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……..




Raised Beds, Mud and Big Plans….

One of the changes I wanted to make to the garden layout, was to build a new raised bed for veg growing, my current raised bed number far too few for what I want to grow.

In 2015 I grew Sweetcorn in big pots in blocks in a bit of an experiment to see if it was a suitable way of getting  a good crop, they had to be in pots as I did not have any room on the sunny side of the garden to plant in the ground, the experiment was a stunning failure, even with a very rich growing medium mixed up by me, lots of liquid feed and lots of watering, I only got about 10 cobs from 25 plants, and they were small cobs at that…. but very delicious.

A decision had to be made,  either give up or invest time creating a decent growing space and go all out in the pursuit of a splendid harvest……


I decided to dig up a round flower bed I made a couple of years ago, it never really reached its full potential, it was horribly clayey, and I dug in several sacks of shape grit and old compost only to be rewarded with a mediocre flower display.

So first job was to re-home all the perennials, these were replanted in other beds around the garden, then I bought some treated decking boards and fixed these into place and used some old cardboard and newspaper to cover the grassy corners. I used sacks of old saved compost from my failed sweetcorn pots, some sacks of soil improver and at least 5 wheelbarrows of compost from my own Dalek Style compost bins to top the bed up.

1-jan 2016 019
Finished bed.

It just needs to settle down now, and I can top it up when required.

With all these jobs done, I planned more work in the greenhouse the next day, and I wanted to start lifting the old slabs from where my 6×6 once was.


Unfortunately the weather had other ideas.

The next day……


To be continued………………………..

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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