Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Monday, 13 April 2009

A Hectic, Happy Easter

What a weekend - I hope your Easter was great too. Friday saw us in Poole for the day visiting NAH's aunt - we were overfed as usual and NAH fixed the fence. The rest of the weekend has seen me in panic mode: the good weather has been perfect for gardening and whilst I've made great inroads into what needs to be planted out in the garden and up at the allotment, I'm about a quarter of the way through what actually needs to be done. I'm also staring at an enormous hole in the lower border having started clearing it for its planned revamp. I'm currently at the OMG what am I going to do with all that stage. So just to feel better I ripped out a horribly clashing set of plants in the single terrace border - apricot Diascia, Stachys byzantina and Fuchsia 'Genii' has got to be one of the worst combinations invented by anyone, not just me - and did an impromptu revamp of that border instead. Pictures to come, I promise.

The next big job is to plant the potatoes: I've over ordered as usual (in spite of sharing them with Threadspider) and their space on the plot has yet to be dug. Unfortunately I've hit a major couch grass problem, which means my digging rate accomplishes just 5% of what's needed every couple of hours. This calls for desperate measures, so I've decided to experiment with some bag grown potatoes this year on the lower garden patio. A few holes in half a bag of compost and hey presto! the Edzell Blues from Malmesbury's potato day were planted up in a matter of minutes sans back ache. As the potatoes grow, I'll start unrolling the bag and keep topping up the compost. Bearing in mind my volunteer spuds were the best of the potatoes on my allotment last year, I've got a good feeling about this one.

What did you do this Easter?

11 comments:

  1. I'm planting potatoes for the first time (although they have grown in my neglected compost pile every so often, I don't think that counts!) I will be interested to watch yours develop.

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  2. We have had rain most of the weekend until today. I've been forced to do indoor potting up.
    I've got some couch grass in one of my garden borders. I can never get it all out as it retreats under a concrete path and re-emerges after awhile. Horrible stuff!

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  3. It must be the day for spuds as I've just got round to planting ours up today. I'm trying some "Smile" for the first time, decided to plant them up in a spare plastic dustbin we had hanging around in the shed. Hopefully we'll get something out of them. Might have to try some in a bag as well to see which is best.

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  4. I've only ever heard positive reports on yields achieved with the 'bag' method.

    Ho question your back will appreciate it too.

    Rob

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  5. Thank you for asking! I had a lovely day which started out with breakfast here with dear friends, then I caught up on a few blogs and puttered around the garden..It was my kind of day!

    I love the potatoes in a compost bag idea! can't wait to see how they turn out!

    gail

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  6. I've grown in bags before (and am so doing this year) with good results. I don't have enough room to do spuds in the ground. My daughter said, "Mum,do you need an allotment?" We do have 3/4 acre already so no to the allotment.

    We too have been digging up couch grass. If it was an Olympic event I'd be going for Gold! And nettles, and dock. But still the ground was more workable than it's ever been before and roots were coming out in one piece. Hooray!!!

    WV is deveing which seems somehow appropriate.

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  7. Glad to hear that you have had a good weekend VP.
    I have not got my few spuds in yet - I am sure everyone else on the allotment site has. Plan to get them in by the end of the week. I have used the old compost bag planting method too in the past. It works a treat. What is more your food miles will be zero :)

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  8. I'm growing potatoes (for the first time) in bags this year too. I invested in some of those green canvas planter affairs, which I thought would look a bit posher than compost bags if our house goes back on the market! And co-incidentally, I planted some today too - though R did all the work of scooping the compost into the planter.

    I'm reliably informed that if you grow potatoes in bags you don't need to earth up - you can just fill the bags right up with soil when you plant them. I am trying this (well, more or less - I am doing one top-up, more because it's too much hard work for me otherwise than anything) - I wonder whether it will make any difference?

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  9. I bagged some potatoes for the first time this year. It will be interesting to see if they do better than their in the ground sisters.

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  10. Sadly I was spring-cleaning but I did give all my house plants a feed and prune.

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  11. Sheila - I love growing potatoes because digging them up is like finding buried treasure. Good luck with your first crop!

    EG - I thought I might be potting up too, perhaps the rain gauge installation I blogged about last week is working!

    Dave - I had some freebie Smile a few years ago from Taffy Tattie the year before they were commercially available as he'd been trialling them. They were a great crop and their 'smiles' made me smile too :)

    Rob - my back certainly is appreciating it - why didn't I do this before?

    Gail - sounds perfect.

    Maggi - I think I'm competing with you for that gold! Unfortunately the allotment's getting towards the more concrete than diggable stage, so I'm not getting whole pieces out like you :(

    Anna - 0 food miles - that's great, I hadn't thought of that :)

    Juliet - I'm just a cheapskate and I just happened to have half a bag to hand. I'll be going for the filling the bag up as the plants grow technique - it's got to beat earthing up!

    Debbi - it certainly will. From the reactions here it looks like the bag technique's a good 'un

    Hermes - houseplants! Thanks for the reminder - mine need rescuing!

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