2012 Diary

Nov

Made a batch of Sloe Gin. Bought Gin from Aldi for £9.27, and two more bottles the next day from Sainsbury's (same price). Basic ingredients are 425g Gin, 100g Sugar, and then the 70cl bottle is topped up with sloes (which is about 240g). This year, the sloes were much softer, maybe because they were riper, or maybe because I froze them for a couple of days.

As an experiment, I also used brandy instead of the gin, and also some a plum spirit (which was a present, and I didn't like the taste). Use the same ratios, but the brandy one got more sugar than intended.

Started work on a "One Square Foot Planner". It divides beds into square sections, and allows crops to be placed into each one. I've create a Test Page.plan to store the data within this wiki.

April

11th

Sowed the Blue Hopi Sweetcorn from Fiona, and also another batch of Red Orache,as the previous lot were leggy.

10th

Time to experiment with the cold frames. I planted out some of my seedlings :

  • Tomato (three varieties)
  • Courgette (two)
  • Cucumber
  • Aubergine

And I sowed some seed in them too :

  • Radish
  • Lettuce
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin

7th

Created the 2nd cold frame. This one is shorter, with the same size base, and follows exactly the same pattern. I made hinges from off-cuts of the wood and plastic; I really like them, they fit the bill perfectly.

Coincidentally, my min-max thermometer arrived in the post today, to I'm checking out tonight's temperature in the cold frame, and will be keeping track of it.

6th

Pricked out Strawberry seedlings, a bit premature, but the compost they were in was horrible - peat free from B&Q - awful stuff! The dye they add causes it to stay the same colour when it dries out, and when it does dry out, it turns rock hard. A certain plant killer!

Pricked out the Thyme into the end of the strawberry tray, and into a few small round pots.

Pricked out the Aubretia, which is the last of the pricking out for a while!

Planted half of the Beetroot near the Cordyline.

Moved some of the seedlings from the back room into the mini greenhouse.

5th

Made a cold frame from half price decking from B&Q, and UV resistant polythene from PolyFast (via ebay).

Its large. The base is 1200x950mm, which is a size I've settled on for forthcoming raised beds. The height is about 750mm at the back and 600mm at the front.

3rd

Pricked out the Dianthus, Lobelia, and the remainder of the Swan River Daisy seedlings.

Now I've run out of full-size seed trays, and still have more seedlings to prick out.

2nd

Pricked out the Petunia and Swan River Daisy seedlings.

March

1st

Planned the layout for raised beds, and the design for cold frames to sit onto of them. Decided to go with UV stabilised polythene sheets rather than polycarbonate, because its much cheaper, and the polycarbonate sheets come in fixed widths which don't match my needs.

28th

Pricked out the remaining Dahlia and the French Marigold seedlings.

22nd

Sowed five sacks of Potatoes. 3 are from last year's crop (three or more per bag). They were overly chitted (some shoots where nearly a foot long). The other two bags contained different varieties from the supermarket (two per bag).

Moved the Loganberry (late; was already growing).

Pricked out half of the Tomatoes. Half are in the back room, half in the greenhouse, and a couple planted directly into the Bunker.

19th

Bought another large gravel tray, which can hold several full-size seed trays (from QD).

14th

Tried in vain to find strong half-size seed trays. Wilkinson's sell one that is too small, and B&Q sell one too large. Everybody sell the ultra thin, annoyingly fragile ones in the correct size!

Indoor sowing :

11th

Sowed Coriander into a pot for the kitchen, and also a whole seed tray.

Also a single tray with a mish-mash of : French Marigolds, Aubretia, Thyme.

10th

Sowed Linaria and Candytuft onto one one of my few bare patches of soil, and then did a little tidy up, including cutting back last year's growth of the Red Hot Pokers.

Indoors I sowed :

9th

Made a wooden box to hold a tray and square plant pots to go on the kitchen window sill. Sowed Basil into the pots.

Added the florescent lights above the propagators.

Sprinkled a tiny amount of bark around the circular garden bed.

8th

Spent the day with Mum, we exchanged a few seeds, then she help me sow out some seeds :

She harvested the first batch of Rhubarb.

7th

Got around to looking at this web site again - everything dated before this is not reliably dated.

Cucumbers are have all germinated, and I've got too many tomatoes too!

6th

  • Tidied up the veg patch.
  • Dug over a small area near the trellis, and raked in some grow-more.
  • Sowed a short line of Shallots
  • Found a weed that looks like Rosemary - doesn't taste of much, but I haven't dug it up yet.

4th

  • Dug over the Bunker, and constructed the cold frame (gave it a quick paint touch-up too).
  • Replanted the mint into a few places around the garden.
  • Sowed in the Bunker :
    • Swiss Chard (both my seeds and Fiona's)
    • Radishes (Black variety from Fiona and regular self-harvested seeds)
    • Carrots (Purple variety from Fiona).

1st

  • Levelled off the Bunker - sliced the tops off of the high bricks, and then cemented all the way around. (The back isn't quite level - didn't have enough cement).
  • Sowed into propagators :

February

Covered one set of Rhubarb with a dustbin, leaving the other with light.