Making my fruit cage

With my Sunburst cherries now swelling and getting ready to ripen I decided to try and protect them this year in the hope that I can actually get to eat some

I decided to make a fruit cage using eight foot bamboo canes and netting from Wilkinson’s , plus some wire mesh I already had knocking around

The canes were just pushed into the soil, the top cross canes were initially tied in but then I thought of using plastic cable ties for speed & convenience. Also used plastic ties to fix the netting & mesh to the canes

Not the prettiest cage, but functional & cheap

 

 

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Garden Ghosts

Runners-fleeced-up-may-2017
Runner beans with fleece protection

Some ghostlike scenes in my garden at the moment, the runners have all been covered in two layers of fleece for about a fortnight. Not just for frost but we have had biting north east cold winds over that time, the fleece seems to have done the intended job and beans are still healthy and climbing

I planted out my Polestar runners, had to, they were just romping away, but the fleece will help

Also a friend gave me some Enorma runner plants, also romping away, they have just been planted out in pot of five

The begonias are a bit hit & miss, some are growing well, others just limping along. I don’t think it is suppliers, seems to mixed results from both Wilkinson & Home Bargains. However I have now palnted them out the front in large tubs, currently behind chicken mesh to stop the blooming cats digging them up & pooing there

And spotted the first lily beetle, duly squished

Frost Forecast

Had to go into prepare for trouble mode ahead today. Frost or at least Arctic winds are forecast for this area Monday / Tuesday, and my runners & French beans are outside 😦

At least the blossom on the apple trees has been out for a while, and the cherry has now set fruit, so should be OK there

I had already wrapped some fleece around some of the beans a few weeks ago, but did not do the latest plantings because late frosts are unlikely here, wrong this year maybe?

However I popped into Wilkinson’s this morning and bought some more fleece, and have now wrapped all the bean wigwams in two layers of fleece ready for the week ahead

Noticed one of my escapee strawberry plants has one lone flower on it, no idea if I will ever eat it before the slugs do

Spring Sowing starts

The weather is improving daily, and my itchy fingers just had to get going sowing for summer

I have an electric thermostat controlled propagator, had it for over twenty years and still going well

Decided early start for 2017, indoors, for beans and tomatoes

My beans, both self saved seeds from last year, are runner, White Emergo and an unknown climbing black French bean from Bill at Age Concern, six of each sown into loo roll innards

I have two other varieties but short of loo rolls so will hold off sowing these for a week or so

Also sown, in individual cells in a tray were four each of these tomatoes

Shirley – bought on clearance last year from Wilkinson’s

Tumbling Tom – bought on clearance last year from Wilkinson’s

Minibel – bought on clearance last year from Wilkinson’s

Unknown variety self saved seed from a very sweet cherry tom from Lidl, April last year

Begonias

Potted up the new begonia corms I have bought over the past few days, making an early start by temporarily potting them up  in unheated conservatory to help break the dormancy

Once growing and the weather has warmed up they will be transplanted into their final growing pots, probably out the front on raised area near my front steps

Here are the types,

Fimbrata – Home bargains £1.50 for 5 corms

Cascade- Morrisons offer 3 for £5, 4 corms

Double – Morrisons offer 3 for £5, 4 corms

Double – Wilkinson’s £5 for 10 corms

Pendula – Wilkinson’s £5 for 10 corms

It became very obvious as I potted them that “you get what you pay for”

Here are two corms, the smaller one is Home Bargains @30p per corm, larger is Wilkinson’s @ 50p per corm. I think I can guess even now which will be the better blooming plants later in the year

begonia-corms-feb-2017

Poppy – Mrs Perry

Another impulse buy whilst mooching around Wilkinson’s looking for dish washer salt.

New plants and corms for this year now out on the shelves, had a poke around, thinking of getting some more lilies, but could not find Regale which I wanted, but did spot poppy, Mrs Perry and just because my nan was Mrs Perry I had to buy it, 2 pounds well spent if only just for memories

Now in a small pot in the conservatory waiting to acclimatise and get some roots down, bit too cold and wet outside to even venture out to plant it