This is the Message Centre for Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 81

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Hi Willem,

It is funny that you mention reversing the 'ea' and 'ee' in the two words as I almost did the same when writing the article! I had to go back and check all the sweet pea words smiley - erm.

There are a lot of jobs that need doing in the garden, which will get done eventually as I have to keep stopping for rests and smiley - coffee. Just an excuse for a nice piece of smiley - cake!

I am getting my cold frame ready at the moment for my vegetable seeds, which I start off in seed trays. Last year I put the trays in the greenhouse but the plants came on too quickly as it is heated for my orchids and cacti. I am putting all of my faith in the trusty cold frame! I just hope the slugs and snails keep away smiley - grr.

Thanks for reading and for the nice comment.

All the best.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 82

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Hi Websailor smiley - hug,

If you grow the sweet peas in pots I think that the wildlife would leave them alone smiley - ok. The birds should not peck the flowers off as sweet peas are toxic. You must be careful when the seeds are planted as the birds have great delight in pecking them out smiley - bigeyes.

As for the Muntjac, well, they eat anything including your washing smiley - laugh.

Give them a whirl smiley - biggrin.

All the best.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 83

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Hi Scorp,

Thanks for reading my article smiley - hug.

All the best.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 84

Websailor

Thanks Nigel, I might just do that.

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 85

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Saturday 8th May, 2010

smiley - biro My first lot of potatoes went into the allotment last Monday. I am only growing the one variety this year called ‘Charlotte’, which is a salad potato. I have enough for about four rows, two which have already been planted and two which I will plant in a couple of weeks time. I have decided not to plant them as deep as last year because the site gets quite wet a certain distance down owing to the clay soil. I did plant them deeper last year because of the late frosts we had, thinking they would be better protected and take longer to come up. Many of them rotted, which was a real shame, but I know that the dreaded potato blight did not help. So, I have planted them this year at the correct depth of five to six inches and have not haulm them up in advance like last year. I have also planted them width way instead of across the plot which should give the ground a ‘change of direction!’.

My two trays of leeks are coming through and so is my tray of parsnips. They are all in the cold frame where it is not too warm. I had a free packet of tomato seeds, which were unfortunately in the place where the frame must leak! I found this out during some heavy rain we had about a week ago and finally located the leak where the two frame tops close together. It is normally quite water proof as the frame is under some conifer trees, but on this occasion the wind must have been blowing in that direction. Surprisingly though, the tomato seeds have just started to come through! I know they like a fair amount of water but not to be soaked!

In my greenhouse I have an Amaryllis which is just coming into flower. A friend brought me a kit for Christmas and I repotted the bulb, not expecting to do any good with it as nothing grew. Then, during a sunny day a few weeks ago I noticed a flower bud emerging. This has grown and will shortly be out in flower. The blooms are gorgeous and I am looking forward to seeing it out in full flower. I must get my camera charged so I can take a picture.

I would normally have been down at the allotment with my father this morning, but it has been raining and is quite cold out.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 86

scorp

Thanks for the report Nigel - much appreciated as usual. I have planted rocket a week ago - then we went to Cornwall for a week. Getting back yesterday, there are shoots abounding in pots/barrels various - very delightful to see.


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 87

Willem

Hi there Nigel! I'm happy to hear you have an unexpected Amaryllis! I've also a few ... actually not 'Amaryllis' but a Hippeastrum ... they're called Amaryllis by many people.

I hope for the best with your vegetables!


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 88

scorp

Let's try to tax that horticultural brain of yours my matey!

Took the attached pic in Cornwall last week and am darned if I can remember what it is - it's driving me mad.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4595445912/


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 89

Moving On

I think I know - it's Ajuga Braunherz.

I planted some in my new garden a bit earlier on this year, and it's bloomed something lovely.


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 90

scorp

Knew I could rely on you, thank you. As I have never heard of it, I would have got it wrong anywaysmiley - hug


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 91

Websailor

smiley - sorry Nigel has asked me to drop in and apologise for his absence as he has a bit of computer trouble at the moment. He hopes to be back soon.

Glad you got an answer to your query about the pretty flower Scorp.

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 92

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Thank you all for your kind comments smiley - smiley.

Nice pictures Scorp.

Nigel smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 93

Helleborus a.k.a. Nigel

Wednesday 2nd June, 2010

smiley - biro I have just come up from my morning trip down to the to greenhouse, mainly to open up and check on the progress of my plants. It is raining all day yesterday which has brought out the slugs and snails smiley - yuk. I went down to the greenhouse yesterday afternoon and noticed lots of slugs and snails all over the lawn. I thought I had been lucky that the sprinkle of slug pellets inside my cold frame deterred them from eating my vegetables, which are currently hardening off.

That's all it were, 'thought' smiley - erm. On closer inspection this morning, I noticed slug trails on the inside of the glass smiley - yikes. I followed these to my runner bean plants, which had been nibbled smiley - grr. I have had problems with my runner beans this year, to my embarrassment smiley - blush, as they are usually the easiest of vegetables to grow!

I sowed 20 individual pots of runner beans, a variety called 'White Apollo'. Ten of them have done brilliantly and will be ready to be planted out next weekend. The other ten refused to come through. A couple of days ago I decided to investigate why they had not grown. I scrapped the compost away to reveal they had rotted into a squidgy mess smiley - yuk. I am not sure why this is as all of them had exactly the same treatment, unless there was a fault with some of the bean seeds. They looked fine when I planted them, though.

I have some left in the packet and so I will plant the rest in individual pots today, with fresh compost. I will put them in my greenhouse rather than the cold frame as this will hopefully force them on a little. On the plus side, the beans will not all be ready at the same time if I plant the ten that have grown and the others later (if they come up!).

My other vegetables in the frame include two trays of leeks, which are slow but will soon be ready to be planted out. I have parsnips which are doing well and will be planted into the long border this week at home. I struggle growing them down at the allotment because the ground is very clay. I have thought about building a raised bed for them down there, but as I have a border with nothing much in it they should be fine growing in there. They did well last year in there, although I did plant some in the allotment as an experiment. I had mini funny shaped ones, ideal for a funny shape competition smiley - laugh.

Potatoes are doing well and last weekend two rows were mounded up. The other two rows, which were planted a fortnight later, will be mounded up next weekend. I am only growing the one variety this year called 'Charlotte', which are salad potatoes. The last couple of years have been awful, mainly because of the potato blight. This year I am keeping a close eye on them and will be cutting the tops off at the first sign of it, which will hopefully prevent the spoiling the actual potato. Of course, this isn't always an effective way but it should help to ensure a few spuds!

I started my bulb onions off at home and planted them into the plot when they had a good root system. I have never tried this before but it has worked as they are doing excellent! I haven't grown onions for a few years but thought that I would give them a try this time and hopefully they will continue to do well.

Onto the plant side of things, I have repotted my geraniums as they were showing signs of potassium deficiency. I always like to keep a few in my greenhouse for a bit of colour, especially my favourite types which are variegated varieties smiley - smiley.

The shrubs are growing and many are flowering which makes a change from seeing them look so gloomy through the winter!

Anyway, that is all the horticultural gossip I have at the moment smiley - biggrin. Enjoy your gardens!

Helleborus smiley - footprints


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 94

AlsoRan80

Hi Nigel,
Well it is nice to be back. It has taken me an age to get recognised by the BBC. I really do not know why. !

Anyway, I thought |I would give you a tip which I worked out in order to deter slugs and snails as I did not like using pellets.

Save all the eggshells you can. Then put them into a packet and bash the packet uhtil the shells really crack into tiny spieces.

when you plant new seedlings place a ring of cracked eggshell s around the bed, or each plant.
That is one thing that snails no not like - and that is moving on cracked egg shells.

I went to France on Sunday and came back weith the most superb double white begonia. it really is out of this world. I think that o am going to just have white flowers on my verandah. I have the most wonderful white geranium what has been blooming for nearly two months. I can even see it from ground level, and my flat is four stories up.

anyway, great to have your news. I shall gradually get into this again. I have hated being away, but nothing I could do would get me online ON H2G2.

Go well.

Christiane
AlsoRan80
wednesday, 2nd June, 2010 18.00 BST


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 95

Websailor

Hi, Nigel, My, you've been busy. You forgot to mention your lovely Amaryllis which is now in full flower, and your Phlox. Pictures on his Flickr page for anyone interested smiley - smiley

I really hope you do well this year, you work so hard in difficult circumstances and you deserve the reward of good crops.

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 96

Websailor

Good to see you back Christiane.

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 97

AlsoRan80

Thank you Websailor smiley - dragon

It is really good to be back.

Christiane
Friday 4thJune 2010 7.28 BMT


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 98

Willem

Hello there Nigel (and Websailor and Christiane too!)

Sorry to hear some of your beans rotted! This is a thing I have with my succulent plants ... some of them rot very easily, even in Pietersburg's fairly dry climate.

Hope the other vegetables do better!

Over here, it's now pretty much Winter. Cool but sunny days. Some of my plants are still growing.

Websailor, where can I get a link to Nigel's Flickr site - I would love to see that Amaryllis! Nigel you should put up pictures of those funny parsnips too!


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 99

Websailor

I hope Nigel won't mind - he can tell me off later - but you can find his photos here http://www.flickr.com/photos/youngsuper_nigel/ or you can access it from my contacts list in Flickr.

Websailor smiley - dragon


My Allotment and Garden Diary

Post 100

AlsoRan80

Hi Willem,

Is the English soccer team staying anywhere near you? Are you going to watch the match?

go well,

Christiane
AR80
4/VI/2010 155.15 BST


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