A gardening update from Sally Stewart
As I write this, snow is forecast today (13th May) for the North York Moors! It will soon be warm again and us gardeners are hard at it keeping newly emerging vegetables damp and the weeds at bay. I hope some of you have broad beans, peas and salad leaves appearing and perhaps some spuds. Every year I wonder how I am going to support the pea plants but they always end up in a bit of a tangled mess. I hate that green plastic netting. This year I have used 5ft bamboo spaced every 3 ft or so on both sides of the row of peas and made a very fetching cats cradle of green string.
Now is the time to plant those delicious French beans. I grow a variety called Cobra; it climbs rather than uses a lot of ground space. Mine took less than a week to appear from seed in little pots kept in the warm. A dozen plants will keep you plentifully supplied. They have pretty pale lilac flowers and the beans do not go stringy. Don’t bother to freeze them; just eat fresh and make chutney out of the glut. Make a bamboo wigwam, tie the poles at the top and put the bean plants round the edge, having added some Growmore to the soil. Keep watered. Encourage the tendrils round the bamboo and up they will go. I am afraid to say that I don’t bother with runner beans any more. All that slicing… and they go soggy when frozen.
Unless you want to make courgette cake and fritters forever, a single plant is perfect. Once there is no danger of frost, plant in rich (manured) soil and allow space for it to expand hugely. After the lovely yellow flowers have turned into courgettes, harvest regularly to encourage more and you have guessed it, keep watered.
On the flower front as a treat I have bought some Nemesia Wisley Vanilla and put them in a couple of 8” pots outside the kitchen door. They smell heavenly as I walk by, particularly on a warm summer evening.
Dig for Victory - or at least for exercise and interest! - Tracey Phillips *June 2020*
Nunnington will be full of expert gardeners but in case it is not your forte here are a few tips that might keep you and any children at home occupied and also hopefully produce some delicious home grown veg.
If you have a spare patch of ground it is would be worth forking it over and adding some farmyard manure or rotted horse manure. I have plenty of the latter if any one wants to collect! Or just add something like Growmore fertiliser pellets.
Perhaps you could make an evil mixture of nettles in a bucket, weigh them down with a stone, add rain water, cover and leave till it stinks!
Nunnington Gardening Challenge
Visit the swap stand by Bridge Cottage on Low Street to share surplus seedlings, pick up gardening magazines or compost, or find flowers and vegetable plants for your garden.
Remember that Daisy Garden Centre are OPEN, so you have no excuse not to garden! Call Stuart on 07711 842764 or Jill on 07711 987951
Strain and dilute 1/10 Excellent plant food. Once you have the ground ready, then you can pop in broad beans, peas (yes I know you can buy frozen one but there is nothing like the taste of a garden pea) and I sow sugar snap peas in amongst the ordinary ones. You can get purple coloured sugar snap peas so you can tell which is which.. They go green when cooked! All seed packets have very good instructions on them and you can order on line.
Marshalls is a good site and Suttons.
Radishes are very satisfactory to grow from seed as they pop up so quickly. Spinach is also very quick and easy. Just sprinkle the seed on some fine damp soil and cover with a little more fine soil. Keep it damp. Do the same for Cut and Come again salad leaves, Rocket and any oriental salad leaves. If you sow them every three weeks or so, you should have a continuous supply.
There are a lot of pigeons in Nunnington and I have to cover most seeds with some form of protection.
If you prefer to have your vegetables already started off in a seed tray then it should be possible to get these locally. Then all you have to do is pop then into your prepared ground and keep watered.
Now for really easy vegetable growing or if you have not a lot of room, use pots. Good sized ones are best filled with best quality garden compost. I put a top layer of seed compost (much finer than ordinary compost) to give small seeds like lettuce and carrots and herbs a better start.
Why not get some seed new potatoes Jazzy or Swift are good but any first Early will do. Put some compost in the bottom of a big strong plastic sack, add 4 or 5 seed potatoes and cover. Keep damp. As the green shoots appear cover with some more compost; just leave a bit of green peeping through; keep on doing this until you have a depth of about about 20 inches/50 cm then leave till they flower and hey presto turn out as you need them , cook and add the parsley you have grown along with butter.
Late May early June is the time for sowing/planting out French beans, courgettes, sweet corn etc. and thinking about what you would like growing for the winter ahead.