Reusing an old bag as a planter
I have so much I want to tell you this week. I wrote a list and by the time I finished the page looked like a cartoon scroll rolling to the ground and bouncing across the room. I’ve never had such a productive week in my long history of gardening. I think it must have been the couple of weeks of dry weather followed by the rainy spell… everything just seemed to wake up, me included.
Where to Start?
Let me start by talking about nasturtiums. We got a two packet of seeds last year of both the variegated and non-variegated types. There weren’t many of them and like most things that are in short supply, I tended to value them quite highly, I even saved some of the seeds before the mice got them. I needn’t have bothered; the whole garden is full of these bright invasive plants. They are growing in the tunnel, in the vegetable patch, along the path and in most of the pots. I don’t think we have many mice around here. I like them there’s no mistake, but they are being classed very closely as weeds at the moment as they twine themselves around the kale and peas. I do have some very well behaved perennial nasturtiums from Klaus. They are far better behaved and have lovely compact leaves. I might be growing those in favour of the annuals in future.
The rain also brought on the weeds. Thankfully most of them are annuals and as I am keeping on top of them I can put these into the compost bin. Any long tap rooted perennials or weeds in flower or gone to seed will go straight into a bag to be recycled. It has proved by this year’s infestation of tomatoes that seeds aren’t killed off in the bins as the temperature doesn’t get hot enough. I don’t want to take any chances.
Old Sports Bag Planter
I have quite a few plants struggling in small pots and decided to relocate them into larger containers so their roots can spread. I have put one of the aforementioned perennial nasturtiums into an old vintage fire bucket and a coleus and geranium into an old sports bag. I was going to throw the bag out as the zip doesn’t work, so I am reusing it for at least a year before it gets put into the bin. I need to watch them both though because the fire bucket doesn’t have drainage holes and the bag dries out quickly in the sun, although it’s amazing how much compost fits into it, I shouldn’t have to water it more than a couple of times a week.
I’ve also put the mother in laws tongue outside, it lives quite happily indoors throughout the winter but definitely loves the fresh air and sunshine, and again, I have to watch the watering as there is no drainage.
Ferns seem to be thriving in the humid weather and I have found that they respond well to having their older leaves cut off. This action seems to promote new fresh growth as opposed to spores as well as keeping them from taking over the pathways.
The fabulous Deutzia X hybrida 'Mont Rose’ shrub benefits by being cut back and that’s what I have done to mine, next year we should see another great show to attract the bees.
Into the vegetable patch
The courgettes have now burst into life after a slow start. I thought we weren’t going to get a crop but the first one was fried up today, delicious it was too. The broad beans are ready to eat as well, in the past I’ve held on until the pods discolour a bit but we’re eating them younger and fresher this year.
It won’t be long before the sugar snap peas are ready; they are similar to mange tout but have more succulent small peas inside and are guaranteed string free. The beans too are stringless varieties and they have now reached the top of the nine foot bamboo poles so I have nipped out the growing tips so they can concentrate on giving us a good harvest.
Successive sowing seems to be working for me this year. Usually it’s just something I read about that other people do, but this year I have been attentive and planted out more spinach, mange tout, peas, basil, coriander and beetroot.
To finish off this week I will be putting the cacti outside to get some rainwater and as per Klaus’s instructions have held back until the last minute to plant out the purple sprouting broccoli seeds. It was hard; I have been looking at the packet for a long time. Hopefully by doing it this late will ensure that they don’t get eaten or go to seed before the spring.