Monthly Archives: April 2020

‘Home Grown’ diary project – update 3… Veggie McVeg Patch…

Things are progressing well…. so far… 

I have a few more images to share with you, but firstly, there was the naming of the veg patch… with salad leaves, carrots, beetroot, courgettes and dwarf beans seeds all sown… and a little spare time on my hands in the sunshine, was suddenly inspired to create a nameplate.

Veggie McVeg Patch

It had to be named!

The salad leaves all started to appear and grow reasonably quickly and happy under their mini greenhouse cloche.

salad leaves, seedlings, sown,

Salad leaves seedlings starting to appear.

The Beetroot appeared reasonably quickly and then the carrots started to show exactly as the packet said.

beetroot, seedlings, sown, appearing,

Beetroot seedlings came through quite quickly.

carrots, seedlings, sown, appearing,

Carrot seedlings made an appearance exactly as the packet said!

The courgette and dwarf beans also came through nicely (courgettes at the back and dwarf beans at the front), although I did have three seeds that made a ‘no show’. There were also a couple of ‘breach’ births and with some careful surgery, managed to save them and they continued to grow.

They were started off indoors in the corner of a room, so they wouldn’t get knocked, where the light wasn’t the best for photographs. I had strong sunlight coming through on the left and a dark corner on the right, but rather than carting the tray outside and risk damaging the baby plants, did my best where they were. You will also notice, I had to create little splints for the courgette plants as they shot up quickly and then proceeded to fall over – a delicate procedure, but it seemed to work.

courgette, dwarf beans, seedlings

Courgette and dwarf beans coming through.

… and continue to grow they did… had I planted triffids?? The dwarf beans proved a little stronger and no splints were needed.

courgette, dwarf beans, seedlings, plants

I felt like I was growing triffids!

Somewhere in my brain I decided to expand the vegetable growing and find room outside to try tomatoes. Not able to purchase little plants, I spent a whole £1 on two packets of seeds… who doesn’t love a home grown tomato. Again these have been started off in small individual pots in a tray indoors.

tomatoes, seeds, planting,

I decided to add to the vegetable list.

Quick update on the raspberry and blueberry plants – they continue to grow nicely in their outdoor pots. I might mention here, that with so many raspberry plants available, a couple of them were planted out in the general garden amongst other flowers and shrubs. If they flower and fruit, I’m giving these up to the birds and whatever wildlife fancies a nibble… on the understanding they leave the other potted plants alone!

Next blog diary will be covering the thinning of the seedlings!

‘Home Grown’ diary project… update 2 – Veggie McVeg Patch…

You may have read the first diary post last week, which basically showed the pre and post preparation of the main veg patch area and my challenges to get it protected from the local garden wildlife… including birds, squirrels, pheasants and cats!

My vegetables of choice to learn with and try growing from seed, started out as lettuce, carrots, beetroot, courgettes and dwarf beans. Plus, I had purchased two raspberry plants and two blueberry plants last year. One of the blueberry plants unfortunately died, but the other is doing well. We were also lucky enough to be given several more raspberry plants that were surplus from our neighbour.

I took the time to mark out the main veg patch into labelled rows. The first two for carrots, the next two, for carrots again… to sow in a months time. The next row for beetroot and again another for beetroot in a months time and the rest well spaced out for the dwarf beans. That was the whole main bed accounted for. As you can see from the following two images, the first lots of carrots and beetroot have been planted (yay).

carrots, planted, seeds, vegetables,

Labelled rows of seeds that have been planted.

beetroot, planted, seeds, vegetables,

Labelled rows of seeds that have been planted.

The lettuce have their very own mini greenhouse, as you will have seen in the opening diary blog. The first two rows of salad leaves have also been planted and again, have marked out subsequent rows for ‘spaced out’ planting.

The courgette plants (assuming the seeds come up ok), will be planted in fairly large individual pots. I’ve started the courgettes and dwarf beans in smaller pots and these will be stored for a week or two indoors. I photographed this tray outside simply to get an even light on it… and you can see the courgette seeds have already started to show (result!).

beans, courgettes, pots, vegetables,

Starter pots for Courgettes and Dwarf beans.

At the moment, I’m making use of everything I already have to hand… i.e. old pots, old cloche, handy tray, label stakes, wire.

raspberries, blueberries, courgettes, containers, fruit, vegetables,

Raspberries and blueberries.

The above area is a particularly sunny spot in the garden to organise and store the fruit containers. I have three blueberry plants and what appears to be numerous raspberry plants spread across six containers. To date… all the plants are alive and sprouting. How the heck I’m going to get these protected when they fruit is a challenge yet to be covered… watch this space.

Join me for progress in diary update 3 next week 🙂

 

‘Home Grown’ diary project… Veggie McVeg Patch…

This really is a first for me and I suspect several other people too, in these weeks of staying at home. 

I’ve grown potatoes for a couple of years, because they seemed reasonably easy and not too time consuming. But this year is something different and I felt inspired to blog my diary of failures and successes as I find my way with growing fruit and veg. Also decided to not get too adventurous, so more chance of some success!

As a professional photographer, I also thought it would  be an interesting exercise to record the diary completely on my phone and not using my pro camera… so here goes.

First off, this is what the veg patch looked like before I started… I was trying to capture our resident squirrel and is the only shot I have of a ‘pre-prepared’ veg bed:

Garden vegetable patch

Before we started…

So I dug the bed over, removed all the weeds, added some extra soil and compost and levelled it all out. However, here came the first challenge… how to keep off not only the birds, but one of our cats!

The first efforts of criss crossing string really didn’t work (sorry I don’t have an image)… ever seen a cat negotiating such a puzzle, it was like watching Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible!

So next effort nailed it! A roll of wire mesh cut into strips and made into a series of hoops to cover the bed in sections:

Prepared vegetable patch

Keeping the cat off!

As I had another large wooden tray and an old cloche, decided to add a separate mini green house that would be for lettuce and salads leaves only:

cloche, lettuce, plants, greenhouse

A little lettuce house…

In the hope you will follow my journey (and learning curve) I’ll finish this diary entry here, but would add that the preparation all happened last month and lots more progress has been made since then. Not only will there be a selection of vegetables, there is also some fruit plants… and… the naming of the veg patch!

All that will come in the next diary blog… so do join me on this journey and I will include comments of the photography as we go along.