Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Seedling Success - To Sow or not To Sow

The sun has got his hat on - hip hip hip hooray.  Well, for today anyway.  It probably won't last - but I'm hoping that a little warmth will help the broad beans and peas that I have sown in the greenhouse to start thinking about  growing.  There's no sign if it yet, but since I sowed them it has been pretty darn cold in there.  Still, there's no rush - the bed where I am going to plant them is in no fit state to plant anything - all will come to those who wait.

  I haven't sown anything else yet as there doesn't seem much point.  I always get in a bit of a dither at this time of year - shall I, shan't I - but I think seeds will germinate a lot better a little later on.  So I shall wait a bit longer.

On the other hand the tomatoes have now been transplanted into their own pots and kept on the windowsills in the house till they get a bit stronger.
The sweet peppers have finally decided to push through the soil as well
So we have made a start at least.

The potatoes have chitted nicely

Now I think I will have to move them into the cool greenhouse for fear of them growing too fast in the warmth of the house, but they won't be planted out till the soil warms up a bit.

So that's my gardening news - there is still plenty to be getting on with at the veg plot but as I don't find it much fun working outdoors when it is freezing cold, everything is still on hold.

Have you been braver than me and ventured out to do a bit?

Oh and one more thing Chel at Sweetbriar Dreams has been kind enough to forward
 the Liebster Blog Award to me.  Thank you Chel - not sure when I'll have time to do all the necessary requirements - hopefully sometime in the near future.


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Last Cabbage

Hello, my name is Savoy and I am the last cabbage in the patch.

  I have had a hard life.

 Instead of enjoying the summer putting on plenty of growth in the sunshine I was rained on for weeks on end, then as autumn came I was frosted to a crisp and if that wasn't enough I found myself under a few inches of snow several times - it is tough being a cabbage.

 I have struggled against slug attacks and marauding pigeons - so was put under cloches for protection, which helped a little - but then I had to watch whilst my relations in the adjacent rows were given the chop and taken away before I had hardly got to know them - I like to think that they went to a better place.

  But all is not lost - today is my day  - my reason for being - all that has gone before is forgotten as I am gently levered out of the earth and carefully taken to my final destination.

 This is my nirvana - to be cut into fine slices, smothered in butter and black pepper and eaten by my carer.

  This is what every cabbage dreams of - this is my destiny.

Pinned Image
I do love a happy ending - what say you!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Tomatoes - Stirring into Life

Last week I sowed the first of my tomato seeds - a difficult choice at this time of year when it is still so cold and inhospitable outside. 

Here they are a week later, stirred into life in a warm propagator.  When I transplant them I will put them into their pots a little deeper so that roots can form further up the stems to give a stronger plant.

I have been turning the pots everyday so that they don't get too leggy, but they really need potting on so that they can develop fully. 

It is still very cold in the greenhouse so I will have to keep them indoors a little longer and make some space on a windowsill somewhere so I can nurture them and make sure they survive.  This is always my first task of the year and always gives me hope that the growing season has begun.  The peppers I sowed haven't made an appearance yet perhaps I need to buy some fresh seed - come to think of it I am sure I saved some seed last year - I'll have to have a root through my seed box to try and find them.
This is the beautifully carved box
that I use to store home-saved seed
 Ah good news - checked out my seed box and found some Ramona (long) peppers seed so I'll get them sown this week.  Whilst I was rummaging I found some kitchen paper with seeds inside.  The label has come adrift along the way and I have no idea what the seed is - I know they are flower seed - can any of my learned friends help me out?  I must have liked the plant or I wouldn't have bothered to save them - this is going to bug me now - what on earth are they?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

To Preserve or Not to Preserve - That is the question

Last Autumn was the first time in years that I hardly did any preserving.  A few jars of redcurrant jelly, some pickled beetroot and some ratatouille and mediterranean chutney and that's it.  Usually I spend hours in the kitchen making jams and chutneys at the end of the gardening season, trying not to waste anything.  Last year was an exception as the fruit harvest wasn't very good and there wasn't an awful lot to preserve. 

Preserves 2012
 I have been clearing out my store cupboard and found jams and jellies going back to 2006.  There are only two of us and we just don't eat enough of that kind of food - so it sits in the cupboard, year after year, and I keep adding to it mindlessly, because I hate waste.  The thing is, it is all still perfectly edible.  There is no fuzz on top, it tastes just as good as when I made it, the picalilli that used up all the spare cauliflower and beans still has a fresh bright colour, but it sits unused in the cupboard.

So what will I do this year if there is a glut of plums or blackcurrants?  There are only so many plum crumbles you can eat.  I pack the freezer full of rhubarb and gooseberries when there is really no need - we only eat puddings at the weekend and I do prefer to eat things in season.  I am not sure what the answer is - with fruit and veg gardening the harvests are so unpredictable that I always feel that I should use it all up when I have worked so hard at producing it in the first place.

Anyone out there got any answers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...