Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

March Jobs

March 9th, 2010

GardenMarch10 029

March is the month for planting sweetpea seed!  St. Patricks day is said to be the best day for that – so I need to look about for a likely place where the sweet little peas will get plenty of sunshine!  I have never planted them before but I might just give them a go! 

GardenFeb2010 028In the vege patch the tomatoes are nearly finished and in the next week or two I will be pulling out the old plants and getting the patch cleaned up and ready for planting out some broad beans and swiss chard etc.  Last year I tried pulling the plants before all the tomatoes had finished and hung the plant upside down over the fence, the tomatoes continued growing red and juicy and I was able to dig about and do what needed to be done to prepare for the next winter crop, it worked very well, so I might just do that this year too.  Then  the compost must be put on and  all compost bins emptied ready for the autumn leaves to fall and me to pick them up and have somewhere to put them.  I have a few other plans for the vege patch as well.  But I will let you know how I get along.

GardenMarch10 028March is also the beginning of the big bulb planting madness!!  One that I love to indulge in!  I have big plans to head out and get some bulbs very soon!  It is a tough job – but someone has to do it!  So, a busy month ahead, and the month is almost half way through already, I had better get going!!

Well, happy gardening!

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February Jobs

February 10th, 2010

 

GardenFeb2010 005There are many little tasks to keep us busy this month.  The Bearded Iris (Iris Germanica )  can be lifted and divided this month.  You need to lift the clump with a fork, and cut away the oldest parts.  The really fun bit is triming the leaves to an inverted V, approximately 6 centimetres at the outer leaves, very neat!  Replant your peices of rhizome on a slight ridge of soil leaving the tops exposed.

Keep tomatoes happy by eating their fruit

Keep tomatoes happy by eating their fruit

Another job for this month is to hoe around and under the lemon tree who could use a bit of feed this month, just to encourage it along. 

Semi-Hardwood cuttings of many plants can be taken this month too, on my list is of course my Fuchisias – all of whom very badly need to be cut back, and waste not want not!  It is how I got to have so many!  They are good for swapping with friends and other gardeners too.  To take semi-hardwood cuttings, cut off pieces of young but well-ripened (fairly hard) wood, about 20 centimetres long, preferably with a heel (this is the section that joins onto an older piece of wood).  Make sure that you dip the ends of the cuttings in hormone powder and trim the leaves.  Trimming the leaves helps the plant to save energy while it develops roots.  Thats why you cut back the leaves on the Iris too.  It gives the plant less to think about -less stress.  Yes, its true, plants feel stress too. 

Waddles & Hazel ready to help

Waddles & Hazel ready to help

But, why stop at fuchisias?  You can also take cuttings of azaleas, camellias, pelargoniums, lavenders, rosemary Cistus…. the list goes on.  Its fun and a very good way to increase your stock. 

Those naughty weeds are creeping back in..so they will need to be dealt with and the usual care, watering, feeding, eating of tomatoes  -all this must be kept up with.  Tomatoes might also enjoy a little more mulch and if some of the leaves are turning yellow it is best to pinch them off, it looks better and helps to let more light reach the fruits to ripen them.  So, much to be done, so little time.

Happy gardening!

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The February Garden

February 6th, 2010

Only one more month of summer left, but the month of February is often the worst of the lot. My garden is already beginning to show the strain of summer heatwaves and the hottest month is yet to come.

Gardenia

Gardenia

Yet, taking a stroll around the garden this morning I am pleased at how it is looking. Not much in flower at present, although the Abelia has its pretty little white flowers and the gardenia is still blooming. The cistus, native to the south of France, Spain and Portugal has finished flowering and a week or so ago I gave it a bit of a trim back, and now I am happy to see it has put on a spurt of growth and is covered in healthy new foliage.
I have been experimenting over the lat few years, discarding and replanting and trying to collect plants that are suitable for this climate, and can take the heat. I think I can begin to see an improvement in the way my garden is coping. My watering methods have improved also. The roses are still blooming & I am still dead heading.

Tomatoes in full production

Tomatoes in full production

In the vege garden, or should I just call it a tomato patch now, I have stopped tying back and just keep picking and searching out recipies for tomatoes. Lunch now is pretty much the wonderful summer treat of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil on panne bread, lovely!!

Hazel & Waddles

Hazel & Waddles

The ducks have stopped laying just for the time being. But thats ok they will start back up again in a month or so. I have had to use snail bait on the basil, and I can’t put it in a margarine container – no I have to surround each basil plant or there is absolutely none left for me, basil that is not snail bait. The little fig tree I planted in winter is covered in leaves and seems to have settled in quite well, so that makes me happy.

The beautiful Hoya flower

The beautiful Hoya flower

My Hoya has gone crazy and desperately needs my help with direction, so thats a little job I need to attend to.  The wisteria that I planted just a few months ago has discovered a niffty pole to climb up and twist itself about, unfortunately, it is not the pole I wanted it to go up and I will need to redirect it to where I want it to be.  The fushias are all still flowering but they all need to be pruned back as they are getting a little leggy and while I am at I will strike a couple to give to friends.  And the lavender needs a trim back too.  So, looks like a busy month ahead.

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Mandy’s mini missions for December

December 11th, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner and I really must do some shopping, cooking, cleaning…but first…just a few minutes in the garden. I guess Christmas will happen no matter what. So, out into the garden for some mini missions and a quick look around.

keep dead-heading to keep the flowers coming
keep dead-heading to keep the flowers coming

Roses: If you can keep up with the dead-heading of your roses you can expect a second flush of blooms this month.  Always lovely!  When I am cutting the dead-heads off the older bushes I take quite a bit of the stalk too, like picking a rose to put into a vase.  This helps to keep my bush, well, bushy, not lank and spindly.  We really wouldn’t want that now would we? 

Giving the plant a little feed, maybe a little blood & bone that always helps too.  While I am at it I take a few in to brighten up my desk.

Tomatoes: Yes, there are now little mini ones – could be some for the Christmas salad.  And if I don’t hurry up and get these mini jobs done and get out there into the shops that’s all we will have for Christmas dinner! 

looking like we might have some for Christmas

looking like we might have some for Christmas

But the mini mission with these are to tie them up.   I like doing this job, they smell wonderful and after I have done it my vege patch looks organised.  Of course it helps the plant too.  Last year I got behind with this and some bad wind came along and broke off some of the branches.  I feed my tomatoes every week and of course they absolutely love getting my duck poo mix..I put this under the plant being careful not to get any on the leaves.  But more of that in a latter post where I shall share my secret duck brew with all you other duck lovers. 

Hanging Baskets:  I really need to keep an eye on these because they dry out very quickly esp. during hot weather.  They need a good soaking in a tub of water.  Sometimes if I know a very hot day is coming up I just hook them down and they pretend they are just ordinary pot plants for the day.  They chat with the other pot plants and enjoy a rest in the shade.

Must take myself off to the shops…happy gardening…

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