greenhouse

Protecting From the Elements

Yesterday down the plot was all about protection. Although the sun has been out,  the wind is still strong and showers heavy. To give juvenile plants a start to get strong, I made a few shelters!

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Squash Protection
Two years ago I lost my first sowing of squash and pumpkin seedlings to torrential rain and wind. The second sowing of the year survived because of a triangular A-frame I made out of scrap wood. I decided to use the A-frame again this year to shelter the squash somewhat from the elements.

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Tomato Protection
I have an abundance of cucumber, pepper, aubergine, chilli and tomato plants so decided to use the rest of the potato bed and plant tomatoes to make space in the greenhouse. I feel very proud of the makeshift protective greenhouse.

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Brassica Protection
My cabbages have been destroyed by slugs. I am devastated due to the amount of time and effort I have put into making sure they are protected from club root. A fellow allotmenteer gave me some sprouts a week ago (a purple variety!?) so I planted them out next to the eaten cabbages. I’ve now put netting over the whole patch to protect from wind and butterflies.

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Transparent Shoebox Planter

My partner wants to start growing veg, herbs and flowers but doesn’t have a greenhouse or many windowsills. We found these transparent shoeboxes for 89p in a home discount store and used the biodegradable pots as vessels for the seedlings. (Actually using the inside of loo rolls would be perfect for these boxes).

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They are indoors now to warm the soil up but when the seedlings appear, the boxes can go outside until each plant is strong enough to be open to the elements! We are growing herbs, beans, peas and some mixes bedding flowers so they should be ok! Fingers crossed!

Seeds, seeds seeds!

Today was a beautiful sunny day in March and the first day I have spent in my new home’s garden! I have been very lucky as the house has little homemade extras, including a tall lean-to greenhouse; south facing and big enough to germinate most of my seeds.

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Today I intended to use up last years’ unused packeted seeds. Tomato (moneymaker), chilli (cayenne), and sweet pepper. Some of them might not take so I sowed them in bulk in the fruit punnets seen above. I read an interesting blog earlier actually about sterilzing soil for seedlings through heating compost on a bbq – was too much effort today for me but i might try it soon – see if there is any difference in success rates! When they become seedlings I will transplant stronger ones into pots and grow on as usual. My friends have started gardening so if I have too many will swap and share with them.

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As you can see I have a bank of bought and saved seeds. Every time I sow, I label up the variety and date and note it down in my allotment planner so I can compare successes and failures year on year. The weather is so unpredictable these days that I’ve stopped sticking so rigidly to planting times! “Get ’em in” is my motto!

I’m still finding little extras with my new house; today I found some capsicum so planted a whole tray of them. Onions, peppers, garlic and chilli are all core foods in my diet and I love to have a selection of flavours!

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The capsicum found in my outhouse!  Fingers crossed that they germinate! 🙂