Free fertiliser…

There are many benefits to living in Carlingcott – the rolling hills, lovely neighbours… and the cow farm over the road which gives a year-round supply of fantastic manure for our garden!

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We’re stocking up again for a second year with manure that we’ll plant our squashes and pumpkins into. They can withstand its potency at the moment, and by next spring it will have rotted down enough for us to dig into the vegetable beds.

Free fertiliser – what more could you ask for? :D

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Wild garlic pesto lunch

There is an abundance of wild garlic growing around us at the moment – event if you don’t recognise the plant, you can’t miss the potent smell when out for walks.

We picked some while we were walking Arthur this morning and David made a tasty wild garlic pesto for our lunch. Yum!

All you need is:

– two handfuls of wild garlic leaves
– a handful of hard cheese. The parmesan that is really cheap in Lidl is ideal.
– a handful of pine nuts
– a good generous slosh of olive oil

Bung the lot together in a blender and give it a whizz. You can add more olive oil if its too dry. Then mix through pasta (David follows his Italian Grandma’s recipe and makes his own which is fantastic!) and add any other ingredients you want. Voila!

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*If you freeze the leaves you can make pesto with hazelnuts from the hedgerow instead of expensive pine nuts in the autumn.

Vegetable sowing is a go!

It has been so cold, and so dark, and so wet, that we’ve barely considered getting our vegetable seeds into the ground. However, despite what the weather might be saying, it is March, so we bought everything into the warm house instead and potted up on the kitchen table.

We’ve got our first load of tomatoes, chillis, peppers, aubergines, and our herbs in – everything that will be bought on in the greenhouse initially. It still feels too cold to be planting outside – that will wait another week!

We used the spreadsheet we put together in January to make sure we didn’t miss anything. We also had all of the seeds ready filed in our new seed box that David’s mother gave us for Christmas, which will make successional sowing easier this year.

I picked up these great seed trays in the garden centre when they were on half price, they allow you to take out individual pots and make transplanting a doddle. Last year we ended up breaking some of the delicate little seedlings because the trays we used allowed all of their roots to tangle, but these should make a big difference.

From waste land to greenhouse

And here it finally is! Three weeks ago we promised that we’d tackle the last major bit of the garden that needs attention – the far end, which looked like this:

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Well, we did, and now look – our greenhouse is complete! The guys from Swallow Greenhouses arrived on Tuesday and we couldn’t believe how quickly it went up. In just half an hour it was complete – it really made our two-day foundation setting project seem a bit pathetic!

So we were really looking forward to getting planting, but there are a few things we needed to do first. David got some left over wood from our coldframe project and we built a skin to go on the inside of the greenhouse, to protect it from the soil and to create a raised bed.

Then we dug a channel up the middle, which will be the pathway. We’ve created raised beds around the outside and will also be able to use grow bags in the middle because the greenhouse is pretty wide. Next we plan to build a red brick path up the centre – Lee suggested this as they’ll absorb heat in the day and release it at night – our very own storage heating system! When we get around to that we’ll blog it here – but it might not be for a while, we have a puppy to play with!