In The Garden

It’s been a busy few weeks continuing with weeding, clearing, sowing, and generally keeping on top of things. I love this time of year because we are just at the point of harvesting the first few crops of the year. Here’s a quick update:

I’ve covered the strawberry bed with straw to try and cut down on weeds and keep the fruits off the ground. There aren’t actually many on this year as they’re quite young plants (I wish I could remember the variety).

The polytunnel is coming on well. I’ve got various tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, peppers, and cucumbers on the go in here.

I have the first flurry of courgettes!

The next lot of plants waiting for a slot in the garden are coming on nicely. Here I’ve got sweetcorn, squash, chard, spinach, more tomatoes, possibly some kale.

And my first harvest! These are the potatoes I started off in the polytunnel back in February and they seemed to take off well. These are (I think) Nicola. We’ll be having these for lunch today!

The harvest so far…

One of the main purposes of adding the garden to what was supposed to be a crafting blog was to try and keep better records. As well as what’s been sown when I’d like to track my harvests too so here is my first harvest report of 2023:

Potato, Nicola = 720g/1.5 lbs

Strawberry Thief!

And finally, here’s Bill! He’s clearly made himself at home in my strawberry patch and might explain why I don’t seem to have many strawberries. Annoyingly, he’s not even waiting for them to ripen! And he’s quite brazen about his thievery as you can see.

Year of Projects: Week Forty Seven

In the Garden

So this week’s YOP is pretty much just a garden update, but I have been busy out there this week. It’s been a super sunny weekend here. Of course, having spent months complaining about it being too wet to get on with things I am now grumbling about it being too hot out there! Still, things got done this weekend.

Planting out

First up I’ve planted out a few bits and pieces in the vegetable beds. This includes:

  • The basil, coriander, and parsley plants
  • Tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers, peppers, courgettes, and chillies
  • Spinach, spring onions, and something that might be chard or could just be more spinach!

This year I have a few different varieties of tomatoes on the go so it will be interesting to see what works best. My beds have more or less worked out as being root, herb and salads, fruiting plants, leafy veg, strawberries, and peas. Then I have a few crops in pots like potatoes, beans, Jerusalem artichokes and some other bits.


It’s strange what seems to struggle some years. Last year my courgettes and squash failed, and this year I cannot get my lettuce seeds to germinate. Still I’ve done yet another sowing this week so fingers crossed. This week I made my final May sowings for:

  • Sweetcorn
  • Lettuce: Rosso di Trento
  • Spring Onions: Lisbon
  • Chard: Bright Lights
  • Green Beans
  • Rocket
  • Cabbage: Summer Jewel

I also took the opportunity to get my seed tin back in order so that I have all my seeds arranged by date of next sowing. This is really helping with keeping on top of successional sowing.

Wildflower patch

I admit that this corner of the garden has never really been what I’ve wanted it to be. It is basically an overgrown grassy spot, although well loved by slow worms. Every year I sow some flowers and every year they fail. This is my second sowing this year so I’m hoping something might appear. My rabbit Dylan died earlier this year so I also took the opportunity to scatter his ashes to join his companion, Efa, at the same time, so I really do hope it takes off.

I also found some old marigold and Cosmos seeds so I scattered a few of those in various blank spots and empty pots just to see if they take.

That’s it for this week, I have a few plans for the coming weeks. I need to get some straw for my strawberry bed as the fruits are already starting to set. I need to water in my nemotodes which I’m trying for the first time this year to see if they help with the slug and snail population. I also need to make a start on the mess that is the side border. I want to clear it, get some weed membrane and wood chips down, and then think about getting some raised beds put in.

Most importantly though, I need to make sure I keep up with the little jobs so that things don’t get out of hand. I’m always surprised by how much can happen if I just take a couple of weeks away from gardening. Thank goodness housework isn’t the same!

In The Garden

In the garden this week we are starting to see a bit of progress. It’s been very wet and rainy here but today and the rest of this long weekend look to be sunny. I showed my peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes at the end of March and these are slowly making progress on the window sill upstairs. I’ve also sown a few lettuces, spinach, and made a start on my peas this week. The first earlies I planted in bags and left in the poly tunnel have started to peep through so I topped those up with compost to two thirds of the bags. I’ll wait until they come through again and top the up and probably move them into their final position. I do think the poly tunnel has given them a bit of a head start even though the weather has been pretty cool here lately.

This week I have started another two bags of Nicola and Maria Peer. I planned to position these alphabetically so that I remembered which was which but as with the previous planting I’m pretty certain I mixed my ‘M’ and ‘N’ up! I made a start digging over my back bed for planting my main crop potatoes and found a nice haul from last year.

Leftover Ratte from last season

I think these are Ratte so I’m going to boil these and have them with a bit of butter and asparagus tomorrow as a light birthday lunch. I also planted two bags of Jerusalem Artichokes. I have no idea if I even like these so I might stick the two plantings and just see how it goes this year but I do have quite a few leftover and can’t seem to give them away!

I think that’s it on my planting update. I making a start with clearing some of the beds and pruning some of the things I should have pruned back at the end of last year. Hopefully I can get quite a bit tidied up before the rains are due again on Monday when I’ll probably turn my attention back to sowing. I hope your plans are coming along.

In The Garden

After two very cold weeks things are finally starting to warm up here in West Wales so I’m turning my attention to the garden. This week has been quite productive, even if only on the planning front. I have gathered together most of my seeds for the year and made a tentative plan for where everything is going. I also have my first seedlings of the year appearing which is always a pleasing sign.

I’ve planted my first lot of potatoes this week. I usually try and get an earlier start on these by a couple of weeks but the very cold snap and the chaos of the kitchen renovation has delayed things a bit. This year I’m planting second earlies Nicola and Maris Peer. I’m growing these in potato bags again this year as I found these worked really well last year and it saves the beds for other crops. I plant 3-4 potatoes per bag depending on the size. I think most of the ones I have are 30-40 litres each and I get a reasonable crop. I’m starting them off in the polytunnel to make the most of the warmth and protection it provides. I’ve only done the first two bags for now and will try and spread out the plantings over the coming weeks to try and avoid a glut. I’m leaving my main drop potatoes for a few weeks to let things warm up a bit.

Image of seedlings in a seed tray
Chilli, basil, and aubergine seedlings

The chilli, aubergine, and basil seeds I planted back in mid-February have sprouted this week. They’ve been on the windowsill in the warmest room in the house and they’ve still taken a good month to get going. I’ve got a lot more sowing to do this week so hopefully I’ll have all of the next lot of seeds underway by the weekend.

Otherwise for me it’s a case of getting on with planning. I think I have just about worked out how to fit in everything I want to grow combining my raised beds and a few pots and planters. Last year’s winners included shallots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chillies. Overall the new polytunnel was a huge success and really made a difference to my fruiting crops. New additions to the garden this year include trying to grow more green leafy veg and I’ve dedicated space to spinach and chard this year. I’m also going to try sweetcorn again. I wasn’t very successful in terms of the amount I grew last time this but what I did harvest had the best flavour.

That’s it for this week. I’m going to try and keep a reasonably weekly timetable for garden postings, at least while things are busy. I look forward to seeing your garden plans develop in the coming months.