How Does your Garden Grow?

Here we have a lovely little gardening update from our gardening enthusiast Diana, who herself has visual impairment. You can find her previous article here

I thought I would give you an update on the progress of plants in my garden.  The highs, the lows and the enjoyment of eating your freshly grown vegetables.

These are some fleece cold frames with filled with assorted ‘cut and come again’, a mixture of lettuce, carrots, spring onions and radishes.

Runner beans started in the upright cold frame and once they became established they were transferred to the garden. 

I put the runner beans out in wigwam style canes, to protect them against potential high winds. I was so glad I did, as the wind picked up a few days after planting them, meaning my pots with small trees in them all blew over.

The runner beans simply climb up the poles, although sometimes they do need a little help, with perhaps a bit of string to make sure they go in the right direction.  Once the first runner reaches the top of the pole, pinch it out the top, so that more shoots will come up from the bottom, increasing the amount of flowers and crop.

With the ‘cut and come again’ lettuce, I started with several types in the troughs and planted them two weeks apart to give them a longer harvesting time.

This is being repeated throughout the season, the latest trough has ‘cut and come again’ spinach, rocket and romaine lettuce.

The tomato seeds spouted in a large pot in the upright cold frame to begin with.  I then reduced the number of seedlings and then potted them in to a large trough, with supporting canes and string to stop the chicken from digging up the plants, this seems to be her favourite pastime at the moment.  I plant it, she digs them up, the poor begonias have been planted several times. 

The gardening-lows I have recently encountered has been that some of the old seeds did not come up, but with a little help from friends I had new seeds for the courgettes and salad crops.  The mushroom box did not produce, so we will ditch that idea for this year.

Regular watering is important, as well as feeding plants once a week. I would recommend either watering them early or late in the day, not in the mid-day heat. There are a number of good plant foods available too and make sure that you protect against slugs and snails with environmentally friendly slug pellets and egg shells.

During the hot, dry weather I was watering the garden and the nozzle of the hosepipe shot off and I got absolutely soaked, the dogs thought it was great with their own water fountain to play with.  The picture above shows that I got a little damp to say the least, although it was a good way to cool down after a hot day.

I really enjoy getting my fresh produce from the garden, radishes and ‘cut and come again’ lettuce. I have been harvesting nearly every day, however the spring onions and carrots are going to take several weeks to harvest.

I also carried out the the second sowing of courgettes, as they grew and I transplanted into the plastic cold frame.  I was also given two cucumber plants that grow well in similar conditions to the courgettes. 

Despite her sabotaging efforts, the chicken does contribute to the garden too, by producing eggs which I use the shells to stop the slugs and snails eating the tender plantsChickens being multipurpose creatures also eat insects, rake up the ground, fertilise the soil when they are behaved and kept under control.  Although on a bad day they can also have a tendency to wreck the garden, so it is important to protect areas where you want to grow crops.  Although our chicken has a brilliant character and likes to challenge me when i’m planting flowers in the garden.

Happy gardening folks! If you have any great gardening stories or tips just get in touch, we would love to hear from you.