Friday 29 March 2013

Oh chit!

Today would be the usual day to get our potatoes in the ground but the truth is that the ground is still completely unworkable and the weather is so unpredictable. After a week of snow - we thought spring and sunshine were finally on the way yesterday. However to see it start to snow around lunchtime today, it has slightly dampened our spirits.

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely Easter and are able to get growing soon!!


Saturday 16 March 2013

We're getting there...

I now don't feel quite as far behind as I was..

Sowing proceeded last week! It was very exciting and filled me with optimism.

You can probably tell I have no loyalty to one particular seed company!!

Things ARE growing though and that's a good start. The lettuce seedlings that I sowed last week are starting to come through. I've put them in my new mini greenhouse and they seem to be doing ok.

On the kitchen windowsill there are tomatoes and chillies. The tomatoes 'Roma' and 'Costaluto Fiorentino' are already up but the chillies aren't yet.

I'm growing these Italian varieties for a good reason. I've always grown the traditional salad tomatoes and although they are delicious, I like to use tomatoes in cooking. Roma is perfect for sauces and in ratatouille and the like. Then the Fiorentina are good for grilling and also for salads so they seem like a win win!

There are 3 different varieties of chillies. 'Tabasco' which I have grown before and 'Black Pearl' which I have not. There is also 'Big Banana' which I think might be a long banana shaped sweet pepper now that I think about it..

This years showings started off particularly badly. I was in the garden and I filled my seed tray with small pots which were sown in to. These were the tomato and chillies and I wanted to put them on the windowsill. As I was coming through the door with the tray the dog clocked on and thought it must be food and jumped up at the back of my legs and the tray landed on the floor..


Today I've been at it again - sowing that is, not making a mess!  I have been sowing Swiss chard to transplant later and also sowing my cabbages 'Golden Acre' and Kale 'Tuscano di Nero'.

The allotment is now more or less ready for action. The only bit which does need some attention is the top bit where the pumpkins were last year. It seems like couch grass enjoys congregating in this area and it is pretty rife! My idea is to get this part dug over in the evenings, after work next week. I'm then going to grow potatoes in this area because the couch grass won't like the constant disturbance of the 'earthing up' process. As soon as all of the potatoes are harvested in the autumn - the plan is to cover I over with black plastic to restrict light to the invasive weed and then come next spring the situation shouldn't be as bad as it currently is!

Anyway, it's raining today so that's not much use. Fingers crossed the weather makes up its mind and the sun shines bright in to the evenings!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!


Friday 15 March 2013


Is a very bad habit!!

Whilst stuck in the office with the sun glistening through the window - I find myself daydreaming about the allotment and just being outside.

Thankfully, here at Fircroft we have 6 acres of gardens which can satisfy my need to be outdoors.

Having a quick stroll around the gardens yesterday afternoon I was delighted to see so many signs of spring. I am not a photographer and I am pretty useless with a camera but since getting my iPad for Christmas I have been reasonably satisfied with the images that it captures...


This pak choi is definitely inspiration to get some crops on the grow on my own patch!!

Thankfully, I have the day off today and although it is far too chilly to go up to the allotment, I will be making a few sowings in my new pop up greenhouse!

Thanks for reading!!


Tuesday 5 March 2013

The joys of Spring...

Spring has sprung and signs of optimism have come with it. Delightful days full of sunshine and fresh air have arrived!! There are crocuses and daffodils here, there and everywhere and I may even sow some tomato and chilli seeds in pots on a windowsill tonight.

The only slightly annoying thing is that their has been a frost for the last 2 days, and that has put me off continuing my digging at the allotment. Never mind, at least it will break up the ground which has already been seen to.

Another bonus of Spring is the first bantam egg of the year (foreground). There is nothing worse than buying eggs through the winter when you are having to feed chickens at home which will not lay! I think this one is from Barbaradeux, but I am not sure. It has felt like so long since we last had one of our own hen's eggs to eat.

I hope March brings you all a tiny piece of happiness and joy! After all, more daylight hours means more time in the garden or up at the allotment. Don't forget the clocks go forward on Easter Sunday too!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

I'll be back with another update before the weekend!