Gardening Out of Lockdown

Monday, 01 June 2020

As we ease our way gently out of lockdown, we will ease our way out of our weekly updates on our own garden going forward. We’ll keep you posted through our blog and social media pages of progress in our garden and things we love and catch our eye. But hopefully as things ease we will be able to bring you more from other gardens as we slowly (very slowly remember!) edge back towards normality (if anyone can remember what that is!)

Despite the horrific times we have lived through recently, there will always be the good memories: of long lazy days in our gardens; of teaching our children how to grow plants from seeds; of seeing them learning to love trying new vegetables to eat and of spending quality family time together. In our latest blog, we share some of the jobs we tackled this week, and of our trusty mini helpers getting stuck in to help as we start “gardening out of lockdown”…

Planting out broccoli

At the start of lockdown, Lulu planted a selection of seeds, including broccoli. She has potted them on, nurtured them and made a stone marker for them. Michael knocked up a cage for them this week to protect them from the cabbage butterfly. And we finally got them planted in the ground. We can’t wait to harvest them in a month or two.

Keep your broccoli covered with netting to protect the leaves from being eaten by caterpillars

Keep your broccoli covered with netting to protect the leaves from being eaten by caterpillars

Planting out beans

As the storms had past and a week of sunshine was forecast, it was time for our beans to be planted into our raised beds. We had already made our cane teepee for them to climb up so it was just a case of popping them into the soil between the potatoes. They are already curling their way up the canes and we can’t wait to see the flowers and eat the beans!

Lulu planted the beans as companion plants to our potatoes

Lulu planted the beans as companion plants to our potatoes

Harvesting veg

One of our favourite things about lockdown is seeing the girls’ new found love for eating salad. Tilda munches spinach leaves like Popeye, and Lulu is loving a mix of rocket, spinach and radish. Job done!

Pick your own lunch! Organic and impossible to get fresher. Perfect way to be gardening out of lockdown!

Pick your own lunch! Organic and impossible to get fresher. Perfect!

Potting on courgettes

We were kindly donated a courgette plant from a friend. We potted it into a nice big pot with plenty of space to grow. Our top tip, is to plant a plastic bottle (cut down) or a plant pot in the soil beside your courgettes. Use this to water your courgettes so that the roots get the water without the leaves getting wet, reducing the chance of getting mildew on the leaves.

Pop an empty bottle beside your courgette plant for watering. Gardening out of lockdown.

Pop an empty bottle beside your courgette plant for watering

Potting on sunflowers

The annual “who can grow the largest sunflower” competition is well underway at Vialii Towers and this week we potted them into bigger pots to help encourage growth. We will wait until they are larger before we risk planting them in our soil where the slugs and snails love to munch on them! Will Lulu win for a third year running???

Pot on your sunflowers and stake them for the best results

Pot on your sunflowers and stake them for the best results

Sweep up fallen cherries

We have a beautiful big cherry tree in our front garden which gives stunning blossom in Spring and adds height and maturity to the front garden. But at this time of year there are lots of fallen cherries which we constantly have to sweep up. It’s important to keep on top of these simple sweeping up jobs in order to keep your paths clear and stop drains from getting clogs.

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Carry on deadheading

Tilda was out with her secateurs this week, keeping on top of deadheading. Irises, tulips, primulas all benefit from being deadheaded, to encourage growth and to tidy up your borders.

Deadhead any flowers which have gone over to maximise flowering and tidy your borders

Deadhead any flowers which have gone over to maximise flowering and tidy your borders

Stopping Japanese anemones from spreading

We love Japanese anemones. Their stature and flowers add much needed structure and colour to the late summer garden. However, they can be brutes so be prepared to keep an eye on them spreading. They will disguise themselves amidst your other herbaceous and bulbs so keep a close eye and pull them out before they get too big and take over.

Watch out for Japanese anemone sneakily spreading...Gardening out of lockdown.

Watch out for Japanese anemone sneakily spreading…

Camping!

Amidst all the gardening, we managed a weekend of camping! The whole family (even the dog!) camped outside, listening to the squawks of the nearby baby owls! Enjoy your garden, whatever you decide to do in it!

Camping in the garden, great fun!

Camping in the garden, great fun!

Vialii

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