Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Mad Pumpkin & Bad Ivy

We picked up a bargain - a Wilko's greenhouse staging shelf kit for £3 instead of a tenner! Great! I need to organise the greenhouse now the plants are no longer in there, it's being used as a dumping ground for tools and bags of compost and the like, and the new staging will give me the kick I need to get started. We also picked me up some plant food, some blood fish & bone, pots, and potting compost.  Groovy. We went back to Wilko's at the weekend and picked up some more pots, and some propagators and some other bits and bobs.

Down the lotty at the weekend we discovered that the pumpkin plants have gone a bit mad, we had to chop the ends off two or three of the tendrils as they were invading.  And we found out afterwards that that is exactly what you are supposed to do, nip the ends off. We counted about 6 female flowers, so we should have a decent crop, especially if we remove the weaker fruits to give the stronger ones a better chance.  Or we crop them small rather than let them all grow to full size. Will need pumpkin recipes, if I find any good ones I'll add them to the blog.

In the garden we’ve planted out the cabbages - they are probably a little overcrowded, but we don't have a lot of room left. We made a debris-netting cover for the bed and held it down with the milk bottle weights same as on the lotty, should do the trick. I also harvested some beets and planted  swedes in the gaps. We aren't going to have room to plant the caulis I sowed... I also cropped all the remaining redcurrants and got another 600g. All in the freezer now, will make redcurrant jelly with it soon.

While I was doing that Hubby made a start on tackling the ivy, and he's got a huge amount down, the sunshine is now getting into the greenhouse again! We took a builder's bag full of the cuttings to the tip, and were going to carry on but we both felt shattered, so we'll get to it when we can. There is still plenty to get rid of, and it is tempting to just clear our bit of fence, but if we don't get rid of it all it'll grow back and we'll be back to square one. The SBK did a good job of killing off the Russian vine, but hasn't touched the ivy, so we are back to the idea of just ripping it out manually. We have a double layer of fence at the back, the original one that is a bit gappy, so a bamboo screen was put up.  The ivy has intertwined between the two so we are planning  to take down the bamboo fence, and just put up with the gappy fence again and the lack of privacy. That is, if the ivy hasn't destroyed the original fence of course! With our son home from uni for the summer, he can help too. All hands on deck!

We are still pondering the thought of a polytunnel, I am struggling to picture how it will fit in our wee garden, I'm sure it will, but we'd have to do some serious tree pruning (1 apple, 2 pears) or even removing (an ornamental pear that we planted over 20 years ago.) It feels strange to be thinking about removing a tree, but it is only ornamental, and dries the ground to the extent that not much grows down the bottom of the garden.

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