Thursday, 12 June 2008

Gardening Update

I promised you an update on the organic garden, and am pleased to report that it continues apace, albeit not without incident. The flowers have been a little slow to grow, but this is probably because I put the seeds in the ground, forgot, and then raked all the soil about before digging it up to plant a rose and a clematis. Anyway, something is growing now; whether it be friend or foe is to be determined.

The herbs are looking lovely; resplendent in their little purple pots, and growing with youthful vigour.

The lettuces were going well, planted in their windowboxes, until my dad needed to ask me something when he was inside and I was outside; the ensuing opening of the window, general falling-off of window boxes and splattering of soil and lettuces all over the ground was punctuated by the kind of language you don't hear on Songs of Praise, but fortunately the lettuces seem to be hardy souls and after being scooped up and stuck back in have, in all cases but one, recovered admirably.

The carrots are a harder bunch to check on, since they do most of their growing under the soil. I had to do some thinning out a few days ago, and there wasn't much that would obviously pass as carrot attached to the leafy bits when they were pulled out, but perhaps they'll put a bit more effort in now that there are fewer of them in the space.

The potatoes have been most pleasing of all; I beg you, please, if you have never done so, go and get yourself a barrel, or a bin bag, or any kind of receptacle, and plant yourself some potatoes, for they are truly joyous things to grow. I am growing them vertically; this means, basically, that every time they grow out of the top of the soil, you stick a few more inches of compost on top of them. Eventually the plants are about a metre high; this is the stage my lot are at (this is why you can grow them in a bin bag – just keep adding layers of compost, a few inches at a time, until the bin bag is full). Once the soil level has reached the top of the barrel/bag/receptacle, you stop adding more (obviously), and just leave the plants to their own devices for a while. Then in a few weeks (or maybe months – I have to read the instructions again), you poke about at the bottom of the soil (this is easy if you have a potato barrel like mine, with nice sliding bits at the bottom; it might not be so easy with a bin bag), and there will be potatoes aplenty.

I do rather get the feeling that one of these weeks I'm going to have a very intensive potato, lettuce and carrot diet, so next year, now that the basic technique has been mastered, I'm going to have to look into staggering the harvest a bit.


Anonymous said...

my carrots disappeared one night and it wasn't bugs out for a sneaky slug attack

whynotsmile said...

Ah, but you see, I have liberally sprinkled organic slug pellets everywhere, for something similar happened to me a few years ago. And also slug stopper tape, which apparently feels to slugs like what we feel when we touch a tooth filling with a metal spoon.