watering and feeding.

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Strawberries ready for the cream

In the tunnel, the strawberries seem to be ripening on a daily basis, we have already had several tubs of the luscious red fruit and we will increase our yield with more strawberry plants shortly. The beetroot are all planted outside now and we have added a few rows of radish, spring onion, rocket and carrot.

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Blueberries in the cage
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Broad beans growing away

Annie is one for keeping things in order, she is like the ward matron, everything has a place, and everything in its place, bless her. She is one that would spend lots of time hacking down brambles and weeds but hates planting seeds or flowers, so really everything works out great between us. Today though, she decided to take it upon herself to plant the Cornflower we had sown earlier in the year, and several plants of Gypsophila amongst the fruit in the cage.

While Annie got on with that, I set about sowing a few marigolds to add around the perimeter of the raised beds in order to help encourage beneficial insects to visit our Plot and eat any bugs we may get.

I noticed today that a few of our onions have flower spikes appearing on them, having looked at the internet I find out that they have indeed bolted, and they look really healthy too, so we will harvest them tomorow, Annie can always find a use for them.

My son has taken his 2 pumpkin plants to the plot in order to get them growing for this years Malvern show where last year he came second in the biggest pumpkin competition, not bad for a novice.

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New Pumpkin Bed made

 

Hot sun, Fruit area ,Start of giant Pumkin

First off let me apologise for the lack of posts recently but sometimes real life gets in the way and other hobbies and gardening have to take a back seat. My real job depends rather a lot on good weather as we  sell top quality garden furniture and BBQ’s and the selling window can be a short one if the sun doesn’t shine, even though there is 17,000 items on our website, this has taken up most of my time working over the bank holiday and extra days.

The hot sun certainly helped the veg in the beds come on last week but some of the seedlings in the tunnel just frazzled up and died, we could only water at night and sometimes this wasn’t enough.  It was just lovely to be able to sit outside and enjoy a drink of a night-time instead of getting wrapped up because of the cold wind, but there was a down side as we had to travel more to the plot in order to make sure everything was well watered as the heat just dried out the trays and pots.

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Potatoes coming on..

Managed to get my son over this week from his usual busy job, he had just bought us another 15 planks in order to build a few more beds for the seedlings we have growing but we decided to get the fruit bed up and running first, especially as they are growing well and starting with small fruit already.

We managed to fasten wires across the back of the frame as well in order to help support the raspberries, thornless blackberries,  also the red and black currants. We have planted gooseberries and a couple of lavenders around at the front of the beds and we hope this will add a pleasing group at the front along with nice smelling flowers.IMG-20180508-WA0013

The beds are looking quite good today, beetroot is good, parsnips went to seed and have been removed , chard is making an appearance, radish are doing well as is the lettuce, and i cant believe the spuds.

If the sun hadn’t been so hot today i would have planted out another type of beetroot, but at 24°C it was just too hot to risk any sort of planting.

My son did bring across his pumpkins he has started and once again hoping to show them at the Great Malvern Giant Veg Show later in the year, he managed a second place last year which concidering he only does this in his spare time is impressive.

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Giant Pumkins on the Move..

We have yet to build the bed that will contain the Pumkin as this will be grown using a completely different type of Canna Compost, and fed on a different range of Canna liquid feed.

The Fruit trees have looked splendid in their beautiful blossom, just hoping there was enough bees around to help to set fruit this year, although we did help the peach along with a bit of hand pollination.

We managed to get some tomatoes and squash repotted as they are getting large in their little cell trays, there are still more varieties to repot and the peppers are looking really good, cant get them sorted out though until next tuesday when i am  off again.