This month, I have already started buying seeds for next year. Lidl was selling their seeds at 29p each for small packets and 49p each for large packets. I don't know the ethicness of these seeds – the ones sold by the Organic Gardening Catalogue are stated as ethically sourced. I bought: Lobelia Magic Mix F1 (though have only just noticed that it is "pillen saat" – I wonder if this means it is pelleted seed);  Busy Lizzie Mix; Calabrese Corvet F1 (which says sow April-July); Dwarf French Bean Kinghorn Wax; French Marigold Kobold Mix F1; California Poppy Mission Bells.

Today I went to Wilkos where seed was half price. I bought Wilkos own brand: Petunia Bedding Mixed; Coleus Rainbow Mixed. From Johnsons Seeds, I got: Pak Choi Choko F1; Gerbera Californian Giants Mixed; Verbena Sparkles Mixed.

Also today, at Woolies, their own brand seeds were 30p and Johnsons were 60p. I got Woolies Gazania Sunshine Mixed, Godetia Dwarf Mixed and Caifornia Poppy Milk and Honey. From Johnsons Seeds, I bought only a packet of Geraniums – Special Multiflora Mixzed F1.

Some of the seeds acquired this month can be sown this year, either now-ish or in autumn.


Happy peas and sad brassicas

Peas are ready down the plot. However, the brassicas I was leaving to plant out this week (brussels, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli) have either died in their rootrainers or gone blind. Still, more room down the plot for the summer sowing chinese vegetables and salads, and more room for more sowings of peas and beans which are doing nicely. Root veg also dismal.

Why do I bother growing lettuce when hubby bought some from the supermarket last night. My lettuce have harvestable leaves at present. Also, the herbs we have growing – basils, mints, etc, don’t seem to get used – he buys them from the supermarket as well. Maybe I should just give up and grow flowers, things that can’t be consumed or vegetables that the supermarkets don’t stock.

mid-June summary

Neglecting blogs & messageboards again.

One meagre mushroom was harvested last week, still no sign of a party of mushrooms though although we had a twosome at the start.

Strawberries are ripening, well just a couple of them. I still have the plants from last year's special offer with T&M (can't remember the variety) which this year I transplanted into a terracotta planter (herb style one I think). I bought some plants from Baytree Garden Centre just outside Spalding, choosing different varieties which I planted out in a strawberry planter (?) and filled the rest of the gaps with Ostara strawberries bought from Wilkos. Yesterday, I shared one red Eros strawberry with my son – wow, the flavour was awesome. There was another strawberry half-red, but I haven't checked it today.  

Currant bushes are laden, as are a couple of the gooseberry bushes (Whinham's Industry & Red Hinnomaki) but there are no berries on Pax (the plant took a bit of a beating with sawfly last year). Raspberries growing nicely (I had chopped them down to the ground after fruiting last year) – that's my son happy then!

I have in the back garden, the HSL varieties. I spied some pods on the surviving Prince of Prussia plants, which I have replaced their fallen comrades with a second sowing of the variety (I was a good girl last year saving seed). Hutterite Dwarf Bean, however, has fallen victim to those blasted molluscs. I should have been more pro-active. Some of Ernie's Big Eye has also taken an eating, but I have now put a jagged-cut section of bottle around the few remaining plants. These protection measures have been employed with sunflower seedlings (a late sowing to compensate for earlier mollusc destruction). Black Magic runner beans have overcome some damage and are winding their way up some canes. Keeping them company are Cherokee Trail of Tears, a climbing French Bean. On their own down the side of the house are Laxton's Exquisite peas.

Plot wise, Horsehead dwarf french beans look a bit pathetic. I didn't provide protection and think we had a touch of frost towards the end of last month.

Cabbage – one of the plants is looking cabbage-y already, balling up.

Some potatoes have flowers on – that means that there are potatoes. Should take the flowers off, but am not growing them as a maincrop this year (although bought plenty at Potato Day, just haven't got round to planting all of them, then weather turned, etc…. excuses, excuses)

Had to pull up Arno garlic – the leaves were mostly yellow and some leaves had even died off totally on the plants. Small bulbs, more like a small onion, but no sign of rot or anything else wrong.

Must get round to planting Czar runner beans down the plot soon. I hope to leave most of the beans for drying as a "butter bean" type. These were yummy last year.

Peppers on the living room windowsill are in flower, keeping company one flowering geranium started from seed in February – Hollywood Star. I gave my mother a geranium started at the same time – White Orbit and that is also out in flower. Many thanks to T&M for those as part of World's Top Six geraniums.

Spring roundup

With computer woes, I haven't been online as much as I would have liked and have therefore neglected this blog a bit.

Root veg sown at the plot in March have failed to appear other than the odd one or two carrots. Maybe I should have cloched and prepared the soil (sieved) more. Hubby built a couple of salad boxes for the garden, one deep and one shallow. The deep one, I have sown parsnips in – one has appeared, and 2 lots of carrots are showing. I have only transplanted 3 asparagus lettuce into the shallow one, but there is plenty of room for the seeds I have received yesterday to go (salad stuff).

Harvested 2 overwintered lettuce I think is Lattughino, along with 3 mushrooms this year. There is a fourth mushroom buttoning up nicely, though we might leave it to go flat. Asparagus has gone ferny already before we had a chance to cut spears. Guess will have to wait until next year!

Tomatoes have already started to form last month, though the flowers don't seem to be producing pollen for transfer using a brush. I have stroked/knocked the plant/flowers which looked like to have worked as fruit are setting.

I spied a pea pod last week at the allotment though it hadn't filled out yet.

Have already started revisiting catalogues and wishing for October to come for next year's catalogues!!

Lovely day, so off out into the garden to start more seeds off, and to enjoy the sunshine.