Saturday, May 30, 2009

come on, grow!

Update on tomatoes: Managed to save at least one of each but still puny. In the meantime, I bought four plants from the garden centre (Sungold, Sweet Millions, Plum Titania Improved (how so?) , and a beefsteak tomato the label of which I lost cycling home).

Then there is the fruit. Pruned the greengage slightly but still quite a bit of fruit hanging on it. A few small pears on the horizon. Raspberries show signs of blossoms. It will only be a handful but for the first year that is not too bad. Also noticed something that looks like brambles growing wild yet respectfully on one side of the garden.

The other stuff is getting on but I'm getting a bit impatient. Peas are climbing, beans are growing, white beetroots are finding their way. Few more rows of radishes, endive, welsh onion and more beets. With the nice weather though they should go into a growth spurt soon enough. Half of gardening life is waiting - now I am waiting for the zucchini and cucumbers to come up. All in good time, it's only the end of May. In the meantime, I can enjoy some flowers.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I knew it...

I have given up on my tomatoes. Small, spindly - and when I put them out to harden off (hoping for sun to inspire them to so something) half of them were scratched out by a cat. I'll see what I can salvage but I'm afraid not much. Last year this will happen, from now on I am sticking to buying tomato plants.

Other than that, some mange touts are managing to outgrow whatever it is eating them. I sowed some more in the hope that the snails get full first. Radishes are doing great, endive not so much. Some beans have come through but too early to tell if they'll fall victims to voracious predators (I've done a second sowing to fill up the blank spots I left). White beets are now thinned out, they may actually surprise me. Potatoes are huge and dandy. Welsh onions are just...there. More second sowings have gone in, along with the first direct sowings of cucumber, zucchini and squash.

Garden was overgrown by weeds in three weeks of not doing anything much. It's surprising how quickly they can grow when vegetables seem to only struggle along.

One good thing though - when weeding I discovered an ornamental clover I got some years ago from my now 100-year-old great-aunt. I had feared it lost but there it was, small but yet flowering. It meant a lot to me.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

snails and other pests

Something is nibbling my mange tout, so I've been outside late at night with a torch and yes, it is snails. Two little seedlings have already had their tops nipped off. I hope the other ones outgrow their enemies quickly.

The pear tree is getting hammered this year. It seems there are more greenflies around than usual, which descended mostly on the growing tips. Instead of using any chemicals I decided to just remove them mechanically to give the buds a chance to open. Some of the unfurled leaves have already holes in them from a tiny green caterpillar. Again, mechanical removal may have done the trick.

I'm away from the garden for two weeks and entrusted care of both outside beds and inside starts to toxicfingers, after leaving detailed instructions. I'm sure everything will be ok, right?