Monday 4 May 2020

A bit of DIY

It's the lower half of the milk carton we use
We mentioned the shortage of garden supplies the other day – quite acute if you check out the online suppliers. Pots just cannot be had at the moment. But, in any case, I recycle whenever I can. This is easy to do with milk cartons. Cutting the plastic carton in half produces a handy one litre pot. Obviously, drainage holes are needed but a word of of warning; resist the temptation to bodge holes in the bottom using scissors. It is just too easy to slip and cause an injury. Instead use a drill. This may seem over-kill but, in actual fact, it will be under-kill! The drainage holes are essential, of course

Knocking up compost
Today's photographs show how I was kept busy on Saturday. Wisely, I did not promise a blog page at the weekend – I was flat out. I like to do my potting outside, working at the end of one of my raised beds. My practice (not RHS approved, I suspect) is to heap on some potting compost and some vermiculite and then mix using my bare hands. That gives me a feel for the right blend. 
A mix of ingredients to get texture
This action automatically introduces a small amount of garden soil into the mix – adding vital microorganisms. The addition of vermiculite produces a more open texture. But if a fast-draining mix is required, then some sharp sand or grit will be needed as well. Horticultural grade is expensive, it is also hard to obtain just now. I have ordered some chicken grit instead – I shall report back on this experiment which promises to be a cheaper option

This cheap Lidl variety does well from seed: Harzfeuer
Tomatoes shipping soon
My task was potting up and potting on the many young tomato plants growing in the greenhouse which are destined, I hope, for your garden! The seeds were sown a month ago. In a moment of self-doubt, I ordered some back-up plants which arrived just as I was doing the potting. What miserable specimens! I await the reply to my email requesting a refund. (I think I'll tuck the photo away at the bottom of the page - looking at it makes me feel bad!)

Flowering plants coming on
There’s real satisfaction from seeing a plant do well – one of the many joys of gardening. Jill Watts kindly sent this photo of a camellia we supplied. Looks great. We have some more camellias coming on - along with quite a range of perennials that will be ready for planting in a couple of months. I have just popped out to check. There are hollyhocks, lupins, penstemon, dahlia, chrysanths, hydrangea … the list goes on. Something to appeal to all tastes, we hope

A well spent day
Well, that was Saturday accounted for. On Sunday we turned from the creation (I see the garden that way) to the Creator and went to church to worship. And no, we did not flaunt the lockdown rules – you can see the result here

Apart from that, we had a rest. Now, where did that idea come from? 

Best wishes from the old Garden Codger
PS – I ought to come clean – I did not work every hour of Saturday. In the evening, and with Mrs Codger in excellent voice, we deserted the BBC for YouTube and went here

PPS - see below the commercially supplied plants that were delivered on Saturday (name of company deliberately withheld!). Waiting for a refund

What a young tomato should NOT look like

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