Monday 28 March 2011

My garden today... (2) Edibles

Yesterday I posted about some of the ornamental plants in my garden. Today is the turn of the edible ones.

Down one side of the garden (the South-facing one) I have my fruit trees and my raspberries. The latter are coming up strongly now. They are an Autumn-fruiting variety called "Autumn Bliss". This type bears fruit on the current year's canes, and you cut the canes down to ground level every year.

Here's a view down the line of the fence. The metal posts are bits from an old rotary washing-line. I use them as stakes for supporting some of the raspberry canes. For further support I also use wire attached to eyelets screwed into the fence posts.

At the left of the previous picture you can see the minarette fruit trees. The one in the centre is the apple - "Scrumptious". Its buds are already producing leaves now, and it won't be long before it flowers.

Yesterday I pricked-out most of my little tomato plants. I had sowed them in 5" / 13cm pots, with 7 or 8 seeds in each pot. The seedlings were beginning to look overcrowded, so it was time to transfer them to individual pots.

I left three of each type of seedling in the original pot, and transferred the others to individual 3.5" / 9cm pots (and I used a few of those tall cream cartons that I have saved). I made a point of planting the seedlings really deeply, since this will encourage them to form a better root system - more roots will emerge from the buried stems.

I had a look under my new cloches, where I sowed the beetroot and parsnips, not really expecting to see anything yet, but the beetroot are already up - and this is only 12 days after sowing.

Likewise, the radishes are through as well, not protected by cloches, but sown the day before the beetroot.  Normally I would say that radishes would germinate much more rapidly than beetroot, but this time it has been the reverse. I think this demonstrates how beneficial the cloches are.


 The Celeriac finally germinated and is growing strongly now. I think I was just being impatient. I will only be able to grow half a dozen or so of these plants, so I will have to thin them ruthlessly within the next few days.

I will transplant the ones I want to keep into individual pots, just like the tomatoes, and I will grow them on indoors for a while because I know that Celeriac doesn't like cold weather.

I have also assembled the two plastic mini-greenhouses that my Mother-in-law gave me for my birthday. One of them is just like the two I had already, but the other (described as a "Seedling greenhouse") is effectively a cold-frame made of vinyl. It is higher at the back than at the front.

These will come in really handy for protecting my tomatoes and chillis etc overnight, when I want to harden them off and get them used to living outside. They will also be very useful for protecting vulnerable seedlings from wind and heavy rain, which we often get at this time of year - although just recently it has been unusually dry and still! In the picture above you can also see (most of) my water-butt, which collects rainwater via a diverter from the gutter downpipe. This saves me a lot of walking to and from the tap in the summertime, as well as making best use of a precious resource.

Gratuitous Lara photo opportunity...
This has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but I just wanted to direct you towards some more lovely pictures of our gorgeous grand-daughter Lara, who recently went on an outing to Peppa Pig World.... Emma, her Mum, has written about it on her blog Mellow Mummy

Concentrating hard !


  1. What caught my eye in the second picture, was the vigorous rosemary bush! It is an annual in these parts, though I managed to over winter one this year with pretty good success.

  2. David, yes I usually manage to keep a few Rosemary plants through the Winter. Unfortunately one or two succumb as well.

  3. absolutely adorable. the grand-daughter.

  4. OOOH, where did your MIL get the greenhouses? I live in the US though and probably cant get them. :( I also love your mini greenhouses, so awesome, but after looking online it looks like you get them in the UK and not here...figures. Also, your granddaughter is beautiful! This year I am looking forward to having all 4 of my kiddos helping me in the garden. Too bad its still 32 degrees out :(

  5. I cut back our autumn fruiting raspberries too but haven't yet as many new shoots as you have although my canes are in an exposed position on the plot so I guess it isn't surprising.

  6. This is where I have bought mini-greenhouses from in the past:

  7. Lara is so adorable. I am happy that you posted your beetroot seedlings photo. This is my first time growing them in fall and I saw some popping out already but were unsure whether it is beetroot seedling or weed. Definitely beetroot seedlings.

  8. I'm trying celeariac for the first time this year after being given some by a friend. I've sown beetroot in cell trays but will try some direct as I have a cloche which I've never got round to using.

  9. Your grand-daughter is really lovely (and lovely name, my girl third name is Lara)!

    I would like to plant raspberries, but apparently it doesn't get cold enough in Auckland!



  10. Great photos of all your plants and granddaughter. I really love the photo of the frozen water droplet on the broccoli leaf.

  11. That's a lovely photo of Lara! My celeriac has germinated too, I'm trying to decide how many seedlings to prick out. I may have to copy you next year and sow my tomato seedlings in small pots like that. I used quarter seed trays and even sowing thinly have somehow wound up with 10 Gardener's delight, 6 Marmande, and around 6 of each of 4 other varieties. Way too many, but they look so strong and healthy, I haven't the heart to chuck them! Impressive little beetroot seedlings.

  12. Beautiful little girl!

    I planted radish seeds 3/22 and they were up in 5 days. Radish Cherry Belle. Evidently ready in 22 days.

    I also like the frozen rain drop, looks like an icy sunflower.

  13. Its great to see your seedlngs and fruit plants. Things are progressng nicely. I always seem to learn something from your posts! Gorgeous pic of Lara too.

  14. Oh thanks for the photos of the raspberries, I have never actually seen them growing. I thought they grew on a bush! So do you train them up a support then? They don't do it themselves, do they, you have to tie them? And when did you cut them back?

    I ask because I have a youngberry that throws out canes, and I have nil can experience :)

  15. Ali, these autumn-fruiting raspberries are allegedly self-supporting, but in my experience, all raspberries do need support. I grow mine against a fence, but held in place by a number of horizontal wires. The canes grow to a height of about 8 feet. You can tie them in individually if you have patience (or suitable vertical supports, like my re-cycled washing-line bits!). You cut them down at the end of the year. I do mine in two stages - to about 3 feet in Nov / Dec, and then to ground level in Jan / Feb.

  16. Thanks for the link BTW! Have a good day!


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