Saturday, 11 April 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone who reads this. Hopefully although it's raining today, the weather will come good for Easter Sunday and Monday. I really hope so, as I have a wet and bedraggled tent haning over my rotary washing line, excluding the light for all the plants below it! Typically in the way of teenagers, they left it until an hour before the rain started yesterday to sort it out. If it had been done first thing in the morning, the tent could have been put away by now. Never mind, rant over, now to gardening.
Well another rant this time really. On Monday my broad beans were looking good, with flower buds showing on the earlier ones. Yesterday I noticed the edges of all the leaves are notched. Looking closely, there are small weevils munching away on them. A bit of reseach revealed they are bean weevils, which eat the leaves as adults, and lay their eggs around the roots. The larvae feed on the roots, in a similar way to vine weevils. Apparently they do not attack the beans directly, phew, but can reduce the crop, depending on the amount of root damage. I was trying to shake the plants to get them to drop into a pot, and got a few, but got way more ants. Although I could not see aphids, I washed the plants down with very dilute washing up liquid solution in the hopes it might stop trouble before it starts. I must get some sticky papers and put them below the plant. Perhaps they will stick when I shake them off.
My dwarf french beans, Speedy, are doing well in the kitchen, the second set of true leaves are beginning to form, and I realised the last frost date is supposed to be the end of April here, so although there is always risk in gardening, I put 8 runner bean seeds to soak last night. I drained them this morning, and I've put them in my seed sprouter. As soon as the radical shows, I will put them in loo roll middles in the greenhouse. I am going to start some french beans too, I still have Fasold from last year, and some Cobra I bought this year, both climbers, so I will compare which does best, for taste as well as yield.
I have my first tomato set on a Tigerella plant. It is about the size of a pea, but definitely 'there'. I still haven't decided exactly how I am going to manage the tomato plants, the problem is they are too big for adoption really. There's one which has developed strangely, so I have planted that one out into a sheltered part of the garden to 'test the waters'.

The Numex Twilight in the kitchen has now had 3 flowers open, which I pollinated with a paintbrush, so hopefully these will develop into chillies.

One purple jalepeno has flowered as well, a very pretty flower in its own right, although i hope it makes a chilli. I am making sure I do not cross pollinate the plants, as I hope to save my own seeds from the chillies in the kitchen.
The flowers in the garden are looking spectacular now. The pots of daffs are beginning to finish, but the pansies around them are still going strong, and the white tulips are in full flower, although the Queen of Night are a bit slower than I would have liked.

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