Tuesday, 19 May 2009

how does your garden grow?

Our little terrace, like thousands of plots of various sizes around the country is starting to spring into life. The potatoes planted on Easter Saturday (one day late, by rights it should be Good Friday) have shot up. You plant them in about seven inches of compost around three inches below the surface, and as the green shoots come poking through you earth them back up so the tops are just showing, raising the surface of the soil, and creating more room for the fruits of your labours. Once the plants flower, you are pretty much ready to harvest.

I am so excited I have actually been dreaming about them. As with everything we plant outside their life began enclosed with a chicken wire cage. If tomatoes and runner beans were interesting enough for our squirrels to vandalise last year, I feel sure that the juicy little tubers of my potatoes are under threat.

My newest project are spinach beets. Growing ordinary spinach is apparently a bit tricky, spinach beets are a good solution to this - as a 'cut and come again' variety, you can harvest the outside leaves and leave the rest of the plant to continue growing. I planted them last weekend, and was delighted to see little yellow green shoots poking through yesterday.
My father has been working on a solution to the squirrel problem. Last year's cursory effort ultimately provided little protection against our furry adversaries but after an advanced viewing at the weekend I can confidently say that this year we are fully armed. We have very kindly been built a cage of such magnitude it will house a grow bag full of beans and two decent sized tomato plants. As with many ambitious creative endeavours, progress is being hampered by boring practicalities - the construction is so large we stand no chance of transporting it with an ordinary vehicle. There are van plans. Watch this space.

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