End of Month View of the Garden: End of February 2017
The weather in February started off quite balanced, and reasonable, but ended with a blast by Storm Doris, who helped herself to several fence panels, and the felt off my shed roof, but did leave me with someone’s tent, 2 parts of a plastic Christmas Tree and an empty shoebox.
Its almost the end of May and I’m fairly confident that the frosts have finished now, however we did have a slight last frost here last year on June 6th, so I’m keeping an eye on the weather forecasts armed with copious amounts of Fleece just in case.
I’ve been growing my Garlic in a raised bed under a covering of Enviromesh in an attempt to thwart the Allium Leaf Miner, this pesky beast has moved into the region where I live and has become quite a nuisance in regards to the Onion/Allium family, I’ve found it particularly bad in regards my Garlic, I had a poor crop of Garlic last year, in-part due to an infestation of the Leaf Miner, so this growing season, my use of Enviromesh is an attempt to see if I can produce any worthwhile crops.
I have slightly definitely planted too many Garlic Corms in the space I had available, all autumn planted varieties, I planted a row of Spring violet, 2 Rows Of Solent Wight and 2 rows of Early Wight.
I noticed last week that the first row of Garlic, being the Spring Violet, had started to produce flowers and needed pulling, I did battle with the Enviromesh and forked the row up.
While I had the mesh off, I took the opportunity to fluff up the soil in between the rows and add copious amounts of Fish, Blood & Bone to the growing space in an attempt to perk up the plants in their final few weeks of growing.
I think this was fruitless as the plants don’t look very good. I suspect my anti Leaf Miner attempts have just encouraged more rust which as affected the plants vigour.
The other crops I’ve got growing in my raised beds are showing great potential.
Lots more flowers growing, and flowers means more beans… I guess I’ll soon find out if I actually like Broad Beans.
I’ve just about finished planting outside crops that I have been raising in my greenhouses.
Courgettes are planted out in big tubs with compost enriched with some shop bought Manure, also in Tubs are all my Potatoes, Parsnips and a mini Squash called a Squaskin..
Scroll over pictures to see captions if your on a PC…..
I’m also growing some fruit in big containers, plants such as Blueberries because they prefer Acidic soil and Red Currants because I’ve not got any room in the sunny part of the garden for them to thrive in.
Incidentally, that picture just above this comment shows the total crop of Red Currants to date.
I’ve also treated myself with one of these new types of Raspberry that can be grown in a container, Raspberry Ruby Beauty from T&M, earlier in the year they had a all plants half price offer, so I bought 2.
The growing instruction that came with the plants stated that they needed to be planted in a 10 Litre tub or bigger for best results, I’ve planted mine into 25 Litre tubs, and so far they have been putting on leaves. I suspect it will be a good year if I want Raspberry leaves, the fruit might be another matter though.
Won’t be long before I’m harvesting an early crop of peas. I’m tempted to re-sow with more peas in the same spot when this crop is finished…..
My Carrots have been an unmitigated failure though…. I’ve sowed 2 packets of seed, with the 2nd packet sowed twice, still only achieving 1 seedling. I’m wondering if it is possible to get rubbish seed from 2 different suppliers or am I the Anti Carrot Grower.!
In the greenhouses I’ve been moving crops into their final growing positions, it’s not been easy with the cooler weather in the early part of the month preventing many plants from staying outside.
All crops being moved about
First Tomato set
1st Chilli fruit set
Cucamelons are go!
Scroll over the pictures to see the captions if your on a PC…..
And finally, onto the crop I just have to grow each year Sweet Corn.
This is how I grew my Sweet corn last year. (2015).
I just didn’t have any room to do the plants justice, so began a complicated sequence of events where I obtained 28 second hand 10 Litre pots, a growing medium mixture of loam, Multi-purpose compost, slow release fertilizer and a small quantity of manure in each pot, the plants were liquid fed at regular intervals.
I stood back….. and watched the weeds thrive.
Now the ‘experts’ will tell you that you can grow Sweet Corn in pots, and yes you can, just don’t expect any actual cobs to eat though. Of the 28 plants I got about 7 cobs, and they were very small, about half average length.
I’ve had all winter to be bitter, and to formulate a plan.
I decided to build a raised bed over an existing flower bed, and in-order to make it bigger I dug some lawn up.
So my new bed is about 7 ft long by 6 ft wide, full of old compost, soil improver and manure which was added early in the season so the weather could work on it…
I’ve got about 26 plants planted out now, with added Mycorrhizal fungi in the hope that’s the magic ingredient to a bumper crop.
In each corner of the bed I’ve planted 2 plants of Pumpkin Winter Luxury, which is supposed to be a small but beautifully formed fruit and 2 plants of Squash Winter Sweet F1 and should also be a smallish fruit with all the good looks and keeping quality of Crown Prince.
So in a way 2 sisters and a weird uncle…..(row of peas along the back).
So I’m hoping for a bumper crop later this year, even if any potential corn cob will have cost in the region of £10 each to produce.