Hampshiresgreenbook’s Blog


Grow Your Own
March 26, 2009, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Gardening

Follow my attempts to grow my own fruit and vegetables…

Last weekend I finally made it into my garden. It’s not like I had to cross the English Channel to get there, I just had to overcome a huge amount of reluctance to go out into the cold! Sunday was a lovely, sunny, spring day and I couldn’t wait to start growing things.

I thought I would just spend an hour or so tidying up first. Two and a half hours later I hadn’t managed to sow a single seed, but I was quite pleased with what I had achieved.I spent most of my time weeding and moving the containers and generally tidying up the garden. Whilst I was tidying up, I also thought about what I wanted to grow in the garden this year. My number one priority is fruit and vegetables.

The back garden is home to three raspberry canes, a jostaberry, two blueberries, and a huge bay tree…as well as a small lawn surrounded by osteospermum, roses, buddleia, a very large pettisporum and an even larger conifer which is threatening to take over the garden, if the ivy doesn’t manage it first.

The raspberry canes are just outside the back door and are showing signs of life – small, green shoots. We’ve only ever had two or three raspberries from the three canes – which is pathetic really, but I’m hopeful that this year will be different. Surely.

Next to the raspberry canes is a jostaberry tree – a cross between gooseberries and blackberries. Although I wouldn’t really know as it has never produced any fruit, or anything more than a few leaves. It also has some green shoots and I don’t want to give up on it, so whilst I am still deciding what to do with it, it can stay there…

There’s a large, empty space next to the fruit trees – the whole area is covered with wire mesh and nets to stop the cats and birds getting in…I’m thinking of growing cucumbers there.

Last year I had a go at growing onions in a few containers – they were doing really well until all the slugs got to them. During the winter I bought some copper ‘slug stoppa tape’ which I hope will deter the wretched slugs… I live in hope….

There are also two blueberry bushes in large containers and I was really excited to see that they survived their first winter. But most exciting of all is the small container of parsley. I sowed the seeds a couple of years ago and the parsley just keeps on growing. I picked some the other night to add to a risotto.

In need of a rest, I sat down in the kitchen with my jar of seeds. I keep the seed packets in a sealed glass jar in the fridge. I had completely forgotten what was in there – sadly, most of the seeds were well out of date. So I set off to the garden centre. There are three garden centres near where I live.

I was looking for organic seeds – specifically salad leaves. Mizuna has done well in my garden, so I wanted to have a go at growing more salad type vegetables. At the garden centres, there was a dazzling array of seeds, but very few organic seeds, especially salad leaves. However, I came home with some organic ’cultivated rocket’ and radicchio seeds. And some organic potatoes – Orla – and organic potato fertiliser. I’ll let you know how I get on, next time.

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