Thursday, 5 May 2016

String game

The first beech leaves
The first beech leaves have unfurled and everything's starting to grow in the garden. On the weekend, temperatures are forecast to reach 20C, but we believe it when we see it.

This year, we've decided to string up our tomatoes rather than stake them with bamboo canes. Jim lovingly cut and dipped 41 lengths of coir rope in wax, before tying a slip knot with a stopper in one end, slipping it over the tomato plants and then tying off the other end with a clove hitch. Those sailing knots come in handy on land, too!

Clove hitches in the garden
Strung up tomatoes
Work in progress in the polytunnel
The greenhouse has had a major reorganisation and has been filled to capacity, but still looks tidy.  It houses 10 tomatoes, 4 achochas, 12 tomatillos (awaiting planting out in mid-June), 4 chillies and 8 peppers and the extra brassica seedlings in case the first ones get chomped by slugs.

Nicely spaced-out greenhouse
The conservatory is much less crowded and much tidier this year because of the extra polytunnel space and because I've decided to sow the courgettes, squashes and sweetcorn in early May rather than mid-April, as before. I think this works better here - last year I got stuck with enormous plants when the weather didn't warm up properly until July.

Tidy conservatory
Chilli-ringed sofa
The conservatory is reserved for cucumbers (crystal lemon), chillies, okra and melons this year.

Okra seedling
Watermelon seedling
Outside, I've just planted out lettuces, peas and mangetout. The peas are in a high-security netted tract to keep out the blackbirds. Please help yourself to layers' pellets, blackbirds, and leave those tender peas alone.

Pea wigwams with nets
The Jerusalem artichokes, early potatoes and onions are already poking out and the bumblebees are enjoying the broad bean and kale flowers.


The earlies
Broad bean with bumblebee
In the top corner of the garden, we've tidied up the raspberry and mint beds, removing all traces of the former playground, and dug over a new area that is going to be a herb garden. To be planted this week - watch this space!

The new herb bed to be
Tidied-up raspberry enclosure
The mint bed is getting going

1 comment:

  1. You are really getting on with everything! The polytunnel will be a sight indeed then the tomatoes have grown some... We string them up, too; it's much handier than staking them.