Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A hard days work

Well I finally got to do some hard graft on the plot, and I am so glad I made the effort as it's now raining really hard I can hear it as I am typing this post. I am having a nice glass of red wine to chill out after all the work I did today. I got so carried away with the joys of spring that I didn't even have any lunch ( I forgot to take anything with me !) so I enjoyed the lamb casserole I made this evening.

I planted the broad beans and as you can see the roots were amazing in the 'root trainer' planters. If you haven't already tried growing in these I can recommend them, they are brilliant for anything that has deep roots, like the broad beans, sweet peas, runner, and french beans etc. I bought them a year or so ago and they wash up a treat and should last a long time, so well worth the initial cost.

I also planted the cabbages that were overwintered in the greenhouse, they look better than the ones planted out in the autumn. I have probably planted them too close together, but I can always pull some when they are small and leave the others to grow on.

I dug over a few beds after clearing away the brussel sprout plants that never really came to much this year. I only had a small picking of Purple Sprouting Broccoli and that was out of 5 big plants. They were ruined by the severe winter. I found about 8 parsnips still growing well, which was a nice surprise.

I also dug up the perpetual spinach. It looked like it was going to give off more leaves, but a neighbouring plot holder said she always digs hers up each year and grows fresh plants, and as she is a very good veg grower I decided to take her lead, so up they come and as I removed them white fly billowed out in their hundreds, so much for the cold winter.

I did a good 4 hours non stop and felt much better for it. It wasn't hard digging or anything, more gentle planting and tidying, so I didn't come home too tired.

Broad beans in the 'root trainers' that they were planted in from seed.

All planted up in the raised bed.

Fabulous Hellebore given to me last year from another plot holder

Garlic and leeks doing well

Cabbages, on the left planted last autumn, on the right over wintered in the greenhouse

And that's the end of my update, tired but happy and enjoying my glass of wine.


Pam's English Garden said...

The root trainer is a new one on me -- how interesting, and the resulting broad bean plants look great! That hellebore is gorgeous! Looks like a good days work ... the wine is well deserved! Enjoy! xx

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Hi Mo, spring is looking good in your area;-) It's impressive to see your veggie garden and how things are coming along. I'm partial to perennials and find that hellebore to be just lovely;-) Have a wonderful spring and enjoy being outside more and more as the weather continues to warm up! Jan

Maureen said...

HI PAM, the root trainers are such a good design, look online to see if you can get them where you are, they come complete with tray and propagator lid and I think it's 32 root trainers to a kit.
I did enjoy that glass of wine (or two!)
Hi JAN, I too love perennials, and that hellebore was such a lovely plant to recieve, she also gave me a white one that is just starting to flower.

Kella said...

Everything looks ever so good. Makes me feel really bad about my back gardens current neglect, this time last year the flower beds and veg beds were all ready, I am so behind.

But well done ou getting so much done.

Ali said...

Hi Mo, as you know I love root trainers and like you say, once you have bought them, they last year after year. In fact I have a brand new one from last year still awaiting use (will probably be used this year now I have more space!!) You have been working very hard and I am so jealous tht you can get to the lotty and I can't!
Have a dig for me. x

Jo said...

You had a productive day, Maureen. I've looked at root trainers as they seem to work really well, but they're so expensive. I use toilet roll inners for anything which need a good root run. I planted everything out as advised on the packet last year and found that I wasted loads of space, so I will do the same as you this year, and if I find they're too close together I can always pull some up. I love that helebore, just look at all the flowers on it, I think you've got the golden touch with flowers after seeing all your lovely blooms last year.

Prospero said...

Looks great (easy on that wine, Doc)

I did some work in the garden over the week end. I planted my summer and winter squash, cucumber and tomatoes. I also planted a mix of wheat and vetch, fava beans, and alfalfa. These are my compost crops. The alfalfa is a special strain for warm climates.

I also got rid of a tree in the garden. Though it was a lovely tree (an orchid tree) - the roots were starting to cause real problems. So bananas and vegetables are all that are left in the "garden."

I'm hoping that it wasn't too early for the direct-sowing of the tomatoes. It really isn't very warm yet.

Have you ever used any soil inoculants?

Maureen said...

Thanks for the comments KELLA, ALI and JO, I know root trainers seem expensive, but if you ever get to buy some you will know they are worth it. I sometimes use loo rolls but find that they don't rot away that quick and I think they hamper the roots growing, whereas root trainers open like a book and then the roots start growing in the soil immediately. I have read that peas and beans benefit from inoculants though.
PROSPERO, I haven't ever used soil inoculants, in fact I don't think that they are widely used here. They seem popular in the USA but I personally don't know anyone who uses them, manure and compost is a traditional soil enhancer here, and has worked well for hundreds of years.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I see you've been busy! I love your hellebore! I hope the ones I planted last year get that bushy.

I'm not sure how your seasons run, but it looks like spring there, too! I am so excited!