Friday, 20 June 2008

Weed and Feed

This weekend will be a weed and feed weekend. We are promised sun and rain - the last couple of weekends have been so glorious, I know I can never trust the weather reports until I wake up in the morning and see for myself. In England, morning sun doesn't always last, and I might wake up and see glorious sunshine only to see it disappear over the course of the morning until it starts raining by midday.

But in the words of Monty Don, paraphrased, you take what the weather gives you, and you work with it (I've just finished my Friday fix of Gardener's World). If I'm feeding (including the lawn), and it's raining, well then I don't have to water it in afterwards.

I'm having something of a glut of lettuce. We had our first gorgeous, home-grown salad the other night!

Not a problem, of course. I just don't want it to bolt, which would mean it would start flowering, and completely run away, and would then be inedible.

So it's salad every day for me! Am I complaining? The rocket and spinach too must be picked, and of course eaten ... mmmmm. That seemed to be marvelously quick, between the sowing of the seed and a full salad bowl every night. I find that if I pick some lettuce, or rather just hack it off with a scissors by the big handfuls, bring it in and soak it in ice cold water in a bowl with a dash of vinegar (to kill any bugs), then spin it dry, it will keep amazingly well in the fridge in a plastic bag. I was very surprised that it lasted lke that for days, and I had a lovely Greek salad last night.

The tomatoes - I have read that you need to water little and often and I must remind myself to do that. The week was mostly fine, with lovely periods of sunshine, moderately warm some days and cloudy others. But not enough rain, I believe, so when I checked on the garden last evening I realised I really should have had the hose out for some light watering all around. I watered. This weekend I will feed again with some Tomorite.

I'm pleased with most of them. They need some more tying up this weekend, and they are growing wonderfully, except perhaps that one in the middle there, which although it is flowering, like it's neighbour on the left (every flower a lovely tomato!) is looking a bit wilty.

And then I discovered last weekend, when I was tying up the new jasmine towards the back (the idea was to have it behind crawling up the fence behind the vegetables) - I have mangetout!

Gosh, isn't that gorgeous?

Speaking of jasmine, the one behind the herbs is finally coming into it's own.

That baby was in a pot in my previous, mostly container garden, up until last year. When I finally took it out of the pot, I actually had to break the pot with a hammer to get it out, it was so root bound. I could almost feel the roots saying "ahhhhhhhhh", as they stretched out into the ground. It didn't do a whole lot last year, but I am well pleased with the progress this year. The scent!

You see the alliums are still there. The heads themselves, even without the flowers, and so lovely and sculptural I cannot bring myself to cut anything down. Not to mention the other beautiful bulb, whose name I cannot remember (I shall be looking for those bulbs in Tesco again this autumn!) which went from this lovely thing

To this beautiful seedhead. Like little rockets. Very special!

Finally the left border is bursting, but there are some plants I am slightly concerned about - the clematis has done fairly well, as have the other flowers, but I am worried about that soil, and have purchased an experimental bag of grit to dig in. Perhaps I shall do that this weekend, too, weather permitting. But I shall most certainly put down some feed over there and try to hoe it in, soil permitting (I don't want to have to get the pickaxe again)! The roses will get their own dose of Toprose, and I shall just generally spread and hoe in some Growmore. It just seems to me that last year some of the plants were a bit more, well, thriving. Perhaps I am unduly concerned, as the whole thing really was only planted a year ago (Happy Birthday left border!), and everything really only burst forth in July.

Tomorrow is the first day of summer, I believe! Well then, time to roll up the sleeves and really get stuck in!

Good news - I have a new, more satisfying, more fulfilling job. Which means I can re-focus my out-of-work energies where they belong!

One last note to self - must get the next lot of nematodes down. Some things on the left are looking a bit chewed ... I might try a garlic-water as well. And set up my new slug trap ...

1 comment:

  1. I admire the fence you have up holding the lettuce in place. Wonderful photo - thank you for sharing.