Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Getting down to the real Nitty Gritty .

The trouble with only posting once a week at this time of year is that things are happening fast as there is so much to show and talk about - so where to begin?



The improvement in the weather has meant getting off my backside, pulling my finger out and really getting down to the nitty gritty of seed sowing, transplanting and planting out.  All time consuming jobs - and that is on top of trying to get the Rosebank garden into shape, keep the home running smoothly and finding the time to write the odd blog post.


Romanesco Cauliflower Seedlings

I'm not moaning though, it is good to be busy again outdoors, forgetting to eat or make a cup of tea, resenting any time not spent in the garden and rushing through the boring chores indoors, so I can do just that.  After weeks of winter inactivity I am beginning to feel more like myself, becoming aware of my surroundings, at every little change of the season, feeling the dirt between my fingers and being in awe of the wonders of nature.

Sungold Tomato
l. to r. 
salad leaves . peas . pickling onions
lollo rosso . broad beans . rhubarb
raspberries . oak leaf lettuce . sorrel
I practice polyculture in my raised beds- that is another name for mixing everything together so that no one plant is dominant, hopefully lessening  decimation and disease of a crop, and when one plant is finished something different is planted in the same spot for a continual harvest.

Top left - leeks and purple sprouting broccoli
Top right - cabbage, lettuce, overwintered onions, feverfew and sorrel
Bottom left - shallots, onions, garlic, chives and sage
Bottom right - the leeks that have been cut off at ground level several times,  still growing and producing after two years.

I now have onions in the ground, potatoes, peas, parsnips and carrots in containers in the Rosebank garden and at the plot the potatoes, onions and peas are in.

Slowly but surely I am getting there.  I am off outside now to carry on where I left off yesterday.  I don't think I am doing too bad for an old gel who is somewhat past her prime.  IT'S ALL GO GO GO!

Happy gardening  - see you next week.

42 comments:

  1. Wow, everything looks fantastic Elaine, you're going to have some bumper crops this year! I started leaving my leeks in pots and letting them regrow this year and I do the same with spring onions now. Saves the pennies and hard work in having to keep planting them.

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    1. I do hope so Paula, the harvest can't be any worse than last year. I do the same with spring onions and celery as well - an experiment that worked.

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  2. I know what you mean! I am now in panic mode as everything is now sprouting and screaming to be put into bigger pots, pruned etc etc. Going to be a very few days! Take care. Chel x

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    1. I have been hard at it all week - thank goodness the weather is holding out so far - I feel as though I'm catching up at last.

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  3. The problem with blogging about gardening is that when the time of year comes where there's plenty to blog about, you just don't have the time to write a blog post. It looks like you've got plenty on the go there. My first batch of sowings are doing well, so I need to start off my next batch now. I seem to be playing catch up already this year.

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    1. I'm trying to be methodical instead of dithering about like I normally am - it's working so far - must keep going before my enthusiasm wanes.

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  4. I feel the same way Elaine...after working in the garden yesterday it was nice to lay down in the grass and enjoy being outside.

    Great photos and energy from your post today :)

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    1. By the time 5 o'clock comes I am just about pooped after a full day in the garden but don't mind when I feel I have achieved something.

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  5. It's certainly taking off - just hope we don't have a false start

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    1. Oh don't say that Sue I couldn't bear it.

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  6. It is indeed all go go go, I feel like a mother hen at times.

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  7. Wow Elaine....You have a full house there.You put me to shame. I do have lots of seedlings, but they are still inside the tunnel. The weather is suppose to turn cooler again and I am afraid the same will happen as last year. Your pictures are wonderful!

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    1. Thanks Catherine. I've seen what is going on in your garden and it all looks good to me. Fingers crossed the weather won't get too bad - you've got me worried now.

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  8. Elaine I had to smile at your post as we're in the same boat (I've just posted about trying to master the art of quick blogging!) There's a lot to do and I've already succumbed once or twice to ordering take away dinners so I can spend more time in the garden! I'm having to squeeze an hour in after work and, frankly, it's not enough!! Your wonderfully vibrant photos have reminded me to sow Romanesco caulis... Good luck with it all! Caro x

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    1. I think we all forget over winter just how much there is to do come April. Especially this year when winter lasted so long. I'm managing - just about - to catch up now - but it's a hard slog. Hope you are in the same position, catching up with things I mean.

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  9. The greenhouse is bursting, and so are the cold frames. I have to start planting out soon. Will just deploy a lot of fleece if needs be..

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    1. I bought a new roll of fleece just in case - when I look at all the seed trays full of seedlings I wonder if I am going to have enough room in the garden.

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  10. It is getting busy now - but after waiting so long, it's a very welcome kind of busy. Your seedlings are doing well... a sign of a good season ahead?

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    1. So far so good with the seedlings - keeping them alive after planting out will be another matter - we live in hope.

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  11. Did my first sowing yesterday; Butternuts and Chard. I blame my laziness on my bad back.

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  12. You're obviously busy, clearly making up for lost time. It was a long wait this year but it looks as though it will have been worthwhile.
    Terrific pictures, and I especially like the frosty looking heart-shaped cauliflower seedlings. xx

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    1. I was rather taken with the seedling photo myself - my close ups don't always come out that well.

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  13. Your way ahead of me in sowing. Your seedlings look great. I like the idea of mixing plants together when planting. (What lovely photos you posted).

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    1. Yes I have really been cracking on with the seed sowing in between weeding the rest of the garden - a bit of warmth and a bit of rain and everything has taken off.

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  14. Winter is hard...going stir-crazy indoors waiting for spring...but it's here & you're right...so much to do...so little time!

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    1. Exactly my feelings Jane - now i just can't get enough fresh air.

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  15. It looks as if it is all systems go in your greenhouse and beyond Elaine :) Interesting to read how your leeks have kept producing. Was not aware that they did this.

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    1. It certainly is Anna. If you cut the leeks off a ground level instead of digging them up they will re-grow, as will spring onions and celery.

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  16. Great post and pictures again Elaine. I certainly agree with your opening comments, so much to do, but its fun.

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    1. Thanks Rooko - I'm trying to juggle everything at the moment - just getting down to dandelion removal at the plot - something you know well.

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  17. Looking great, its a great time of the year watching everything grow.

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    1. Hi Julie - too right - much appreciated after the long winter. I live not too far from you, in Mowsley, tried to get through to your blog but Blogger is playing up - again.

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  18. You have bigger tomatoes than I have. Mine I half smaller. I can't wait to plant mine and eat the fruits because I have so many new varieties this year! :)

    I love your photos, they cheer me up!

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    1. That photo was from my first batch of sowings - unfortunately only a couple survived because I had moved them from the house to the greenhouse and the weather turned really cold and my poor tomatoes suffered - so I had to start again.

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  19. You have so many seedlings! Polyculture is so wise. It helps you avoid a big empty row of nothing once a certain plant is done for the season. Plus, the patchwork quilt look of all the plants mixed together is beautiful. :o)

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    1. Those pictures don't show the half of it CM and I still have loads to sow. You are right about polyculture I like to fill the beds with flowers and veg it seems a natural way to do things - not for the purists amongst us!

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  20. I have only just got round to reading your post - another slight disadvantage of the improving weather conditions! With so much to do in the garden it is hard to find enough time for reading blogs. And since I have committed myself to posting once a day I'm always busy photographing and writing! I must say though Elaine, you have produced some really stunning photo montages. They are the sort of photo that ought to be made into posters and put up on the walls of every school classroom. The kids would be truly inspired to grow their own veg!

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    1. Thank you Mark for your very kind comments - you will have me blushing if you're not careful. I, too, am finding it difficult to visit and comment on my favourite blogs, yours included - I agree it is hard to keep up at certain times of the year - but if we didn't get on with our gardening there wouldn't be anything to blog about.

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  21. I like your "mix it up" approach Elaine, I think it will be what I end up doing in the kitchen garden, though it means foregoing the safety of a netting cage over the brassicas. As for that resentment of anything that stops you getting out in the garden, I am with you, meals are becoming simpler - lots of stir fries - and various chores are being put off in favour of more sowing, weeding, planting. I love this time of year, but it certainly gets pretty frantic, particularly when spring has been so cold and slow to get going.

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    1. I am gradually beginning to catch up with all things gardening and am not quite so panicky now.

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