2019: Success and Failure

A look back over the year to see what worked – and what didn’t – for me. Was it me? Was it the weather? Or a combination of both?

Climbing Beans

Climbing Beans Mixed

I grew the same variety – from the same packet – as in 2018.  I direct-sowed them in the same space below the arch in Raised Bed A, after replenishing the compost.  The first sowing was indoors on 24 February.  Not a single bean germinated.  The second sowing was made directly into the soil.  I planted 18 beans, 2 came up but didn’t grow beyond a couple of inches.  In the end I pulled them out, dug over that patch (no other beans in sight) and replanted using a different variety, Blauhilde, which is a dark purple bean (cooks as dark green).  These are not generally available in garden centres; mine came free with a magazine. Continue reading “2019: Success and Failure”

Beetroot : Part 2

Last month, I wrote about my problems growing beetroot.  This is their ‘journey’ from 23 April, when I bought some of them as seedling from the garden centre, through May when I sowed more seeds, to 4 August, as I ponder whether to ditch them and plant something else.

It appears that it makes no difference whether they are grown in a trough or in a raised bed, or whether they were bought in as seedlings (mixed) or sown direct into the ground (red).

And so to that great compost bin in the sky – there is no hope for these trough-grown beetroot – not a golf-ball among them, plenty of marbles though.  Perhaps another month would have done – or not!

I’ll leave the ones in the raised bed – for now.

Growing in a Grid (2)

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Though I have, technically, been attempting grid gardening for two years, it’s been on a more informal basis; a shove it all in and hope it grows basis.  This has worked, but only up to a point.

There are websites and books out there that have already calculated the optimum number of plants that should grow in one-square-foot.

If you want to sow garlic, one square foot (foot-square?) will support nine. Sowing parsnips? You can sow sixteen in one square.  Chard? You can only sow four seeds or seedlings. Potatoes – just one.

If I translate that to a large-scale raised bed, then a way of measuring the area and using the correct spacing is necessary.  I spotted something on the internet a while ago, but it wasn’t too difficult to draw up my own plan, though it doesn’t cover every variation.

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This is the template my husband used to make my board out of plywood scraps from the shed.

The square is 12 x 12 inches (well it is called square-foot gardening).  I drew diagonal lines corner-to-corner and measured a one-inch border around the outside, then worked out the distances between each set of holes by trial and error – and a pencil and rule(r).

16 holes (green) are 8 centimetres apart, 9 holes (blue), which include the centre are 10 centimetres apart, 4 holes (red) are 14 centimetres apart.

And here is the finished object.

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It’s not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be.  It will do the job, and I have a spare. I’ll use a small length of cane as a dibber – to mark the space when planting seedlings, or measure the correct depth when sowing a seed.

I just need to make sure I have a list of how many of which vegetable seed per square.

There may be times when I just make it up!

 

 

 

Six on Saturday: 3 August 2019

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Is it me – or is honeysuckle flowering later this year? Mine is only just putting out flowers.

I finally got around to potting on these fuchsias.  They were cuttings I took at the start of the year.  Now that one of Nextdoor’s overhanging trees has gone, I should be able to plant a few of these to make a nice hedge (in a few years).

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In the rest of the garden . . .

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Raised beds A and B – looking full, though not much available to eat.  (Don’t mention the beetroot).

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Climbing beans and Runner Beans – I’m picking and freezing runner beans as I find them.  Sometimes they escape and turn into monsters.

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Sedum Autumn Joy – I never got round to taking cuttings.  Ah well, there’s always next year.

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Mexican Feather Grass – this always looks pretty in the sun.

Sit down with a coffee – and a biscuit of your choice – and take a look at The Propagator’s Six on Saturday blog post.  Be sure to click on a few links in the comments too.