Welcome to the second week of Bob and Sammie’s gardening adventures. Following a nasty ice skating accident a week and a half ago, Bob is now fully recovered with just a small scar on his chin. Gardening is definitely a lot safer and in Growing Vegetables Week 2, we will share our latest news.
Despite warm, dry and sometimes humid conditions we have had very little rain in our corner of Kent. In fact today, just as last Saturday it is very windy outside. This means that all of our container grown plants ideally need watering twice a day.
Windy weather can be far more drying on all plants, especially those grown in containers. Our Runner Beans (Painted Lady – I think!) are growing a good 10cm/4″ a day! So they need regular watering. We did add some water retaining granules to the container before planting, which should prevent any periods of drought.
Here are the beans we potted up last week. The small scoop (about 1tsp) of water retaining granules and a few, slow release fertiliser balls were added to the compost. They were then thoroughly mixed in before the beans were planted.
Keeping container plants adequately watered is especially important for tomatoes. Uneven waterering and periods of drought can cause Blossom End Rot. Which is exactly how it sounds. The blossom end of the tomato fruit goes very dry and can start to rot. So to ensure that doesn’t happen we added water retaining granules to all of our tomato containers.
Ah the wind whipped tomatoes that we carefully potted up and staked last weekend are, in fact, Gartenpearle Tomatoes, grown from Groseeds seed! These are a bush variety that have cherry tomatoes tumbling over the container. In our defence it was incredibly windy when we planted them and I’m not sure they’d have survived without staking. Indeed I thought we were going to lose them for the first few days as they looked very sorry for themselves. This photo has just been taken and they seem to have come through the transplanting without any damage!
Due to the open, sunny, but exposed windy site of our front garden, I have delayed planting out the chilli’s. Seeing how the wind affected the tomatoes in the back garden last weekend, I have decided to wait for a quieter day, weather wise. That way they’ll stand more chance of growing on well and getting their roots deep into the soil.
The Borage planted at the back of the bed, to attract pollinators, has settled in nicely along with a couple of new lavender plants, grown from cuttings taken last year. We hope to be able to plant the chilli’s and the rest of the tomatoes in the next couple of days, because…….
……they are starting to take over our porch!!!!
We are aware that we are just a wee bit behind on our planting, due to late sowing, however, when you have lovingly nurtured a plant from seed, potted it on, you want it to have the best possible chance it can. So these babies are staying put for a little while longer.
As part of our rather late and haphazard sowing, not everything got labelled. I only found out about the Gartenpearle Tomatoes as I rinsed out the pot and saw that I had indeed labelled it. Which means those in our porch are cordon Roma Tomatoes. Delicious small plum shaped tomatoes that we’ve had success with before.
To create a bamboo wigwam for the beans to climb up, insert 6 bamboo canes, thick end down, into a filled container, spaced evenly apart. I have used 2m canes as I’m 6ft and with stretched arms I’d struggle to pick higher than that! Taking care not to catch your eyes, draw all the canes together, 10cm/4″ from the top and tie them securely with string. I was able to reuse the raffia that came with the canes.
You may need to encourage the beans to spread out and climb the canes. This can be achieved by gently tying the beans to a cane. They’ll soon romp away! When the runner beans reach the top of the canes simply pinch out the tops. This will encourage side shoots to form, with more flowers, so more beans!
As well as enjoying rocket (arugula) and radishes in our salads this week, a quick inspection of the fruit garden revealed a good crop of redcurrants. Now currants always surprise me. Their ‘flowers’ are very plain and to be honest do not look like flowers. Yet I see bees pollinating them in mid Spring, no encouragement needed, especially considering the plants we have grown to attract pollinators in other areas of the garden! Yet the bees seem to know and we usually get a good harvest.
Bob was going to pick these today, for me to make jam. I instead decided it would be a good idea to start summer pruning the apple trees, we have two. So they will stay fresher on the bush and jam making will commence early next week.
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We are making progress. Not everything we wanted done has been finished, but that is gardening for you. As they say, even with all of the gardening jobs still to do, it’s important to take time to stop and smell the roses. Until next week, when hopefully our Freckles salad leaves will have germinated, happy gardening.
Bob and Sammie xx
Groseeds have kindly sponsored this venture by providing seeds. All views, opinions, content and photographs are my own. Any advice given is from me, Sammie an amateur gardener and is followed at your own risk. Please see my Disclosure Policy.Share