Really must get more organised and sow fortnightly and judiciously my radishes. I can't seem to resist the temptation to sow into every possible space and end up wasting so much seed that ends up growing to the size of hens eggs!
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Potatoes are said to be easy to grow, but not so in my experience, I try every year, though, come what may. My issue is the clay soil I garden on and the accompanying slugs, and the wireworm, potato cyst nematode, oh, and potato blight. Not impossible to grow but certainly needing some thought and trial and error.
Having said that, here is a picture of some potatoes I left for dead last year! The potatoes were dug up from a 4 metre x 1metre raised bed, that had overwintered and I was propping the bed for this year's sowings. I always grow 2 raised beds worth of spuds, and the other bed had been an unmitigated disaster. The blight struck early last summer probabaly because of the extreme rain and before I could take preventative action all the leaves were raised to the ground, and any potatoes found reduced to a slimy smelly blob. So I gave up on the other bed. Foolishly.
Thursday, 24 January 2013
I have decided to change the blog name to The Hairy Gooseberry from The Barefoot Gardener as I now realise that there is a rather popular blog in America with the same name - and want to avoid confusion. I am pretty sure there isn't another blog with this name - so named because my lovely Dad often quotes: "It's only the hairs on a gooseberry that stop it from being a grape" as a humorous antidote to heavier sayings that are now so prevalent on social media. It also suits the blog change, which is moving from purely gardening to gardening AND recipes made from produce from the veggie and fruit patch, with a sprinkling of life's musings, some thought provoking but mostly plain silly!
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Tulips herald the beginning of spring, their many vibrant colours breaking the yellow, white and blue that seems to dominate in the preceeding few months. I try to pair them up with another tulip that flowers at the same time and compliments one another and yet contrasts (beware there are early, mid and late flowering varieties covering 3 months!). Another lovely touch is to pick out the colour of a nearby plant in the tulip, At this time of year I like to wander around the garden and take note of bare patches and plan what type of tulip to plant next atumn to fill the gap. I have a spot where I am going to plant some purple tulips near to some purple aubretia and the Tulipa White Triumphator. If I can find it Tulipa Dreaming Maid will pick out the purple of the aubretia and tone with the white tulips:
I am on very heavy clay soil and all wise gardening lore will advise to give up on most bulbs. I hope my pictures proove that it is possible! I have one patch behind one of the benches where all the bulbs seem to vanish, it is extremely wet there, I think they rot away, but everywhere else they seem to thrive and come back year after year building up their numbers too, and that without the addition of any grit, just copious amounts of garden compost on planting and a feed with Chicken Manure and a mulch of garden or mushroom compost in late winter every year. I have never had any success with parrot style tulips - not sure why, but I don't mind that as there is so much choice I don't think I will run out of colour combinations! They began flowering in early April and are still going strong as we are about to enter May when the oriental poppies, alliums and aqualegias will take over the display, and so the flowering year joyously continues.