The portable garden this week: 21 April 2022

Note: If any of the pictures are too small on your hand-held device, try turning the device on its side.

Several ducks lined up in a row this week:

  1. I finished all of my work so could take the weekend off
  2. It was a 4-day bank holiday weekend
  3. The weather was nice, for a change

This meant we were able to have two sessions in the garden.

Potatoes

I had my first order delivery last week. It only took 3 working days to get here. There were 3 tubs, 3 varieties of potatoes, a bag of potato fertiliser, and a pair of ‘potato scrubbing gloves’.

The potatoes are (l to r in the pic below) Pentland Javelin (earlies), Desiree (main crop), and Charlotte (salad), and there are at least 6 tubers for each variety.

I chitted them first. We didn’t have any empty egg boxes in so I used three of those containers our Chinese takeaways come in. We use these for so many things, they’re very useful.

The tubs are 30L tubs, so we needed 90L of compost. We ended up buying 160L in the end, so we had enough for other jobs too.

I didn’t do the planting until Sunday, as I wanted the potatoes to have a bit more chitting time.

At the moment they’re still on the patio, close to the tap, so we can water them and keep an eye on them. Once they get going, they’ll be moved next to the shed.

The potting shed

The next job we did on Friday was clear out the shed. The poet moved all of the tools and equipment that aren’t strictly garden-related into the garage, as it’s bigger.

He upcycled a metal unit we found in the garage. It was too tall to go in front of the window, but it does fit beneath the apex. I asked for it to be off-centre so I could have those small shelves next to me. (Can you see Rufus being a model?)

Then we went around the garden, front and back, collecting up all of the empty pots and containers.

I don’t think we’ll need to buy any…

Apple tree rescue

Another job we did on Friday was try to save the apple tree and, to be honest, we didn’t think there was much hope. However, once it was weeded and cleared out, we could see there were still signs of growth on there. So we pruned it down and gave it a good water.

This tree is being so resilient, it reminds us of my dad, who also continued fighting right to the end. The tree was a gift from my dad too, so we’ve named it for him: Carl the apple tree.

Finally on Friday, he applied weedkiller everywhere and he went around the front to cut the grass.

Grapevine rescue

Another plant my dad bought me was the grapevine. This was buried deep within the hedge when we found it.

It’s been hacked right back, just like the apple tree, but it isn’t so far showing any signs of recovery. We’ll keep it on the patio, close to the water, so we can keep an eye on it.

Strawberry rescue

Oh, we had a lot of rescue work to do, including a number of strawberry plants given to us by some friends. Again, these were tucked away inside one of the green raised beds, and when we got them out, I put them all in a wheelbarrow so we could see them.

On Sunday, the poet worked at tidying them up. He weeded them, top-dressed them, and even re-potted one.

These strawberries are overdue for transplanting. We’ll see how they get on before deciding where to put them, but they may stay in these pots for another year.

Sunflowers

I’m in two minds whether to companion plant sunflowers with the tomato plugs I ordered. The tomatoes haven’t arrived yet, but the sunflowers needed to be sowed outside.

I’ve read two schools of thought on sunflowers and tomatoes:

  1. They make perfect partners, with the sunflowers attracting the pollinators, drawing away the aphids, and providing support and shade
  2. Sunflowers are too nutrient-hungry and can result in a smaller tomato harvest

As I’m not an expert on sunflowers + tomatoes, I decided to sow them in pots at the moment and maybe transplant then when I’ve learnt more.

Sunflowers

Strimming

The poet went around with his strimmer, tackling weedkiller-resistant weeds as well as something else we’re not sure about. They look like bluebells, but we don’t think they are. So, for now, they’ve been strimmed.

Then he applied yet more weedkiller, and finished the weekend by tidying the garage and chucking a load of stuff out.

We’re gradually getting everything done, but don’t want to overstay our welcome. When we’ve had enough, we stop and come in. Otherwise, we risk it turning into a bit of a chore and we’ll start to resent doing it.

Here is the last picture for this post: the total fruits of our labour this week.

Clockwise from mid-left: rescued strawberries; rescued grapevine; rescued apple tree; 3 varieties of potato; 15 sunflowers.

What’s going on in your garden this week?

2 Comments

  • I love all the plant rescue you’re doing, and the shed looks wonderful. I’m very interested in how your potatoes get on in tubs. I’m going to watch from afar this year, and then maybe try it myself next year!

    I must be the only gardner on the face of the earth who can’t get carrots or radishes to grow properly. They’re supposed to be so easy, but I never have luck with them.

    Reply
    • I’ve struggled with carrots and radishes too.

      We had potatoes in outside tubs at the last house. We got a good crop from them.

      Reply

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