Emergency Onions, Poo applied, The rise of the Evil Weevil. #gdnbloggers

In this part of the country we have managed at least 5 days of no rain, hard frosts each night yes…. but no rain.

I had a list of jobs that I really need to accomplish in the garden, and I had a list of jobs that came under the heading: Would be nice to get done, but don’t kill yourself.

I got some fence repairing done, forked over where my footprints were left in the border whilst fixing the fence, forked over the compacted soil around where I built my new greenhouse in my  Last update post.

After all the winter rain the edges of my borders have melded into the lawns so I set about redefining the edges.

Redefining the lawn edge.
Redefining the lawn edge.


That should help when edging the lawn after mowing.

I had a poke about in my older greenhouse at my Onion seedlings and I’m just not happy with them.

Now I have grown Onions from sets before, but I really quite like sowing seeds, last year I had an excellent crop of onions which I grew from seed sown over Christmas, they were so good in fact I had to dig them up in the summer to stop them getting any bigger, (I like a medium sized onion).

So late last year whilst perusing a seed sale at a Garden Centre I purchased some Red Onions seeds, these were sown on Boxing Day last Christmas, as I usually do, and nothing happened. For several weeks nothing happened, then just a few pathetic seedlings appeared, unfortunately that was it.

*Hmmm I thought, I’ve been sold rubbish seed.  So I placed an online order with a seed company to get some new, different Red Onions.

(*Crap I thought).


These too have proved to be a bit rubbish….  See below.

Onion seedlings looking a bit rubbish.
Onion seedlings looking a bit rubbish.

You see i’m going to run a tight ship this year, when one crop ends another is being planted into the same place a bit pronto, and I just can’t have slow onions holding up crops.

I made the decision to dash to a local nursery today and buy a few loose Red Onion sets in order to try and make up for lost growing time.

Now I know Onions are not rare, expensive or unusual, but I like it when if I fancy an onion I can pop into the garden and harvest one there and then.  So there.

20ish Red Onion sets.
20ish Red Onion sets.

I had a poke about in my shed to see what fertilizers I had that I could apply to my pending Onion bed, and I found a product I purchased early last year.

Rant Warning.

Expensive and Deceptive.
Expensive and Deceptive.

Vitax Organic Potato Fertilizer 1kg.

I paid roughly £6 for this box last year as I was growing Potatoes in sacks, however when I opened it I discovered it was mini pelleted Chicken poo.

Now, nowhere on the packaging is it stated what it’s made out of, surley if it comes out of a chicken’s bum then it should say so.  If I had known it was Chicken Poo Pellets then I would have just bought a big tub of Chicken Poo Pellets from the DIY store for half the price for 3 times the amount.

So please note: This product is expensive shit.


:Rant Over.

My late winter sown Broad Beans have enjoyed the sunshine that we had recently that i’ve had to stake each plant as they were starting to suffer with wind rock, with 15 short canes in place should mean that I get a decent crop later in the year.

Broad Beans at the stake.
Broad Beans at the stake.

Now the eagle eyed among you may have noticed a large white addition to the raised bed behind the beans, according to the non-gardening man of the household it’s a tent for Ronnie Corbett.

Or as I call it, a cheap fleece tent for when I plant out some early peas.

Although I admit I prefer the tent story.




Finally today I noticed my Strawberry plants that are growing in a wall planter were looking a little under the weather.

Strawberry plants do generally die back over the winter, but these looked…..odd.

I had some potted runners from last years plants and I intended to plant these into gaps in between the existing odd looking strawberries…………..


I tipped out the containers…..


And found my worst nightmare…….



Luckily only 1 Larvae..............or was it....?!?
Luckily only 1 Larvae…………..or was it….?!?

Horror of horrors….. Vine Weevil were eating the roots of my Strawberries, this is the reason why my plants looked *odd.



But only 1 Larvae, I could easily control 1 larvae.



But then I emptied another container…


This is terrible news, I last had Vine Weevil in my garden about 3 years ago, it infested my Fuchsia containers, I controlled it back then by dumping all my containers into a skip, and I’ve not planted up any containers until recently.

After that I was confident that Vine Weevil was no longer a problem, so that i’ve got arriving in the next few weeks 12 baby Fuchsia plants from a specialist nursery, and a box of plug plants for hanging baskets and other containers.

I am also planning to grow quite a bit of edible stuff in containers this year, so this infestation is terrible news….

I’ve got to work out how to control the current infestation and work out how i’m going to protect all my new containers throughout the coming year.  Sodding warm winters.!


To Be Continued……..




New Greenhouse Build and Spring creeps in….

Following on from my last post…. Raised Beds, Mud and Big Plans….

I was on the verge of relaying new slabs to support the new Greenhouse I purchased last Autumn, however the persistent heavy rain, high winds and a visit by storm Imogen has put paid to me being able to do much garden work for a few weeks….

The remains of the old Greenhouse.

I had to snatch random gaps in the stormy weather to get slabs relaid and the new Greenhouse base fitted.

Feb 2016 014
The Base Fitted.

And this is how it stayed for at least another week, the mud became intolerable, and my fingers froze.  Then last weekend a break in the weather meant I got the frame together, fixed up and all bolted.

I took a half day from work last friday as the forecast was favourable, I got the two roof vents fitted, the door made up and fitted and started glazing.  Now it’s considered best practice to glaze in one day so as not to leave the structure with gaps overnight in case of high storms, however I had to finish my glazing at 5.15pm on Friday as it was just too dark to continue.  And even worse… I was coming down with a streaming cold.

Yesterday morning I dragged myself from my sick-bed to finish glazing each end and the door, there was one worrying moment when the last pane of glass just wouldn’t fit. I made an ‘adjustment’ to a plastic fitting and the pane slotted in perfectly.

So.. here it is…

6X8 extra high.
6X8 extra high.

It’s a 6×8 foot extra high Greenhouse, I need to sort out the ground around it, fit the downpipes to the gutter, and sort some water butts. I’m aiming to use the Greenhouse primarily for tall crops in tubs, such as Tomatoes and Cucumbers…….

But that could all change yet.

It should complement my existing 6×8 very nicely.

But all in good time, it was back to my sick-bed for the rest of the weekend to try to shake off this bug.


Another new recent purchase for me is helping start of some seeds that I’ve sown, a zip up tunnel type propagator with heat mat.

013-16-jan 2016 017

It’s a bit of an extravagance, but I’ve always wanted one, and a recent sale meant I was able to get one for under £100.  It should prove useful with the extra height when I start cuttings later in the year.

It currently contains my Chilli seeds, which are coming along nicely.

Chillies in action.
Chillies in action.

I’ve also just sown a wide variety of Tomato seeds, some from the USA, some from Northern Europe, and some ultra modern uk F1 hybrids. these should do well in my new taller greenhouse.

Tomatoes Pending....
Tomatoes Pending….

In other areas around the garden, there are signs of Spring Flowers which are a welcome sight….

I just need more time to get into the garden to do all the outstanding jobs, I also need the water table to reduce a bit.

Hamamelis & Snowdrops.

I’m really looking forward to giving the lawn its first cut of the year, and at least there will be Tulips…

Tulips emerging....
Tulips emerging….

Bye for now…..




Let’s try again…. 

Well, I’ve been a poor blogger.

In short …….I took a bit of a step back in 2015 and only made Wordless Wednesday posts.

I felt I needed to reassess what I was trying to achieve with this blog, and what I really wanted to say.

I’ve also been extremely busy most weekends over the year with an huge amount of DIY and decorating done to the house, in short the non-gardener and I have lived here years and not touched the decorating once… And believe me, it needed touching!

In order to keep costs down, I’ve done most of the prep work and junk disposal before tradesmen moved in and got started.

The horror under the wallpaper….

Walls in 3 rooms and the hall, stairs and landing have been stripped of wallpaper, tradesmen plaster boarded ceilings, skimmed walls, a painter was employed to paint our new smooth walls… We disposed of most of our old, mismatched furniture, carpets were replaced,

new furniture purchased and erected. And we had much fun moving our bed around each room to keep ahead of all the work.

A *small fortune later we are almost finished.

We just need our old bed collecting by the council and I can move back and start to re-fill my book cases.


When I have managed brief forays into the garden I have focused mostly on a bit of re-editing of under performing plants, plants that I have just tolerated, and plants that really turned out to be rubbish have been removed, this has included several impulse buys and 3 roses amongst other things.

This of course has given me room to move other plants about and maybe make a few better, but informed purchases.

1st attempt at Broad Beans ever. Variety robin Hood.
1st attempt at Broad Beans ever.
Variety robin Hood.


This time last year, I created a few raised beds on the sunny side of the garden, just plonked on top of the lawn, instead of cutting the turf away, this was a 12 month experiment to see if it was worthwhile, and to see if I could produce any veg worthy of eating.

Well i’m delighted to report I had a bumper crop of all sorts of veg, such as lettuce, turnips, onions, peas……  But my Sweetcorn was abysmal, so was my courgettes due to Powdery Mildew.




I did Achieve some splendid Carrots.

Splendid Carrots.
Splendid Carrots.









And I grew too many Potatoes.

Last of the Potatos
Last of the Potatoes










And I had a bumper crop of Tomatoes, Cucumbers and I even had a first Melon, which tasted amazing.

First ever Melon.
First ever Melon.










I’ll certainly be trying these again.

So this coming year, now that I’ve mostly finished working on the house, means that I can again concentrate on the garden, I’m planning on increasing the size and hopefully the productivity of my veg patch.  I’ve already purchased too many seeds of both flowers and veg, and I’m going to explore gardening in pots more as I think its a way to increase the growing areas in the sunniest parts of the garden.

I want to look into the possibility of running a path right up to the top of the garden, as every time we get significant rain, (which almost always now), the lawn in the middle of the garden becomes a bog, and walking across it to my Greenhouse or Compost bin is proving messy.

And finally I was bequeathed a little bit of money earlier in year, and I decided I wanted to spend it on just me, and not on tradesmen’s wages, so I purchased a new 8X6 greenhouse with a few extras, such as more vents.

It was a special offer package from a greenhouse company I’ve used before.  The greenhouse was delivered in late Autumn and I’ve spend what available time I could over Christmas dismantling my old 6X6 greenhouse to make room for the newly purchased one.

I’ve got lots of plans for the coming growing  year, and hopefully, now I’ve got the time to implement them without feeling guilty that house stuff needed seeing to.


I just need all this heavy rain to stop.

1-new year 1 002



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