Monday, 6 April 2009

Googleriffic, or am I twitterfied?

OK, I've not been on the special sauce and the medication isn't wearing off. The title relates to some new online blogging toys I've recently discovered.You'll notice I now have a twitter feed. That means I can make comments elsewhere and they get fed automatically to the blog, updating in seconds. It's a great way of keeping things lively for anyone reading the blog.
If I spot a new seed variety or find something has happened this morning but doesn't warrant a full blog, I can feed it through from twitter.
Twitter is a way of just making short burst comments in real time.
It makes the reading a little more personal if you like, and hopefully my reader(s) will!
Google has tools which can increase or improve the visibility of your blog to search engines(the things that help people find stuff online), and I applied those today.

O.K.,the technical bit is over and it's time for the dirty finger stuff.
Let's start with some pretty pictures.
The early Broad Beans, which the half broom handle I used as a marker tells me where sown in November '08 are now strapping great plants standing about a foot high (that's 30cm in new money) and the second sowings are starting to break the soil next to the Peas. I want to be able to finish cropping each sowing just before the next is ready, so none get too tough waiting and there isn't a hungry gap between crops. It also means my work colleague who loves them but spends a lot of time abroad, won't miss her bag full again this year!
I mentioned on another site (facebook) that I had emptied my dalek of compost to spread on the beds just the other day. I was almost bowled over by the speed of a comment from my Australian gardening friend,who wanted to know where she could buy a used Dalek for her garden, as she is a huge Doctor Who fan! I had to explain that the name was just a nod towards the odd shaped design and we don't use old tv props as garden furniture or composters. She was a touch disappointed so I told her that you can buy 'new' Daleks built by and for the fans, but I don't think they would be happy to see them filled with old stable manure and kitchen scraps.
I sowed a row of old courgette seed I had saved from one of my very large marrows from last year, looking to get not only a large marrow this year but some good sized but tasty courgettes too. I know that the squash (Cucurbit) family are highly promiscuous but I like to have a gamble and see what turns up. I did before when I grew my first pumpkins and and saved the marrow seeds. The crop from those seeds varied from normal large marrows to a round or pear shaped pot sized marrow hybrid which developed a gourd like hardened skin if left. Odd but fun. If I get a nice shaped and tasty but medium sized marrow then I'll be happy. Too large is no good in the kitchen and the long shape isn't easy to use stuffed as it won't stand on end easily.
No sign of growth from the early potatoes yet but lots of other seed have germinated. I have Turnips and Spring greens, Kale and lettuce up. Excitingly for me, I also have managed to germinate a full row of carrot seed for once.
I have started putting up the supports for some climbing crops, French and Runner beans and ,for a change, climbing squashes. I salvaged some old lattice fence panels from home and tied them together. The three sides are pretty solid and I sowed some seeds underneath and wrapped some net curtain around to make a short term semi cloche affair before the proper intended crops get planted out there. The seeds I sowed came up within a week so the nets gave enough protection from the wind to help.
My tyre stack gave me my first meal of rhubarb this year, a nice if small crumble made from the forced sticks. It's the first real attempt I've made at forcing rhubarb and I am very pleased with the results so I'm afraid I am going to upset some of the other site users and keep a few tyres on the plot for future use.
The autumn sown purple sprouting has been hitting the kitchen for a few days now and I was pleasantly surprised to see the autumn sown Cauli isn't far behind now. I love a nice Cauliflower Cheese and I don't mind if the curds are single serving size as I am looking after my weight now. I'm not sure whether the cheese sauce will be more than an occasional treat though.
Anyway, I know I'll enjoy it. My usual trick of watering the soil minutes before a dark rain cloud appears worked again today but it stayed dry. That spelled success for a friend of mine who asked me to help sort out her walled yard garden. We had just finished putting down some glyphosate weed killer when the skies turned grey and threatening for the second time. Despite my ability to turn into a rainmaker whenever I grasp the handle of a watering can, it kept at bay at least until dark, as I write and that was long enough for the chemical to be absorbed.
The seeds I sowed this last week on the windowsill at home germinated in record speed and are now outside in the mini house that faces south. I don't want them to become all tender and leggy so put them out as soon as they broke the surface. I know that flies against convention but I am willing to risk failure in order to find progress. We are quite protected here and the nights are staying mild so I think I'll be OK.
Judging by the other blogs I read, I am amongst the new breed of gardeners. They who buy seed and plants online, source information via the web and, after spending a day on the plot in the sun, spend the evening blogging the day's events to share with the world. It would seem the garden tool new gardeners want most now isn't a type of hoe or seed drill but a laptop computer.
Good Gardening !

No comments: