My first tale

Hi Ian here, I will be Blogging on gardening regularly during the growing season. I’m an experienced gardener but a novice at Blogging so it is a learning process for me!

A little bit about me:

I have lived in Tayport for over 40 years and have been keen on gardening all my life.

I am unashamedly thrilled and delighted when I see the first seedling appear and marvel at the hidden power within an apparently lifeless seed or bulb which will propel a tiny shoot into a tasty vegetable or beautiful flower.

I hope to share with you not only the pleasure and satisfaction I feel as I watch my garden grow but also let you feel my disappointment when things go wrong.

For many years I specialised in dahlias and vegetables, exhibiting in shows throughout Scotland with some success.

Now I grow for pleasure and to experience the satisfaction of harvesting fruit and vegetables to enjoy at the table within minutes, the freshness and flavour can’t be matched by anything bought in the shops.

My Garden

My garden in the main is coming along nicely but slightly later than last year.
Vegetables are now putting on some real growth.

Beans

Runner beans, mid-June
Runner beans, mid-June

One disappointment this year has been my runner beans, sown on 19 April they have been devastated by the cold nights and East winds of May which carried on into the first week of June.

They did not recover despite my best efforts. I sowed more beans on 1st June in individual pots in the greenhouse and they were planted out at the end of June, they should come on quickly and I am expecting a good crop but later than usual. This proves again that in gardening patience is a virtue and you must ignore traditional planting dates if the weather is not favourable!

For the same reason dwarf french beans are also showing some gaps in their rows and they will be filled by another sowing.

Broad beans however are growing strongly and there will be a good crop of tasty beans. A colony of buff tailed bumble bees are nesting in the garden wall and no doubt they are partly responsible for the crop.

Courgettes

Courgette and salad
Courgette and salad

My courgettes which I grow in bottomless containers filled with peat free compost are growing strongly with the first of the fruits harvested. Courgettes need sun and plenty of water to keep them cropping and I will be giving them a weekly feed to give them a boost. The container method means I have direct control of the watering and feeding without any loss to the surrounding ground. I sowed cut and come again lettuce round the edge of the container to get some salad before the courgettes took over.

Onions

Surprisingly some of my onion sets have already bolted and will flower if I leave them. The affected onions won’t bulk up now and I think this has been caused by the fluctuating temperatures over the past three months.

Herb Garden

In the herb garden a pot of sorrel had died off after putting on some good growth. Puzzled I emptied out the pot and found some vine weevil grubs had been happily chewing the roots. They were quickly dispatched to that great garden in the sky by the traditional method of squishing between thumb and forefinger then fed to the birds. The pot was given a good clean before sowing more sorrel. Thankfully there are not any signs of the other herbs being affected.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes against wall
Tomatoes against wall

After I had filled my two greenhouses I had a surplus of tomato plants and rather than condemn them to the compost heap I decided to plant them in an unused strip of ground some two and a half feet wide between the greenhouse and a West facing wall as an experiment to see if growing there is a possibility. The soil is quite heavy clay and has had nothing added apart from a handful of Fish, Blood and Bone fertiliser at the base of each one on planting. They are already lagging behind their greenhouse counterparts in growth but fruit is forming so I will be watching them carefully to see how they develop. I am hoping the wall will act as a radiator and reflect the heat of the sun on to them.

I have used LevingtonTomorite with added Seaweed Extract as a feed over the years and found it satisfactory. After hearing of the benefits of homemade feed I have decided to put this to the test by feeding three of my Gardeners Delight variety with Tomorite and three with a Comfrey and Nettle infusion and compare the results throughout the season. They are in identical grobags. A word of warning, do not spill Comfrey and Nettle or open the container in the house as the smell will see the house evacuated quicker than you can say Comfrey and Nettle!!! (If anyone has used this as a feed please let me know how successful it was by leaving a comment at the end of this Blog.)

As the first truss has now set with fruit clearly seen it is time to start a twice weekly feed coupled with regular watering.

Pests

From the number of broken shells on my hard paths the resident thrush is having a smashing time with the snails. More strength to his beak I say!!

Over the next few weeks I will be keeping an eye open for caterpillars on my cabbages and black fly in the growing tips of my broad beans and be ready to take action to get rid of them!

Well I think that is enough for tonight as I see a bowl of a bowl of fresh strawberries and rasps has appeared on the table, delicious !!

Thanks for reading and please leave your comments, if there are any gardening subjects you would like me to cover in future just let me know.

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5 thoughts on “My first tale

  1. I’ll be interested to read the results of your tomorite/comfrey experiment. Maybe you could post a ‘recipe’ for the comfrey/nettle mixture (if it works!)

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