All posts in Gardening

  • wpid-imag1289.jpgAphids and ants on raspberries
  • wpid-imag1273.jpgPlanted out tomatoes
  • wpid-imag1272.jpgBeans
  • wpid-imag1268.jpgDamaged beetroot leaves

Further planting and further pests

We’ve planted the beans out now, and put the tomatoes in a trough; they all seem to be fine.  However, our raspberries have been severely attacked by ants farming aphids under almost all the leaves, and especially around the clusters of fruit.  And our developing beetroots are having their leaves shredded by leaf-mining pests.

  • wpid-imag1260.jpgWeevil damage to pea seedlings
  • wpid-imag1261.jpgBee hotel
  • wpid-imag1262.jpgSweet peas shooting up
  • wpid-imag1263.jpgMiniature shallots

Weevils and bees

Nearly all of our pea plants have the distinctive pattern of weevil damage around the perimeter of their leaves.  This seems to slow down the development of the plants, as they are being attacked while they are quite small.  Meanwhile, the sweet peas are growing very fast.  It’s difficult to believe the small scattering of shallots can be bothered at all, as they seem to aspire to nothing but tiny green shoots on a martian landscape.

  • wpid-imag1249.jpgCeleriac seedlings in peril
  • wpid-imag1250.jpgHerbs: bronze fennel, garden mint, peppermint, lemon verbena, French tarragon, oregano, lemon balm
  • wpid-imag1252.jpgKale seedlings and runner beans and French beans
  • wpid-imag1255.jpgTomatoes and courgette outgrowing the greenhouse
  • wpid-imag1256.jpgPeas
  • wpid-imag1257.jpgGolden raspberries

Early Growth

We have a few crops that are in the mini-greenhouse ready to go out into the veg plot now.  The tomatoes are looking very healthy and are growing at a rapid rate, as is the single yellow courgette plant, which we intend to plant in a bucket of manure and compost.  The peas continue their slow development.  The kale seedlings don’t seem to be in much of a hurry, but the runner beans and French beans are racing to be planted out.  Our second attempt at growing celeriac seems to be heading for disaster again, as the seedlings are steadily going yellow and wilting, despite being brought indoors.

  • wpid-imag1228.jpgLady Christl potatoes and last few leeks
  • wpid-imag1229.jpgSalsify gone to seed
  • wpid-imag1230.jpgGarlic, including elephant garlic
  • wpid-imag1231.jpgLeek flower and snails
  • wpid-imag1232.jpgLeek rust
  • wpid-imag1233.jpgLast leek harvest
  • wpid-imag1234.jpgGarlic leaves with rust removed

Late leeks, early potatoes & rusty garlic

We have pulled up the last few leeks from last year – they have seen us through the winter, and are now on the brink of running to seed.  The leeks are quite badly affected by rust, perhaps from the extensive period of wet weather through the winter, and this seems to have spread to the garlic we have been overwintering.  We’ve removed as many leaves with rust as we can, to try to prevent it spreading further without weakening the garlic too much. The elephant garlic (we planted three cloves but only one has come through) is as large as a leek. The Lady Christl first early potatoes we planted just a few weeks ago have grown extremely fast, too fast for us to properly earth them up.

  • wpid-imag1215.jpgBeetroot seedlings
  • wpid-imag1216.jpgPerished celeriac seedlings
  • wpid-imag1218.jpgRocket and mustard
  • wpid-imag1219.jpgSweetcorn seedlings
  • wpid-imag1220.jpgPea seedlings and netting

Spring Developments

Things are coming along fairly slowly in the veg plot.  We have a few clumps of beetroot seedlings that are struggling against the hard clay soil and the persistent attacks of slugs.  Our pea seedlings are big enough to need the support of some netting.  For both these crops, we are sowing successionally, so we have planted another row as the previous row grows.  The sweetcorn seedlings seem very strong and confident, but our celeriac seedlings, which were very leggy, have now perished.

  • wpid-imag1188.jpgBean seeds
  • wpid-imag1190.jpgWeevil damage to pea seedlings
  • wpid-imag1191.jpgRocket, mustard, celeriac and augergine
  • wpid-imag1192.jpgSweetcorn seedlings

Further sowing

The soil in our vegetable plot is too hard to sow many seeds directly.  The continuous wet weather over the winter has compacted the soil into a thick crunchy surface, and the soil is already very clayey anyhow.  So we’re almost forced to sow many of our crops in pots to start with, before the challenge of the soil.

Read more…

  • wpid-imag1194.jpgStrawberry flowers
  • wpid-imag1193.jpgBlackcurrant flowers

Flowering Fruit

We have quite a few flowers appearing on our various strawberry plants, which is hopefully a sign of a healthy crop.  We also have a fair few flowers on our Ben Tirran blackcurrant and redcurrant bushes, but nothing so far on our Baldwin blackcurrant.


First rhubarb harvest

We have been able to harvest our first few stems of rhubarb. The stems do not seem to be very long, but the plant is producing a many large leaves and seems very vigorous.

  • wpid-imag1182.jpgHop going strong
  • wpid-imag1181.jpgBeetroot seedlings
  • wpid-imag1179.jpgLeggy celeriac seedlings


We have a few signs of life beginning to show in the vegetable plot now.

Read more…

  • wpid-imag1169.jpgTidied and repotted herbs, sweet peas and strawberries
  • wpid-imag1170.jpgRepotted olive tree, lavender and currant trees
  • wpid-imag1172.jpgSpring onion, lettuce, rocket, mustard, celeriac and aubergine seeds
  • wpid-imag1173.jpgChantenay carrot seeds sown in a bucket
  • wpid-imag1174.jpgBee hotel
  • wpid-imag1175.jpgLarge rhubarb leaves
  • wpid-imag1176.jpgSupport for golden raspberries

Garden Clean-up

With a spell of dry weather and sunshine, we have been able to get out into the garden to begin tidying up some of the mayhem from the long wet winter months, and sort out the plants that are beginning to grow again.

Read more…

  • wpid-imag1164.jpgLady Christl potatoes sprouting
  • wpid-imag1160.jpgSlow worm in the leeks
  • wpid-imag1161.jpgFreshly dug over and planted King Edwards, with remaining leeks and overwintered garlic

Potato Planting

We have already planted a couple of rows of Lady Christl first early potatoes, which are just beginning to sprout through the soil.  We have now dug over and planted King Edward seed potatoes as our maincrop.  In between the two, we still have a row of leeks still standing, and the garlic we have overwintered, which has now begun to develop with the spring weather.  While we were digging, we found a slow worm in amongst the leeks, which didn’t seem to be all that bothered by our activity.

  • wpid-IMAG1154.jpgFrom the kitchen window
  • wpid-IMAG1139.jpgChallenger hop in moss packaging
  • wpid-IMAG1150.jpgHop planted with wire supports on fence
  • wpid-IMAG1149.jpgThinned strawberries
  • wpid-IMAG1143.jpgPlanting garlic
  • wpid-IMAG1152.jpgRhubarb
  • wpid-IMAG1151.jpgNewly planted Victoria plum tree
  • wpid-IMAG1153.jpgPropagating celeriac seeds
  • wpid-IMAG0999.jpgRosemary flowers

First attempts at Spring

It has been our first opportunity to go out into the garden this weekend.  We have managed to sow beetroot, Isle of Wight garlic, shallots and peas, as well as a hop and a Victoria plum tree.  Since the fence has been repaired, things are beginning to look like they are under control again.