Day 1 and an early start. The landscaping team were due on site at 08:30 so obviously I was awake at 07:00. At least it meant I could get the dishwasher loaded before they (and the skip) arrived.
A lot of the clearance has been done: the shed’s been deconstructed; the patio and path dug up; and the majority of the old lawn removed. More clearance and skip-filling tomorrow.
The rain has finally held off long enough for me to tidy up the veg patch after being away for almost two weeks. I managed to prop up the tomato plants which had collapsed under the weight of fruit, taking their spiral supports with them, and uncovered a massive squash behind the raspberries. Also located three courgettes on their way to being marrows, the other courgette plant is hard to get to with the spreading tomatoes and the squash plant taking over everything. Harvested half a bowl full of raspberries, which I should probably put on a cheesecake but will probably just eat as they are. Tomatoes starting to ripen so shall have to dig out my recipes for oven-drying them for when they all ripen at the same time.
As I’m going to be away for a few days I took the opportunity of British Summer Time to plant out four of the tomato plants that have been hardening off in the greenhouse as well as an aubergine. The tomato plants had been looking a bit sorry for themselves as they’d got a bit dry but are now well watered and staked (also covered with cloches). I also transferred the remaining aubergines to the greenhouse for now whilst separating out some chilis and peppers to be moved upstairs to the sunny bit of window sill.
The growing cycle at my house goes: stage 1 – seeds in peat pots in propagator on kitchen window sill (normally 3 to a pot); stage 2 – being split into their own pots and put in the propagator on the bedroom window sill. They then go into the greenhouse first under a cloche (stage 3), then just on their own (stage 4).
There are currently 3 courgette plants, a random number of mixed lettuce things and 15 chilis/peppers at stage one; 8 chillis/peppers at stage 2; 4 aubergines & 8 tomato plants at stage 3; and 3 aubergines & 3 tomato plants at stage 4. That leaves 12 lettuce seedlings, 4 tomato plants and 1 aubergine plant in the ground (well the aubergine is in a pot).
Soon there will be space to start on cucumber seeds and maybe non-veg like lavender at stage 1.
Having abandoned my veg patch over winter my seeds are coming along nicely (11 tomato plants, 8 aubergines and 20 chilis/peppers so far). The toms are now out in the greenhouse having outgrown the propagators and will soon need to go out in the garden (under cloches initially). In between the showers I have so far managed to remove the largest of the stones, break up the soil, remove the worst of the weeds and rake over what will be the vegetable patch. Next will be sieving out the smaller stones and putting some cloches out to warm up the soil where the new plants will live. I’ve also got some blueberry and raspberry plants on order, and will be planting lettuce and courgette seeds soon (maximum 3 courgette plants – 1 to keep, 2 to trade).
After thinking I’d drowned my tomato seeds when I originally planted them, I now have 10 seedlings from the 12 originally planted. 12 Aubergine seeds have now been subjected to the same treatment. Hopefully both sets will be strong enough to go out into the greenhouse (under additional cloches) when March comes and the big push comes (4 different veggies to be started up at once).