Saturday, 2 May 2009

May - Update

Runner Beans.
I have sown two lots of runner beans this year. I usually grow Scarlet Emperor which are very good and produce a prolific crop.

This year I wanted to try a new variety so I have sown 4 seeds of Best of All. The Scarlet Emperor were planted out this weekend and Best of All are just breaking through the soil. Just need to think now were they are going to go. Last year 4 plants supplied enough beans for a family of 4, two neighbours and my mum and dad. This year I want enough so I can pick them a bit younger.

Teasel & Lemon Balm

Earlier this year I was fortunate to receive some Teasel Seeds and Lemon Balm cuttings and seeds.

The picture on the left is the teasel which was planted out last weekend, I have dotted them around the garden to encourage the birds who like to feed on the seeds, however they will have a bit of a wait as they are biennials. The lemon balm has put on a lot of growth and the seeds I received will be sown as I want to grow another pot in hope that I may get an allotment some day. The lemon balm I an going to use for pot pourri and I want to try it as a tea. Will let you know what its like!
Potatoes In Flower Pots.
The potatoes that were planted up back in March have been growing well. I chitted them throughout February and early March and they sprouted and were planted up into flower pots. I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage. The varieties I am growing are Pentland Javlin, Charlotte and Pink fir apple. I planted two seed potatoes to a pot. At the moment they are sat on the patio step which gets a lot of sun as its south facing. At night they are covered up with fleece just in case of frost. Last year I did some potatoes in a grow sack and this method worked quite well although one of the varieties that I did turned out really poor so hoping these will perform better this year.
Blueberry Bushes.

I planted two blueberry bushes last year which I have been growing in pots of acid soil. They have been flowering for a few weeks now. I don't expect a huge crop from them but would like enough just to try home made blueberry muffins!

My dog "Billy" protects them from the birds but may have to consider putting a net over them for when he's not about.

My Sister brought me this Azalea last year as a gift. This is the first time it has flowered and its beautiful.
The flowers are a soft purple colour, later in the season and after it has finished flowering I will pot it up and move it into the shade.
This is the first time I have grown azalea, and its nice to see some spring colour as the daffs and tulips have gone over now.
Beetroot and Chard.
My beetroot and chard have been growing well in the pop up cold frame. They will be ready to go out in a few weeks time. I have been leaving the top vents undone all day and night. I still need to harden them off properly so over the next week they will be left out during the day for one week and then all night the following week as long as we have no frosts forecast. Our last frost date for my area is mid may. Although some years ago I can remember a frost in the first week of June, lots of disappointed gardeners that year as lots of people were caught out. Always a risk of when to plant out but will keep an eye on the weather forecasts and a hand on the fleece!

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