Thursday, 20 May 2010

Make a little birdhouse in... Chris's Mum's garden. And a tomato panic!

On Saturday we drove over to Bolton to see Chris's Mum for her birthday and drop off the birthday present Chris made for her - a bird table, with 4 nesting boxes, and a gardening caddy, all handmade from wood. The nesting boxes even had proper felt roofs and leaves painted on the side. It took him a while to make them all and he's made a really good job of them. His Mum was very impressed and it looked lovely once it was all set up.

On Sunday I redug the rough patch for the third time and took out 3 buckets worth of bindweed roots! I weeded everywhere, then resowed some radish and spring onion, and fed the damson, rhubarb and passion flower with blood, fish and bone. I spotted about 4 flower buds on the passion flower - Chris was chuffed as he's been waiting for about 3 years for it to flower, ever since he sowed it from some seeds that he got from the pound shop. He gave our friend Emma a plant and hers flowered last year. I planted out some borage at the allotment too, as bees are meant to like it, but I'm a bit worried that it's a prolific self-seeder so I may be lumbered with it now for years to come, but if it makes the bees happy then it can't be a bad thing. The cherry blossom petals all over the path to the allotment still look amazing, just like a delicate pink carpet. Chris's mum doesn't like it in her garden though, even though it was floating down like confetti.

Back at home I planted out the poached egg plants, nemophila and borage, and staked the sweet peas. I took the peas, broad beans, pansies, and violas home to harden off.

I panicked as the leaves at the bottom of some of the tomato plants had started to go yellow, so I fed them on Monday night, then planted 6 of them into grow bags on Tuesday night. The Sungold seemed to be the worst affected as well as some of the trial cherry tomatoes. It's probably nothing to worry about but yellow leaves can't be a good sign and I think the plants are outgrowing their pots - so 6 are in grow bags now. By coincidence I have grown 6 different varieties, moneymaker, alicante, my Dad's yellow tomato seeds that he saved, the trial cherry tomato from DT Brown, sungold and shirley.

I need to get the rest of my tomatoes, sweetcorn and pumpkins planted into the bottom greenhouse this weekend. Now I wish I'd have been more generous with the manure when I did it a few months back! I could also do with planting out the peas and broad beans.

Weather wise, it seems to have picked up a bit this week, and I'd be surprised if we get another frost. I think it's time to get lots of stuff hardening off in the coldframe this weekend - I have bedding plants coming out of my ears at the minute. And the hanging baskets need planting too,

But everything's still relatively small, and it's hard to imagine the plants when they're fully grown. I think's there's always an element of doubt in the back of my mind wondering if everything will grow and do what it's meant to! The sweet peas look so small, it's hard to image them in full flower. This is why I love gardening, the plants do all the hard work, all they need is a bit of water and some TLC.

I got a new book off Amazon this week. It was recommended in the Digger's Diary - A Hellyer's Your Garden Week By Week. It's a very old fashioned book, but handy for seeing what you should have done by when. I've only had a quick look at it so far as I've been really busy listing my Dad's amateur radio equipment on eBay, it's received the most interest out of anything I've ever sold on eBay which was quite a surprise. But it's took a lot of work to get things listed and packed up and I was still up at 1.30am last night doing it.  It needs selling though as it's no use to me and my Mum, we don't have a clue what to do with any of it.

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