Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Z garden

Today, mostly gardening, all of us.  The ground in the further greenhouse has been getting too built up with the annual addition of ferrrrrtiliser, so when it's watered the water runs off onto and under the paths, so we've taken a few inches off the top.  I'm going to go back to growing tomatoes etc in bottomless pots, so as to channel the watering better again and see how that goes.  The cucumbers will still be planted in heaps of cow manure as the roots need plenty of room to spread out.  Back in the days when I had limited greenhouse space, I used to use growbags, and it was not hugely successful.  The plants would grow apace and need loads of watering, and then one day they would suddenly stop and sulk, and I'd not notice and within a couple more days they would fall over because the roots had got waterlogged.  I didn't ever get to the bottom of it, but I never had more than a month or so of cucumbers before the plants collapsed.  Now, they go on the whole summer.  Though I only sowed the seeds last week, they're only just showing their first leaves.

Some of the removed topsoil has been put on the lawn to replace what's been scratched out by the chickens.  It's still a disaster zone, but at least we're starting to do something about it.  The Sage is enclosing a fresh piece of grass for them to go on while other things recover - it won't be enough for them for long, but they're so ... well, I don't want to say "destructive" as it's so negative, but it's hard to find a better word, frankly.  If only they'd concentrate on the front field for a while it'd be all right - there's nearly 4 bloomin' acres there - 1 1/2 hectares, if that's the way you think - to keep them happy, but they like the garden and the other field.  Still, if push comes to shove I'd rather have happy bantams than a lawn.  I suppose.

Tonight, the Festival Committee, of whose doings I am the scribe, had the splendid idea of holding a meeting at the village pub.  Dilly and I trotted merrily home afterwards, although she'd been on the wagon. She is far more grown-up, in a good way, than I am.

10 comments:

mago said...

"The destructive bantams". Nice band name.

lom said...

BUM, I have put my cucumbers in grow bags! Oh well there's always next year

Dave said...

I'd only had 2 tomato seedlings come up (I was using up the ends of last year's seed packets, so hadn't expected 100% germination). So at the weekend I opened a new packet and planted the lot. This morning I see several more seedlings have appeared in the first tray.

I may now have a glut of cherry tomato plants.

Alienne said...

I generally only use grow bags for my courgettes, but I do always put a couple of holes in the bottom once they get going to ensure I don't drown them. On the other hand, some years it might be a relief if they keeled over early!

Z said...

They're making a chorus outside the window right now, Mago.

As Alienne says, make holes near the bottom, Helen and keep a careful eye on them. I used to find that they would suddenly stop taking the water up, having drunk voraciously until then. If I were to use growbags again, I'd make bigger holes in the top too, to let air get to the roots near the surface. You may well find you have no problems at all - I'm going back 25 years here and newer varieties may not be so prone to the problem.

I always keep tomato seeds and they germinate for years, Dave - I also save seed if it's not an F1 variety. If you sowed early, they may not have liked the cold snap any more than you did, if they were in the greenhouse. Al may be able to sell extra plants if you like. What variety have you grown?

Dave said...

I'm growing (from last year's left-over seeds) F1 Shirley and Moneymaker - they both did well for me last time - but not F1 Fantasio, as I didn't really enjoy the taste of them. Unless I get a lot of late germinations, I'll only have enough of them for me and my son.

The cherry tomatoes I put in last weekend are Gardeners Delight. If they all come up I'll have about 50 more plants than I need.

Z said...

I've only got about 20 spare Gardeners Delight, so unless Al gets given a lot more by someone else, he might be glad of them. I'll warn him not to buy them in from the wholesaler at any rate.

I mostly grow varieties that it's not easy to find as plants, and I like to experiment with a few different ones each year - though mostly this year, I'm using up last year's packets.

Pat said...

Sounds like you are back to normal - hip-wise. Well done.

luckyzmom said...

My gardening has been limited to watching my lilacs and new tree bud out then leaf. I have also contemplated growing a cherry tomato in a huge pot on the new back patio whenever I see the plants for sale.

Z said...

Yes, Pat, I've been very lucky. I'm pleased to forget about it most of the time.

I've got bush cherry tomatoes growing, a variety called Maskotka, which was very successful outdoors in pots last year.