My Container Vegetable Garden

veg container garden

Mini Container Garden

 

I decided to give veggie gardening a go.  I would like to build some raised beds at the top of the garden but before doing this I thought it was worth seeing if I am green fingered enough!

 

Here I am growing mixed salad leaves, a scotch bonnet, a yellow pepper and a blueberry.  The blueberry is ericaceous and I will have to remember this when I’m potting it on.

 

 

 

Next year I will try and grow the chilli and pepper from seed too but I had left it a bit late this year so I had to cheat and buy established plants.  Hopefully I will get a harvest!

   IMG_1801      IMG_1800

 

My mini herb garden is right outside my back door so I can go and grab fresh herbs when I cook.  In here there is basil, bicolour sage, Golden Marjoram, Hyssop blue (which is looking unhappy) and Coriander confetti.

My little herb garden

My little herb garden

My cut and come again salad leaves include Lambs Lettuce, Land Cress, Lettuce Red & Green Mixed, Mizuna, Mustard Oriental Red and Rocket. It looks like some are growing better than others.

Mixed salad leaves starting to grow

Mixed salad leaves starting to grow

I am sowing some seeds inside on the kitchen windowsill – courgette, squash and bush beans. I planted them well over a week ago and no sign of germination yet.  Any tips would be gratefully received!

Container Courgette, Squash and Bush Beans

Container Courgette, Squash and Bush Beans

Advertisements

Little Trip to the Gardening Centre

I have a broken foot at the moment. For the last 6 weeks I have been unable to garden, drive, walk the dog….. So when my friend called round to take me to the garden centre yesterday I was VERY excited!!! We went to the Ken Bailey Garden Centre at Wistow Rural Centre.  Can highly recommend to anyone in the Leicestershire area, it was really a treasure trove.

Had to limit myself to what I could carry so it was quite a conservative trip, but this was my haul:

A controlled garden shopping spree!

A controlled garden shopping spree! Fuchsia, antirrhinum and Felicia amelloides blue

This fuchsia is called 'Mini Rose', I think it is incredibly pretty

This fuchsia is called ‘Mini Rose’, I think it is incredibly pretty

Fuchsia 'Mini Rose'

Fuchsia ‘Mini Rose’

Sharing Pinterest Boards on WordPress

I love Pinterest. I would say I am addicted and I am pretty sure I’m not alone in this.  So many pretty pictures to be found and pinned.  Today I found out how to share them on here.  You can share your Pinterest page, boards or individual pins. If you want to know how to do this too – Click here.

For those that don’t use Pinterest yet, it is a way to store and share all those gorgeous pictures that you spot and want to remember. I often sit and just browse other people’s pins too.

Follow me on Pinterest to see more:

 

 

How to Grow Sweet Peas

I have called this post ‘How to Grow Sweet Peas’ which may indicate that I have been successful at it. I know the theory of it, and this I will share, along with my pitiful efforts.  Sweet peas are mostly annuals, they smell amazing and are a great cut flower.  Who wouldn’t want them in the garden?

These were the seeds I chose:

Sarah Ravens Amethyst Sweet Peas

Sarah Ravens Amethyst Sweet Peas

Sowing

Seeds can be sown in Autumn or Spring.  Autumn sowings will flower from May to October.  Spring sowings will flower later, from July to October.   They should be planted in small pots – 2 or 3 in each.  Some say you should soak the seeds overnight but others say this is nonsense and causes undue stress (to the plant not the grower). Root trainers are useful for sweet peas’ long root system, particularly for Autumn sowings that will be in the pot a long time. Make a hole 1cm deep (I use a biro), drop the seed in and light cover with compost (multipurpose is fine).  Keep moist and wait.

Growing and Pinching Out

Once germinated, seedlings should be kept cool.  Keeping cool encourages root rather than shoot growth.  I think this is where I went wrong this year as I kept them on the kitchen windowsill (and possibly forgot to water them for a few days then tried to compensate by overwatering them) – they got very leggy.  Autumn sown seeds should be overwintered in a cold frame rather than inside for this reason.

Pinching out is the part that always confused me so I have included link to a video on how it should be done. Basically, once there are 4 pairs of leaves, pinch off the top leaving a plant approx 1-2 inches tall.  This encourages side shoots and bushiness which means more flowers.

Planting Out

I haven’t managed to get mine to be big enough to be happy to do this yet! They did improve after pinching out but are still rather sorry looking things.   I potted them on last week in case they were struggling for nutrition.  We’ll see how they get on. When getting ready to plant out, plants need to be ‘hardened off’, so gradually adjusted to being outside.

My leggy sweet peas - wish I was the same!

My sweet peas – wish I was as leggy!

Choose a nice sunny place for your sweet peas (and somewhere you can smell them), dig in some compost and plant 15cm apart around whatever it is you want the to climb. Water well. Sweet peas climb with their tendrils which are quite small so if you have wide trellis you might need to add extra twine for the to latch onto. Tie them in if needed.

Picking

Now comes the fun bit! Wait for them to grow and enjoy them in the house.  The more you pick, the more flowers you will get.  Deadhead promptly and do not allow to set seed as this will inhibit flowering. Snip off seedpods if they appear.

Hope you have more success than me! Any suggestions on how to salvage my plants would be much appreciated!

The Great British Bee Count

The Great British Bee Count

We have all heard that our population of pollinators is on the decline due to loss of wildflower meadows.  Today is the first day of The Great British Bee Count, a project designed to measure the British bee population and distribution.

By recording the types, numbers and locations of bees that you see in your garden or when you are out an about, you could contribute to conservation projects that may well save our bees. The website or a mobile app are user friendly – you definitely don’t need to “bee” an expert on bees.

 

 

bbct_logoHow Else Can We Help?

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust provides all the information we could ever need about bees, including a section of gardening for bees (linked to the picture).

 

Finding Bee Friendly Plants

Look out for this logo on plants and seeds

Look out for this logo on plants and seeds

The RHS provide useful lists of which plants bees love:

bee1

Here is a bee enjoying me Nepeta Sixhills Giant this morning.

What do the bees enjoy in your garden?