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Gardening Tips

Spring is in the air !

Spring is definitely in the air! 


The daffodils , my favourite flower, are looking magnificent after surviving the recently couple of days of heavy snow. 

Harvesting the first pick of rhubarb today (24th March). Not too much. Just enough for Viv, my misses,  to make a rhubarb and ginger cheesecake to take with us to The Lakes this weekend; couple of days in Bassenthwaite. 

Also planted shallots.  Two variates- Red Sun and Golden Gourmet. 

It's important to make sure they are protected, with mesh or canes and string, so the blackbirds or squirrels don't pull out the young bulbs before they root and get established!

Once ready in September they'll be pickled and stored in jars to enjoy for the rest of the year!

We always prepare a spicy pickling vinegar with whole black peppers, chilli flakes and Bay leaf from rhe garden. Yum!!!

Until next time enjoy the spring sunshine and get those tomato & chilli seeds planted.

Andy Mac

Gardening Tips

We've had a brilliant crop of rhubarb this year. Just taken the last pick a bit later than usual as it's been so prolific!

Rhubarb needs an open, sunny site with moist, but free-draining soil, as it dislikes being waterlogged.

Stalks are harvested by gently twisting the stems and pulling from the base of the plant. Leaves shouldn't be eaten as they contain oxalic acid and are poisonous.

Allow the foliage to die back naturally in autumn, then cut away the old leaves to expose the growing points to winter cold. 

Every spring apply a mulch to give it a boost for the year ahead.

I use home made compost . 

I've 4 plastic compost bins which are filled with vegetable waste, cardboard, rolled up "balls" of paper and spent soil from tomato plants and the like.

The picked rhubarb is made into crumble,  served on its own with yogurt or added to gin to make delicious rhubarb gin; ready in time for Christmas. 

Until next time keep enjoying your garden!

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A garden update:

The sunflowers are doing well. Flowering a month early in the Cobbled Garden at The Old White Horse, Bingley.

Broad beans healthy too.

The lavender is alive with Bees.

At home we have a regular supply of courgettes. 

Runner beans starting to do their thing. Borage growing nearby  is great for pollinators. 

We've loads of Bees this year. Wonder where they have come from!!

Runners need to be regularly watered especially once in flower and when pods form.

The updated advice from the RHS is not to mist or spray the flowers with water (as used to be advocated) as this has not been shown to help pods set and may actually deter bees!

Plenty of red flowers on the broadbeans and beetroot doing well.

Get in the fresh air and sun this weekend and enjoy the garden; yours or somebody else's 😀

Gardening update:

Time to cut back and pull out some borage from the vegetable plot!

Once established borage can become invasive due to its rampant self-seeding and vigorous growth.

You can grow in pots to control it.

The Bees and other pollinators love borage. It's a helpful companion plant for courgettes and squashes. 

I'm also dead heading and cutting back the chives; again so I can see what else is growing and to collect the seed heads. I collect in a large envelope. Give them a good shake so that the tiny black seeds are left behind. The seeds can be scattered around now or if you prefer wait until spring or share with a friend.

Dividing clumps of chives is also a simple way to relocate or increase this brilliant herb.

I can now see the courgettes that are ready for picking and also the shallots that need to be lifted so they can dry a bit before being pickled. It's all go!

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