Friday, 23 March 2012

First Strawberries of the Season !

Well not quite the first strawberries of the season as of yet, but I have my first flowers on my indoor strawberry plants brought into my greenhouse on 23rd February 2012 from my outdoor strawberry patch.  My first harvest of strawberries shouldn't be far behind. You can't beat the taste of fresh home grown strawberries and my mouth is watering now at the thought of them !

First Strawberry Flowers of 2012 Season

Visitors To My Garden - Ladybirds

Today I found my first ladybird in my greenhouse. It was merrily walking around my indoor strawberry plants and hope that it likes it in there and brings along some of its friends and family to help control the aphid population whenever my tomatoes and peppers are put into the greenhouse.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Competition Entry

My strawberry hanging planter idea has been including in a contest on the Thriftyfun website. There are some good entries on there, so don't expect to win anything but nice to see my idea there anyway.

UPDATE - Propagating trailing Fuschia 'Postiljon'

I decided that the water roots on the Fuschia cutting done on 22nd February were developed enough to pot up now into compost. I carefully ripped the cling film supporting the cutting into the jam jar of water and then potted up the cutting in a pot of mutli-purpose compost. I now have the 2 trailing fuschias I require for my hanging baskets but will be taking more cuttings as the season progresses to increase my stock.

Cutting in jam jar of water

Several Developed Water Roots on Fuschia Cutting.

Visitors To My Garden - Wasp

I was in the greenhouse today checking up on my Strawberries Under Cover when I heard a buzzing sound around my head. Thought it was going to be a fly of some description, but nearly had a fit when I seen it was a wasp. The reason for the fear is that I am allergic to wasp stings and tend to go a funny colour and swell up like a balloon !!!  I don't know anything about the lifecycle of the wasp but didn't think that they would be out at this time of year ?  Has anyone else seen wasps so far this year ?

Visitors To My Garden - Greenfinches

This month has been a good time for the more "unusual" birds visiting my garden, first it was the male Goldfinches and now a male greenfinch. I have had greenfinches visit the garden before but haven't managed to get any good pictures of them. The BTO brid gardenwatch 2011 results list the greenfinch at the 11th most frequent visitor to UK gardens which is consequently down three places from being the 8th most frequent visitor to UK gardens in 1995. I got some quite good pictures with my camera of the male greenfinch on the peanut bird feeder.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Taking Stock of Sowings

Most of the seeds that I had sown late last month and earlier this month have now germinated and are growing on well.

The picture below are the Tomato 'Gardeners Delight' and 'Moneymaker' seedlings.

Tomato seedlings
The other plants that will be going into my greenhouse along with the Tomato plants are the sweet peppers 'Sweet California Wonder'. The germinated seeds are shown below.

Pepper 'Sweet California Wonder' Seedlings
I have also decided to try Gherkins 'Parisian Pickling' outdoors this year as they turn into huge plants and I may not have enough room for them in the greenhouse. I will also try one in the greenhouse and attempt to support them vertically to give a bit more space. I planted 4 seeds into DIY paper pots and so far 2 of the seeds have germinated.

Gherkin 'Parisian Pickling' Seedlings
For outdoors I have Onion 'New Holland Blood Red Redmate' plants. I had sown 60 seeds and 55 have germinated. That will be plenty for me.

Onion seedlings
I also have leeks for outdoors. I love leeks sliced up, put onto a baking tray covered with grated cheese and a bit of paprika and then put under the grill for about 5 minutes. Absolutely delicious !!

For my flower pots, I have started off my dahlias (Dahlia 'Star Elite') so that I can take a few cuttings from them to increase my stock. I have left a bit later than normal but should hopefully still have enough time. The tubers have just put on a few growths in the last few days.

Dahlia 'Star Elite' cacti type
This is a picture of what the flower of Dahlia 'Star Elite' should look like in flower.