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Well Christmas is over until next year so now all my energy is concentrated on spring sowing. I hope like me you’ve got your compost, seed trays seeds and a plan of attack on how to proceed. I must admit I have a plan but I do have a slight bump in the road in that I’m going away on holiday right in the middle of sowing season for three weeks so advice would really be nice.

Yes three weeks holiday lucky me. So I will be lost in action at Disney but what to do with my seeds when I’m away do I sow my seeds before I go or sow then when I return on the 12th April. If I didn’t have a house sitter I would sow and place my seeds in the living room bay window as It has the sun most of the day and turn the heating off with plastic and a watering mat before I go But that’s not going to happen. So do I also consider sowing my seeds and arrange seed trays in my conservatory before I go away. It’s already quite full in the conservatory but as it’s unheated the germination will be slowed down a bit.

After finding out I had mould growing in my  conservatory I have moved my bay tree outside and started to open the door and a window just to keep the air flowing so I will just have to see if the add air flow stops the mould growing.

I ripped out a plum tree that self-set in a flower pot nature is really quite surprising really take a look at this tree It must have been growing quite happily in this pot for about eight to ten years  and was as high as my apex on my conservatory  so about 2.5 meters

Just a small update My sweet peas have germinated so the news paper has come off

Today is Sunday the 29th while there is a light frost on the ground I intend to arrange some potted bulbs around the garden and if the weather stays bright I'm going to attack my fence and turn my compost over water and cover. I'm in the middle of making news paper pot and found quite quickly there are a labor of Love .
 
 
I thought I would start this blog with the planting of my tulips, with another how to plant up the pots tutorial so here we go.

First let me just say this is a first for me, I’ve never grown Tulips before with that said I hear a lot of people say that Tulips are hard to get to flower for the second year were as a lot of people also say that they have had Tulips flower year after year so we shall see.

First select your pot and add large bit’s for the drainage holes I’ve found some terracotta in the garden this is my last old pot so I will have to keep a look out for some old pots at the local tip.

I’m a keen or should I say I love terracotta pot but these two are fiberglass this is Unknown material to me, back to planting my Tulips. After laying the terracotta into the bottom of my pot I added grit for drainage about 20 mm of grit
Next is to fill the pot up with compost, grit and fertilizer. I have mix equal parts John Innings number one only because I have it and like the soil type compost. I mix this with the cheaper compost as It has lots of fiber in it. Then I add my grit into the mix.

Tip
only  mix small amounts in one bucket and add to a larger bucket because you will find it hard to mix if you mix all your compost at the same time.

as this next photo shows

Next I fill my pots to within 3 bulb high from the top of my pots  I water my compost and leave it this is just me I then just leave for two to three hours to allow it to sink because it will. I then add about 20mm compost & grit to my pots just to stop the bulbs from falling over when I place them in the pots as this next photo shows
after Ive placed my Tulips in my pot I will add a marker because I always make pots with a front and back in this case it's by colour Blue heron at the front and Green star at the back
I thought I would add extra F,B&B meal to the Top before I add my grit  I did add this fertilizer to the Compost as I was mixing
I finish filling my pot to with in 10mm off the top because I want to add some grit to the top to suppress weeds and retain water.
I have add a label to my pots But you don't really want a photo of this. Pots are done But after the spring I will be adding Slug pellets to the pots as I've just read slugs will attack Tulip foliage. I am going to use egg shells next year but I've only just started to save them by this really cool technique wash eggs shells and then when you have your oven on after cooking place them in the oven on a baking tray to dry off  any egg white left on the egg will be cooked so no contamination from the egg is left and then crush and shore in a air tight container
I'm not going to take credit for the eggs in the oven it was suggested on gardeners world Forum at http://www.gardenersworld.com 

Well that it for this week as I'm busy I the garage painting my pallets collars I bought of Ebay for raised flower/Vegetables beds. I've also made a start on my front garden but I will keep that story back for when I'm nearly finished clearing the bushes and brambles.  
 
 
Morning all its Saturday 16th November 2013
The weather is quite still today so I thought I would start by jet washing my patio as it’s the only place apart from dog walking were my dogs can relief them self’s . As I say it’s very clam and pleasant; just a little bit damp under foot. Now that the patio is clean it’s on to blowing the leaves of the lawn as I want to fertilize with autumn 2-1 later on today.

After I’ve blown and collected the leaves I think  it’s time to dig over my flower beds and add the bags of farm manure I keep tripping  over  also on my list of things to do this weekend is cut back a bush plus a rose tree  back once this is done I also intend to add farm manure. Farm manure was added to my Jasmin about two weeks ago however I did add toilet roll around the stem first just to stop the farm manure burning the plant. The same will be added to the base of my bush.

I have also to do on my list is pot up two wallflowers in to a heavy glazed terracotta pot along with two campanulas I bought a while ago. I going to stop writing about it a go and do some work I should return with photo’s see you later I spoke to soon went out to dig the flower beds, guess what IT’S RAINING CATS AND DOGS I did plant up my wall flowers and raked the lawn before the rain started O’well such is life.

So it’s now Monday but its raining again forecast for Tuesday is bright sun shine so we will just have to see.

I think I will sow some sweet peas at some point today however I have to repair the cold frame as the wind has knocked the stuffing out of it.

First I do wish to apologize for the slight delay in my blog; due to ill health I’ve not been in my garden for a two to three weeks


So what do I expect to do this week?

Well I did say I would sow my sweet peas, first I had to repair my cold frame as the high winds last month kicked it around my garden. The repair was quite easy as I just ran a bead of sealant along the rebate for the plastic, so now it’s screwed down on my decking just for the winter/spring.

Sweet peas I have bought are as follows

  •   Lathyrus odoratus "Black Knight"
  •   Orange Henry Eckford
  •   White Dorothy Eckford
So after I ordered the wrong plastic bag growing pot/bags I was directed to a sweet pea web site.

Here http://www.eaglesweetpeas.co.uk/gallery.php?g=8  where they have advice, materials also how to do videos.

Little tip; use john innings SEED compost.

After I potted up my plastic pots/bags I watered and then added my seeds, No need to soak or cut the seeds as they will be just fine without this treatment.

I placed grit in the bottom of a seed tray and placed my pots/bags on top just to keep the air flowing around the pots/bags and then placed them in to my cold frame also as instructed I placed news paper on top with a mouse trap,  done !
I’m not expecting them to germinate for about 3 to 4 weeks but I shall be keeping my eye on them.
So what else have I been up to well I’ve started My compost bin, also started to clear the site where it’s going however while it’s still in my garage waiting to have the inside finished I’m going to seal it with fence paint inside and out after two to three coats of this I’m going to add the weed barrier stuff only to prolong the life of the wood. The Timber care fence paint is no smelling so after it’s dry it shouldn’t harm my compost material.
I've done some research on how best to start a compost bin off.
what does this mean well I don't want to waste any of my garden waste that I've been collecting since o'about august "what little I have" so starting the compost bin is a really important. Lets just take a look at what will turn garden waste in to organic matter well rotting involves bacteria and fungus but also the very common garden worm is needed to help to break down all that lovely garden waste. well believe it of not horse manure is teaming with it, SO OFF I GO in search of this wonder full stuff. I will keep you up dated of my travels in finding this manure. Next to the green matter we need air in the compost bin also to help break down the vegetation so we use a layer of brown this includes cardboard, news paper, BUT NOT GLOSSY MAGAZINES, and if like me you have hedges chipping from these also stems.

so I plan to add a layer of cardboard, horse muck and then my green waste and so on 
 
I’m keeping on top of the leaves on the lawn with raking every  four to five days  just into a pile at the bottom of the garden for the wild life I never get but hay that might be different this year as I’m keeping my dogs out of my garden to protect my lawn.

I’ve also started clearing the front garden of brambles and the odd conifer I even managed 5 hours on Saturday with the shredder which I can highly recommend it’s so quiet. filling, cutting and loading a shredder you need three hands so I glues a magnet to hang my pruners off. I'm very pleased with it as it works very well.
I also won a second shredder on Ebay last week for £1.75 this is a very noisy beast but I only bought it for shredding leaves I’ve collected without using my lawn mower.

The hopper on the second shredder is a bit bigger that my quiet machine.

Atco machine crushes the material while the lawn shredder machine cuts but has a U shape blade on top of the spinning cutting blade to stop it getting blocked, but at £1.75 the machine is worth it just for the cable and plug LOL

Sunday was a really nice day so I painted my shed with the echo’s of a pheasant shoot filtering into the garden I didn’t need the radio as memories of a childhood in the country came flooding back it was chilly but turned out to be a perfect day.

Today is Wednesday 4th December with plans to locate my compost bin and turn my currant compost over and add to the newly made compost bin.

Also today I hope to clear some more of my front garden.

while I'm still clearing the front garden I still have other jobs to do. I'm planning to finish my fence this week and also plant up my tulips so until next time keep on digging clueless but with direction
Comments left

KEF


Enjoying your blog

Verdun

Hiya James. First visit to your blog. Interesting and may become addictive!
Compost bin looks excellent. I have 2 ....the larger is homemade with brickwork and a hinged aluminum lid. The other is a largish plastic dalek type. Could use more bins.
Look forward to reading more



Heather

Great blog James. Hoping I'm one of the 100 visitors you want to achieve today x


Nutcutlet

Hi James
Keep up the good work. Nice record of progress.


 

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