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Saturday, 21 February 2009


Well today was absolutely glorious with clear blue skies and warm sunshine (although a little chilly in the shade ). I would like to say that I took advantage of the beautiful weather and got some work done in the garden of which there are loads but circumstances proved that goal to be unachievable but not unproductive.

Now not sure of how many of you have heard of the organisation Freecycle before but in their own words "The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,684 groups with 6,463,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills" .Well I stumbled across this group last year May'08 when I had surplus young vegetable plants and was looking for a way to rehome them. Those plants went like hot cakes and I decided to explore this group further with great success and received a few choice items that I have since used to improve my garden.

This week I saw in the postings that there were some paving slabs available to a good home and I luckily was chosen as the recipient . They turned out to be seven very large, very thick and very heavy slabs, plus a further six smaller but still quite thick and heavy slabs. The person home was very far from the road so we had to go home for a wheelbarrow as they didn't have any, plus to not damage the car's suspension we had to carry the slabs home in two trips (picture a not to happy husband ). I now believe I have enough slabs to pave the area around my compost bins, which will have to wait till another day after I level the area. In the mean time all my free slabs are neatly stacked.

Though the day was taken up with this task I was still able to enjoy the lovely weather and the warm sun had crocuses blooming every where we passed including ours.

The primroses which have been in bloom since December seem to shine with fresh beauty in the bright almost spring sunshine.

The seedling update for today is; the celeriac seeds (on the left) started sprouting yesterday and I noticed the melongene seeds (on the right) have started to sprout today as well.

There is some damping off occurring with the thyme seedlings, hopefully most of the seedlings will survive, if not I will have to resow. Damping off is the term used for a number of different fungal caused ailments which can kill seeds or seedlings before or after they germinate. The warm, wet conditions which speed up germination and seedling growth are also conducive to fungal attacks. A given seed can become infected with a fungus, often causing it to darken and soften. This can kill it before the seedling emerges, or cause the seedling to be weak, sometimes getting "wet" patches on it which decay until it falls apart. Likewise, a seedling can be infected after it sprouts, before it leaves the ground, or even after it appears well-developed, the latter often resulting in the plant mysteriously thinning right where it touches the ground, until its stem at that point rots and it falls over (as in the picture shown).

One last thing I lost my sweet potato tuber which I was attempting to grow some slips (ie young plants) from it. For what ever reason it rotted off in the water so it has been added to the compost bucket . I won't try again this year as this crop needs a long growing season and I was really hoping to have some slips potted up by now. For next year's crop I will try to start earlier like in December.

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