Spring gardening

I am excited to start a new gardening year.

I’ve started sowing the 1st seeds (tomatoes, chilli and peppers) in mid march and am continuing to sow a little every day or every other day. Some of the plants which I overwintered died (chilli, aubergine, purple ricinus) but others survived, among them a chilli, abutilon suntense, iresine, I’m not sure if the mandevilla is still alive, and I also bought 2 chilean guava and 1 jujube plants which I am overwintering till I plant them outside.

april seedlings    STA60045

I know I already have lots of plants and that I have a small garden but I love plants and want to cram in as much as possible. Last year I managed to grow potatoes in pots and it worked out really well for us, I used those 35cm pots from the one pound shop and planted one tuber in each pot. I put some gravel at the bottom of the pot, then about 6cm of compost on which I put the tuber, then I fill the pot with more compost up to the top (I mixed some blood fish and bone powder with the compost) and put some gravel on top. The advantages of growing potatoes this way is that I do not need to attend to them anymore as there is no need to keep adding compost, once the foliage has died down I start harvesting them, one pot at a time. The harvest from one pot has enough serving for a meal for 2 people. So, I don’t have to store my potatoes, I just harvest them just before I want to cook them. I also find that having gravel at the bottom and on top in the pot prevents slugs and snails going in and eating the potatoes. This year I am going to grow some in those 42 litres flexible tub pots (3 in a pot) so that I can have a bigger harvest per pot for when I want to cook bigger quantities at once. I will only be growing the desiree (my favourite potatoes) and vivaldi (new to me) varieties this year.

Another space saving idea that worked well for me is to sow onions bulbs with tomatoes together in pots. I grow most of my tomatoes in those 35cm pots from the one pound shop again and put 3 onions bulbs at the edge of each pot (or 4 bulbs if it is a square pot). The onions do not bother the tomato plants and vice versa. I plant them at the same time I plant my tomatoes outdoor.

I’m excited to have more growing space this year in the front garden. If you remember, I transformed my front garden into a potager last summer. I still have to work on the edging and plan to surround that area with a long raised bed on each side (the side of the road and on the boundary side). I want as much fruit bushes and trees there and if there are enough space left I will put some tall dahlias and cosmos to make it all look pretty. I have already put a plum tree, apple tree, pear tree and 2 rhubarb plants there. This is a picture of the front garden in february:

front garden potager in february

In between raised beds, I am planning to add more arches to support some climbing fruits. I have bought a japanese wineberry and a mini kiwi issai which I will train up those arches, I got them from Spalding and Bulbs and Plants. I’ve potted them up and am keeping them indoor until I can plant them outside. I also bought some Bloody Butcher corn seeds from them which I will try to cram somewhere there.

STA60059     STA60065     STA60067

I highly recommend subscribing to Spalding and Bulbs and Plants newsletters as they always send you offer codes for free gifts and their free gifts are always nice gifts, I got 10 free fruits with my order (5 Ostara strawberries, 1 FallGold raspberry, 1 Bakker’s Jewel raspberry, 1 Titania blackcurrant, 1 White Pearl whitecurrent and 1 Jonkheer Van Tets redcurrant). The offer code for these free gifts is IO in case you are interested (valid on any order over £15). They were sent bare rooted with very healthy roots and I’ve already planted them outside.

STA60072    STA60071

And being a member of their blogger club, Spalding and Bulbs and Plants also gifted me a blueberry with pink fruits called Pink Lemonade. I’m very excited by this and can’t wait to get fruits from it. The 1st picture is of my plant and the second one is how it’s supposed to look when fruiting:

pink lemonade blueberry    pink blueberry pink lemonade

There are still other plants that I want to get for the garden, I want most of what James Wong is growing in his London garden but can’t grow them all for lack of space so am pondering over my gardening catalogues to decide what to buy.

spring gardening

This week I am loving this gardening blog: Tend

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