Gardening Update

My girlfriend grew these lupins.

Ok – so this isn’t the most interesting thing I’ve ever posted, but if anyone wants to know how my garden is progressing, here’s some pictures.

I meant to do this last year and forgot, really.

This year, am trying to do things a bit more professionally. I’m following the RHS’ iPhone app as close as possible about when to plant indoors or out, when to transplant from one pot to another, etc. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough, as it gives me regular reminders to do something (I tend to forget otherwise, and things can be a bit hit and miss as a result).


Planted: 10th April.

The ones in the ground are particularly amazing, given that there’s not much soil under there, and what is there, is pretty awful.

I’ve added more soil to the sack-based ones twice (known as “hilling” or “earthing up”), and they’re growing along nicely. We didn’t bother with the hilling/earthing last year, but apparently you get more potatoes if you do.

Next year, I need to try and space them further apart, as it’s a real nightmare adding extra soil at the top, when there is so much foliage in the way. The instructions on the app say to plant them 30cm apart, but it’s such a small garden, sometimes I have to deliberately ignore certain instructions.


Planted: 17th April.

The carrots have been pretty unlucky. We had such strong winds, they were ripped right out of the soil. I reseated about half of them on the 8th May, and have now covered the tub with a homemade cloche. It’s a hanging basket, upside down, covered with clear plastic bags, held in place with sandwich-bag-ties.

I had planted one outer ring, one inner ring, and then a small section with a few right in the middle. I might plant some more, yet, as that’s a very poor crop. Last year I had loads, with practically zero effort.


Planted: 2nd May.

No sign of parsnips yet. The strong winds have moved the soil and uncovered the seeds several times, and then recently I discovered that when the soil does warm up, there’s a cat that’s been blocking them from getting any sun. I’ve covered it with a spiky tree branch (moved to take that picture of some bare soil).

Really I need to get a better permanent cover for it, but I don’t have another spare hanging basket. I’ll think of something.


Planted: 24th April.

I planted some indoors in pots, and some outdoors, at the same time. So far, the ones indoors are doing better. That said, although slower to appear initially, the outside ones are catching up, and are still THERE. Last year, they were eaten, as soon as they appeared above the surface of the soil.

Runner beans

Planted: 29th April.

Still currently in pots, sheltering from the wind in a propagator (which lives in the garden – the power lead is just for show), but they’re not doing badly. Last year, we grew a load of plants, but when they went out in the garden, they got eaten by slugs and other insects. Don’t think we got more than a couple of runner beans.


Planted: 17th April.

If there was one success story of last year, it was the sweetcorn. We didn’t really do anything special, except grow them a bit indoors, then put them outside. This year, I’m warming the soil by covering it with polythene, before the plants are put in. They have all outgrown their pots, and need planting in something bigger as soon as possible.

There’s another 4 like this, outside in the propagator. I’m mildly concerned where I’m going to plant half of this stuff. My garden isn’t really big enough for all this, is it?

Mini sunflowers

Planted: 10th April.

Not the full height ones that win competitions – these are tiny little ones that just look nice. They’re still looking like green things at the moment though.

Giant sunflowers

Planted: 10th April.

“Giant” sunflowers is what it says on the packet. They’re currently still well below average height. This one is growing happily in a budget plastic wastepaper basket I got from Ikea, and punched some holes in (was cheaper than equivalent sized pots, from memory).

There’s this one, another 2 in large pots, another 6 in smaller pots, and I’ve planted 3 out into soil so far (2 of which are growing nicely). The ones in the smaller pots need planting somewhere, fairly soon.

By the way, the greenery in front of it, is a random salad crop. I didn’t plant it, so not sure when it went in, but it’s growing, from the looks of it.

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