Sunday, 29 April 2018

Pricklng Out Tomatoes

I am quite satisfied, my tomatoes germinated very well. They have developed the first true leaves, and it was time to prickle them out. I sowed them in late March, eight varieties.

I have three cherry varieties, 'Garden Pearl', 'Red Cherry', and 'Supersweet'. The others are 'Super Marmande', 'Black Russian', 'Tigerella', 'Golden Sunset', and 'San Marzano'.

I am going to plant them out in two or three weeks. It is already pretty warm, but I am afraid of the frost that is still possible even in May. So it was last year when the frost in May killed all of my pumpkins, cucumbers and courgettes and I had to sow them again. 

These are the seedlings of the winter squash 'Autumn Crown'. The pumpkins and courgettes germinated quite quickly because of the warm days.  
 Lately, the air temperatures reached up to 29°C. I will leave them too in the pots until mid - May or so. I won't be risking losing the plants again because of the frost.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Sowing the French Beans

This year I made sturdy and firm trellises for climbing and french beans. Some years ago, the whole structure similar to this one, fell on the side under the weight of plants. I dug the side poles about 40 cm into the ground. I hope they'll be able to hold the rest of the structure on the place.
I have just sown the French Beans 'Blauhilde' here. It is a variety with long, purple pods. They stay tender and stringless. This is the German heirloom variety known to be resistant to the mosaic virus, too.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Herbs 1

Lovage, Levisticum officinalis

Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis

Parsley 'Lisette'

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis is already flowering. 

Chives, oregano and thyme in the centre of the vegetable garden.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Vegetable Garden

I worked in the vegetable garden from seven to twelve o'clock. It looked like rain, but it wasn't falling down. It was pretty fresh too, but I love the colder weather when I need to go digging. I managed to tidy up all my vegetable beds.

It would be nice if we could have some rain in the afternoon. Let's see. I picked up the last of Swiss chard and leeks. I already cooked the Swiss chard for lunch today. 

I still have the lettuce that successfully survived the winter. Now I need to sow the vegetables and spread the straw mulch over the beds. The soil has the much better structure under the cover, and it keeps the moisture which is especially important during the hot summer weather.

I picked up the first asparagus this year. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

In the Garden Again

I came home on Fryday and went to the garden the very next day. Lots of jobs to do but I could not wait to get dirty fingers. Liatris. Four weeks ago, I have bought 50 corms of Liatris and did not have the bed prepared to plant them so, I put them in the pots.They are all out now. And the bed is still not prepared! Well, I have lots of digging to do anyway.

I prepared the bed yesterday for sowing the swiss chard and beetroot tomorrow.

Tomatoes. They will be soon ready to transplant into the bigger pots.

The salad sown in Autumn is now ready to be picked up.

I picked up the first asparagus today.

Prunus 'Royal Burgundy' will be soon in fool bloom. Love its double pink flowers and dark red foliage.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Sowing Tomatoes

These are the varieties of tomatoes I have just sown in the modules. The air temperature of - 3°C and the cold sleet prevented me to do it outside but, never mind. This year I used Mr Fothergill's and T&M seeds.

This is the list of varieties:
'Garden Pearl'
'Golden Sunrise'
'San Marzano'
'Black Russian'

As the weather conditions were unfavourable to do the job outside, I prepared the modules the day before sowing. I put them into the house to warm up the sowing substrate. The seeds were soaked in the chamomile tea for 12 hours.

I put them in the veranda on the southern side of the house where they receive enough light and warmth to grow.

I also have sown hot pepper 'Cayennetta', pepper 'Grill Red', chilli 'Jalapeno' and aubergine 'Patio Mix'.

Monday, 12 March 2018

The New Compost Boxes

Recently, I got some pallets and decided to make compost boxes. The ten of them is right enough to make a line of three.

The idea is to fill the box 1 in the first season. The middle box is used for collecting and storing excess material. As the material in box 1 shrinks, refill it from box 2. The next year, fill the box 3 and use compost from the box 1. This way I don't have to turn the heaps, but only wait for compost to be ready. 

So far, I made the two of the boxes. The old one, as seen in the photo, still contains some of the compost. I need to sift it and spread on the beds in the vegetable garden. It started to rain and I haven't finished the job.  
The black plastic container which I got from our council (free) is used only as the storage for leaves. It is an important source of so-called 'brown material' which is usually in short supply when making the right compost mixture.
I also have two compost boxes made of wire mesh with wooden studs in the corners. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018


There are still a few kumquats left on the tree. I ate the two of them today.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018


Mild Winter, So Far

Due to the mild temperatures, the heralds of Springs are all out: primroses, snowdrops, hellebores... This blooming Matthiola also confirms the fact that the winter is mild. 

I didn't do much in the garden. It is too early to sow anything, even in the house. The days are still short and the lack of light causes etiolation of the seedlings. I am only going to sow the leeks because it grows slowly. 

A wild hare ate up my kale and swiss chard. Well, I cannot blame him for eating such good vegetables!
Interestingly, he didn't even touch the corn salad. I picked some up for the lunch tomorrow.

I have to admit, the weather is tempting me to go out and do some gardening work, but I know it is too early. I am planning the vegetable garden and buying the seeds and gardening equipment. Some tools need replacement. I bought the hedge shears and a telescopic lopper yesterday. Already tried them out by pruning the Wistaria and the rambling rose on my terrace.