Weekend Workout

The first job on Saturday was to move my Tumbling Tom cherry tomato plants from the raised bed.  I’d planted them with Cosmos as a companion plant.

9 JUNE 2018

9th June


The Cosmos grew faster than the tomatoes and put them in the shade, although there are some flowers and even small fruits.

19 JUNE 2018 COSMOS

19th June

5 JULY 2018 COSMOS

5th July

I realise it is a risk, especially as more hot weather is forecast, but I think it will be worth it.

I replanted them in half growbags inside large plastic pots to give them stability/

Because they’ve been competing for light, only one is the right ‘shape’.  The other three are tall and leggy.

DSCF0003DSCF0004

I poured a watering can-full of water onto each in turn and left them to get on with it.  They wilted a bit overnight so more water was required.

The green basket next to them was a plastic shopping basket that had seen better days.  I cut off all the broken and split pieces (cutting them into small squares to act as a ‘mesh’ for terracotta pots with large drainage holes), then carefully measured out a piece of weed-suppressing membrane and stapled it into a pocket shape.  Once placed inside the basket, I stapled the membrane around the top, filled it with compost and planted some garden mint – which I love but can’t seem to grow.

Sunday morning saw me outside by 8:30 deadheading the peonies in the front garden and cutting back the lavender; then into the back to plant out my cucumbers.

I’d bought a packet of four, of which only one failed to grow.  I potted the remaining three on and now it was time to plant them out.

The beauty of grid-gardening is that you only need to work on a piece at a time.  I divided off an area that I though would be large enough, removed any weeds and put down a layer of fresh compost followed by a layer of old compost removed from a couple of large pots.

22 July 2019 cucumbers a22 July 2018 cucumbers b

In between the three cucumbers, I sowed Lamb’s Lettuce – in circles so I can tell them from the weeds.  In the middle of each circle, I sowed two courgette seeds, and along the wall, I’m trying Swiss Chard AGAIN.

22 July 2018 cucumbers c

Everything had a good watering – and the compost around the cucumbers has water-retaining gel mixed in.

The wall shades this raised bed in the morning but retains heat from the afternoon sun, so I’m hopeful that conditions will be good.  I’ve surrounded everything with pea stick – freshly gathered this morning on our morning walk from branches that have been dumped on the grass verge by persons unknown.

22 July 2018 cucumbers d The self-watering system is an old lemonade bottle with a plastic spike with holes in, from this kit.

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I also planted out beetroot.  I haven’t done well with this vegetable at all.  I lost the first seeds, planted in the green house.  The second set of seeds are in small pots and have hardly grown at all (overwatering/heatwave perhaps?).  So I planted them out, pots and all, and sowed new seed in between.  Now it’s sink or swim!

22 July 2018 beetroot

While it was still cool enough to work outside, I then made a start on sorting out some pots containing plants dug up from my front garden two years ago which I just dumped in some old pots and left behind the garage.

I moved them out back in May when I started laying the brick path, and they’d languished on my second raised bed ever since.  I managed to sort through five pots, removing weeds, replenishing compost, and potting some up into larger pots.  I’ve put them on the small patio under my kitchen window until I’ve prepared new areas for planting.

22 July 2018 Potting up on the patio

So here are Crocosmia (the spiky ones), a peony (in a small pot placed inside the large pot), a Chinese anemone (a bit of a thug but lovely pink flowers that just keep coming), a purple primula waiting for spring, and a couple of fuchsias.

I have a few more pots of peonies to sort out, along with some iris plants.  I need to get these done tomorrow so we can take all the garden waste to the recycling centre.  Since 6 April, our local authority now charges to collect garden waste, so we have to go once a month to get rid of it.  One advantage though, is that if we time it right, there could be more free compost available to bring home.

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