Who is SoggyDayGardener?

Friday, November 24, 2023

 A recommendation

I was looking for information about peat-free compost and came across an interesting trial conducted by Jack Wallington. Since then I have read a few articles by him, he's always very practical and down to earth.

Have a look:

Wild Way, Jack Wallington. Wet Growing Season problems.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Nectar blobs

 A problem that wasn't

or how I attacked our Autumn Flowering Cherry prunus × subhirtella autumnalis 

I had been dealing with an attack on our flowering cherry - Shot hole disease or Coryneum blight - by removing every sign of disease, which meant a really severe pruning. I have been keeping  close watch on the newly appearing shoots, which have looked nice and healthy, until .... I noticed small, sticky, round blobs on the leaf stalks and I thought "on no, what now?" So, some more pruning and careful disposal after which I decided to look it up properly (I had tried on my mobile phone in the garden without finding anything). Indoors on the laptop with an image search tucked away down near the bottom of the page was a picture which took me to a blog post, which has probably saved the tree from my over-enthusiastic attentions.

extrafloral nectaries

The little red blobs it seems are "extrafloral nectaries" released by the plant to attract beneficial insects.


Sunday, November 20, 2022


 We used to host a Potato Day in the village, but Covid put paid to that and it has not been possible to get it going again. However the excellent nursery I have used for years is still supplying (thank you Pennard Plants).

The varieties I have ordered to grow next year are:

First Earlies

Red Duke of York E Multy

Rocket 1E Waxy

Winston 1E Waxy

Second Earlies

Acoustic 2E Multy

Charlotte 2E Waxy

Harmony 2EW/Multy 

Sagitta 2E Multy  


Ambo EM Multy

Markies M Floury

Orla EM Multy

Saturday, November 19, 2022

First Frost of winter overnight 18/19 November

 A crisp clear start this morning

No more fruit on these bushes till next year
No more fruit on these bushes till next year

Brussels sprouts should now be sweeter
Brussels sprouts should now be sweeter

Red kale happily coping with frost
Red kale happily coping with frost

Friday, November 11, 2022

The veggie beds in November

 Whilst spring always seems to be bursting with new life and summer is full of growth and generosity, autumn can look rather scruffy and past it on the veggie beds - but that's a false impression isn't it? Yes, some parts are just waiting for attention, but others are laden with food to see us through the winter, they just don't look so pristine as they did in summer. The photos, below show the beds as they are this week.

Sheltered cut and come again salads replaced spring cabbage.
There are still some red cabbage and swede to use.

Former tenderstem bed
Scruffiest of the lot? Stalks and stems of French marigolds
which were interplanted with the tender stem broccoli (all gone).

Mustard green manure
Mustard green manure, sown after the peas had finished

Parsnip and carrot
A few rows of parsnip, the rest is carrots

Beetroot and leaf beat
Beetroot in the foreground, the spinach in the middle has all gone,
leaf beat at the rear for winter use.

Tomato and cucumber
Still a few tomatoes coming and a cucumber too!

Cabbage and leek
This year's experiment, some overwintering greens in with the leeks.
The greens are taking up too much area, but the leeks have ben swelling.

Former salads from summer
Summer's salads, all past it now, the bed will get manure then compost on top,
followed by a sowing of field beans for green manure.
In the backgrounds are pots with emerging Babington perennial leeks. 

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts (with caterpillar damage) and
behind broccoli, green and red kale and kalettes. 

Raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries and strawberries.

Aubergine and pepper
The other greenhouse with now fruitless aubergine, 
cucumber and pepper plants.

Close up views on some of the beds

Green and red kale, kalettes behind.

Hoping for some good broccoli in the spring.

Cabage heading up

Cabbage headed up more.

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts - getting there slowly.

Red Cabbage
Large head of read cabbage

Kalette plants

Kalettes close up. The are delicious - like a mix of kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.


This bed was climbing beans, growing under and between the beans
and now getting unobstructed light, nice plump celeriacs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Autumn and early winter food gluts

 No matter how well I think I have planned, sown in succession and planted, Mother Nature always has her own ideas, which usually means more of something than we can manage. 

This year it was courgettes and various types of climbing bean (not runners, we don't much like them), so I went in search of recipes and came across a brilliant site, with not just recipes, but many resources and advice for gardeners, it's well worth sharing, so here it is: Allotment and gardens

Allotment and Gardens

A potato picture, in November?


Well, that was in May this year, I have been growing potatoes successfully in containers for a few years now, but I picked this one just as a sign of growth and hope - and don't we need quite a bit more of that these days? I do have next year's seed potatoes on order already from Pennard Plants

Life here is very different, I now have a new little helper in the garden as we are now happy grandparents. Many of the things we used to think important, or found time to do fell by the wayside - this blog included.

Now that I have found it again, I shall make no promises, but looking back at old posts, I can see what a useful record it has been for me, so who knows.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Detailed growing information

I was sorting through my seed order, which arrived today from the Organic Gardening Catalogue and stumbled across a brilliant website that most gardeners in the UK could benefit from, so I thought I'd share it.
It is called Garden Focus and you can find it here.

There are 2 great benefits, the first is being given the option to select your nearest town,  to take into account latest frost, then select the vegetables you intend growing; the second is that having confirmed the selection, a week by week list is created (and a suggested rotation if you need it). Clicking any of the crop weekly entries then brings up detailed information for sowing and cultivation.

Well done to the website author David Marks.

Friday, November 25, 2016

A little pictorial catch up.

Here are a few pictures of the veggie patch from this year.

Sunflower by the raspberries
Sunflower by the raspberries, now gone and the birds have eaten its seeds

Markies potatoes
Markies potatoes, tipped out of container yesterday (24.Nov.16)

First Earlies from container
First Earlies from container (June 2016)

Garlic (elephant and other) plus shallots and onions
Garlic (elephant and other) plus shallots and onions (April 2016)

Nets over the brassicas (June 2016)
Nets over the brassicas (June 2016)

Climbing courgettes in foreground, potatoes in containers behind
Climbing courgettes in foreground, potatoes in containers behind (11.June.16)

carrots and spring onions in a container
Some carrots and spring onions in a container 

Strawberries on the left, some garlic looking unhappy to the right
Strawberries on the left, some garlic looking unhappy to the right

Greenhouse tomatoes with companion plants of marigold, borage and chives
Greenhouse tomatoes with companion plants of marigold, borage and chives

Cabbages healthily coming along under the net
Cabbages healthily coming along under the net

Peas to left, climbing beans middle, broad beans behind
Peas to left, climbing beans middle, broad beans behind

gathering comfrey juice
Excellent suggestion from Bere Regis for gathering comfrey juice

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Plans and Problems


Potato Day

This is the time of year when I send out information about the Potato Day, a busy time in the village and an occasion which we hope helps and encourages people to grow potatoes, vegetables and much more.
See The Potato Days list for ours (on 6th February, and many more) here.
Worth Knowing: Orders can be placed in advance with the excellent nursery helping put on the day: Pennard Plants.


Flooding, what can gardeners do to help?

This year, so far, the south west of England has not been subjected to flooding on the scale of that which struck the Somerset Levels in 2013 and 2014. That is not to say that other parts of the country have got off so lightly, far from it. This time around it is the north west of the UK which has suffered an endless battering of storms and daily we see, on our televisions, scenes of flooding to homes, businesses, fields and gardens. Even before this latest storm ("Frank") people in Somerset were wondering how they could help (see Western Gazette).
All of which sets me to wondering, what can we as gardeners do to help fellow gardeners in areas which have been affected by flooding?
The RHS offers some advice, but it seems (sorry about the pun) a drop in the ocean.
Here is just a little taste of the effect on one property (albeit the National Trust, with rather more resources than the average gardener): Wordsworth House and Garden.
So, what can we fellow gardeners do to help?