Hasty Harvest, Potential Produce, Sweetcorn Struggle.

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.

Garlic crop under cover.
Garlic crop under cover smothered in rust.

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.

Not the most impressive of crops.
Not the most impressive of crops.

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.

Beginnings of Broad Beans. Var Robin Hood.
Beginnings of Broad Beans. Var Robin Hood.

Lots more flowers growing, and flowers means more beans…   I guess I’ll soon find out if I actually like Broad Beans.

Lovely markings.
Lovely markings.

I’ve just about finished planting outside crops that I have been raising in my greenhouses.

Ooh look.. A Siamese Twin fruit.
Ooh look.. A Siamese Twin fruit.

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.

Raspberry Ruby Beauty
Raspberry Ruby Beauty

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 1 and only germinated Carrot.
My 1 and only germinated Carrot.

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.

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).

Sweetcorn 2015. Dont try this at home.
Sweetcorn 2015.
Don’t try this at home.

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.

Sweetcorn Swift F1
Sweetcorn Swift F1

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.

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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