Wednesday 13 May 2009

Foal watching

Seedlings are coming up everywhere! My greenhouse shelves are stuffed to bursting point with vegetables. The labels are made from plastic milk bottles which I just rinse out and cut into strips. I use plastic milk bottles for all sorts of things actually - they make great scoops for chicken and horse feed, as well as all sorts of little collars for young plants.

I've decided to try a slightly different approach in the greenhouse bed this year. I've planted my tomatoes and cucumbers in large 7.5 litre pots, which I have cut the bottoms out of. They have wonderful local compost in them, full of nutrients, and this means I have packed them in much closer than normal. I am hoping this will have several advantages : I can water the pots and avoid wetting the rest of the soil, which should cut down the weed growth, as well as use less water. Plants in pots above the ground should mean that they don't get damaged by the cats, who sleep on the beds , or worse! And of course, more plants, should hopefully mean more fruit! My main worry about this system is that the drier bed might 'suck' all the moisture out of the pots very quickly, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

I've been watching the foals out on the commons this week. Here is that foal again - it's a filly. This is one that is likely to make a good price at pony sales. The foals from this herd averaged nearly £400 each last year ( the average price at sales was £65 ish). There are now several foals with good spotted markings. Here is another (not 'Paddington') that is nicely marked.


Kathleen Coy said...

Those babies are gorgeous!
And that's a good idea about cutting the bottoms out of the pots. It will be interesting to see how that works out. :-)

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Such darling foals Danielle! Love the photos of them. I'm clueless about gardening and admire those who do it regularly!

Unknown said...

Oh you are going to have wonderful plants...The pictures are gorgeous..

Sonia ;)

Terri said...

That pony is adorable. Love the markings.

Got a lttle garden of my own this year just tomatoes. Not that I planned it. The tomatoes that fell off the plant last year seeded and are comming up. We'll see how they do.

A.Smith said...

Oh those foals Danielle! what lively beautiful creatures. As someone who once was in the National Jumping Team and who mastered, well not really but she tried all forms of Dressage, and whose old bones now can hardly manage the staircase, they make my heart sing.

And about the pots, you know you can do the same thing by cutting the top and the bottom
of the big milk jugs (here in the USA are 1 gallon ones) and bury them into the bed, making the top just a bit narrower than the bottom so it acts as a little green house for each plant and it also holds them up as they are growing. I did that for years, plus used some turned upside down with a small hole on the top and filled them with water so it would become a way to water the plants if we were gone longer than a weekend's time. Before burying them I covered the narrow opening where the cap goes with screen wire so it wouldn't get muddy and it worked well.

I have my raised beds almost ready to go. The weather has been...well, lets say not yet planting weather. Best of luck with your fauna and your flora!

Caroline said...

My, you've been busy! Hope you get a bumper crop! Lovely foals in the spring sunshine, too.

Julia Guthrie said...

wow, what a fantastic lot of veggies:)
I only have my teeny little home made greenhouse sadly so all my plants will have to be outside at the mercy of critters & weather...I hope I can keep them safe! :) I have radishes & lettuces by the patio as an early start, & while its been dry all has been fine..but yesterday the rain came in buckets & at 1am last night I was out there plucking off monster slugs & snails into my salt water bath..hehe...

I look forward to seeing how your crops do!:)

Blackfeatherfarm said...

Oh those babies ! Simply gorgeous !

Terra said...

I love the photos of the prancing dancing foal and of the gorgeous spotted foal.
You have a clever idea for growing more vegetables, cutting the bottom out of the pots sounds wise and I always prefer to recycle things like you are doing.
My strawberries are producing a pint a day. Yum. This is their second year, they made it through our winter.


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