Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Day - What are you doing?

Well Christmas has been and gone, now there's just all the wrapping to clear away, and all the spare food to eat. I had a brilliant day yesterday though, everyone had stuff to do, modelling, sorting, playing yugio cards, watching DVDs, while I'm not sure what I did.
My planning for Christmas Dinner was masterclass though. With the frequency of my Lyrica moments increasing ( I told them I just needed to add Yorkshire pudding mix on top of the trifle, instead of the anticipated angel delight and cream!), I wrote a detailed time plan, like I used to have to do at school. I said we would be sitting down to diner at 3pm, and it was on the table with 2 minutes to spare.
It was a shame the sprouts had not grown bigger, even with 5 minutes in the steamer they were a little overdone, and the parsnips came to nought. Still I could have served up frozen green beans, and done some roast pumpkin, if there would have been any space on the plate. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll be picking sprouts and the kale will have put a bit of a spurt on too. I did harvest 3 celeriac for me, no one else likes them.
Today the sun is shining and the sun is out, but I'm a bit stuck in as Matt is sleeping downstairs, and I can't get out of the back door. If I can step over him quietly and retrieve a pair of shoes, I could perhaps go out of the front door and round. Today I intend planting chillies and maybe some early tomaotoes, even though I said I wouldn't. I'm also intend to clear out the greenhouse now the snow put paid to to tomatoes, and investigate the damage in the garden.
Typical, now people are awake, it's pouring hard. I started cutting back the dead tomatoes in the greenhouse, and it looks like the amarylis bulb that I'd had on it's side to dry out, is fine. The lowest reading on the thermometer was 2C. Problem is, I need to keep putting the stuff in the compost heap, and it's not pleasant. Thinking of amarylis, I've got my freebie one to pot up too, courtesy of T&M, but disappointingly my cut price carnations from them have developed a bad case of mouldy water. The flowers look fine, so I need to see what I can salvage.
I had kept some new compost indoors so it wasn't icy cold, so I filled 12 washed 3 inch pots, watered them with warm water, and put them in the electric propagator. I have sown 2 seeds each of Chocolate Habenero, Red Scotch Bonnet, Hot Lemon, Naga Morich and Dorset Naga. The first 4 are from my own saved seeds, hand pollinated from plants grown inside. The latter two, which I have to admit I thought were the same until a bit of research revealed the Dorset Naga was bred from the Naga Morich, are from a member of the Grapevine forum. I have a number of other varieties, but I will see how these go.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas Fete

I haven't posted anything for ages, which is really bad of me, but just wanted to say we had a really succesful day today at the Christmas Fete organised by Amanda. The Garden Club made over £50 from homemade chutney, gingerbread tree decorations, grow you own kits and other donated items. The hyacinths planted back in October went really well, all sold! I hope the buyers enjoy their flowers when they come.
It is getting colder now, but the weather has been very mild up until now, so I have still been picking tomatoes from plants that are almost a year old, planted 27th December! I am planning on planting my chillies soon. I have been given some Naga Morich, supposedly the hottest chillies found, so I'll be letting you all know next year, if I survive!
The allotment garden is doing well, although the weeds are growing too. I have broad beans, kale, spring cabbage, garlic, Japanese onions, celeriac and Brussel sprouts there at the moment. I have also got a compost bins set up, and I hope Chris and Florence are making use of it for their vegetable waste. The Christmmas break is coming up, so I hope to get the chance to 'prune' the mahonia, down to half size, which will give me more growing room.
We have had loads of rain which has meant getting the garden tidied at home has been a bit delayed, but I did have a look to see how the parsnips had grown. Very disappointing, we won't have any for Christmas this year. Sowing in the loo rolls doesn't seem to have worked too well compared to the direct sowing last year. I have eaten a couple of the celeriac, not as big as in the shops, but very tasty. The beetroot are doing well too, I freeze the leaves to go in curries if I'm not planning one soon after harvesting the beets.