Six on Saturday – 20-01-2018

I’ve been watching and reading the Six on Saturday meme (created originally by The Propagator – @CavershamJJ) with the intention of joining in as soon as I was able. You get a good mix of jobs and plants from the ever increasing list of bloggers that contribute making it a good read and source of information and inspiration. Finally I have had the time to create my first entry – my to do list for the weekend largely. Hopefully I can mix jobs up with plants as the weeks and months move on into the full blown growing season that we all enjoy.

Seed Sorting

I have a large list of seeds for 2018 so have spent some time sorting through those. Organising into months in which I will sow them and noting on a calendar so I can keep track of the plan. About 60 varieties this year so I will have a lot of sowing to do including some succession sowing of salads, beans and cabbage primarily.

Start Onion & shallot sets

I usually grow a choice of one brown, one red and one shallot – which is enough for me in most years. The shallots I choose are for pickling rather than eating generally as I do love a nice hot and spicey one. This year rather than waiting and planting direct I am going to give a go at starting them in trays earlier and planting out when the weather is more suitable. Others have done this and it does seem to aid establishment of the plant and hopefully get some good big onions as well.

Raised Beds

The subject of one of my blogs so far and another to follow once completed – hopefully very soon. I have made good progress so far with preparing the site by digging it over (using a petrol tiller) and then levelling off. So far I have got 5 of the beds constructed with a further 7 more to go for the main area + two more in front of my polytunnel and greenhouse.


Along with constructing the raised beds my polytunnel is getting an ‘upgrade’. This still needs to have some manure and old compost (from the £2 a bag grab in homebase) as well as adding some additional wire along the top to provide support for my Tomatoes. I have a lot to fit in this year which I think growing in the ground will give me a better chance at achieving.

Prune Fruit Trees

I have a mini orchard at the top of my garden – this includes 3 eating apples, 2 cooking, 1 pear and a cherry. The apple trees had a reasonably heavy prune last year as I finally attended a course and realised that my young trees needed some work doing. This year it will be less severe but will still require work to check for the 3 D’s (Dead, Diseased and Damaged) and remove branches that will cross over and lead to damage in the future. Shortening a few branches that are to long and thin leaving them vulnerable to snapping will also need some attention still.

Move Excess Dirt

As a result of a home extension I now have a large heap of dirt occupying a space that will be left to grow in the ground rather than being converted to a raised bed. This year it should be playing host to the giant pumpkin and squash seed from Matt Oliver (#UKGiantPumpkin). That means I must clear it and get plenty of organic matter dug in ready for trying to grow a giant of my own.

That’s all for my first six on Saturday – hopefully I will make my second soon but for now garden jobs beckon.


  1. Well I feel exhausted just from reading your six! Fourteen raised beds?
    I’ve got a hernia just from imagining you lugging all the compost, manure and stuff from the front of the house to those! But you’ve made me a lot happier by mentioning that the £2 a bag compost in Homebase (which I found out about after it was all sold) was old stuff. That’s some consolation.


    1. Just need to spread the manure and dig over 12 of the beds now. The last two I haven’t cleared the space for yet but will soon.
      I would guess the compost was last year’s stock. No good for seed or young plants I would think but handy for soil improvement.


  2. Your tomatoes in the polytunnel intrigued me. Sounds like they’ll be there permanently – do you leave the tunnel covered or pull back the poly once threat of frost is gone? I love a good shallot but’ve never had them pickled – something to try. Do you have a recipe? You’ve done a ton of work & have several tons more to go. I hope you find time to give us a few more Sixes!


    1. The Polytunnel is permanently covered, door one end and half height window the other. Leaving them in there reduces blight risk and potential wind damage. The pickling is easy enough, the shallots need mixing with some salt for a few hours to remove some moisture. I use a good pickling vinegar warmed with mustard seed and peppers corns. Rinse off the shallots and dry them put in jars mixed in with a chilli or two – I slice the chilli to help spread the heat. Then fill with the vinegar leaving in the mustard and pepper. That’s about it for the pickling for me.


  3. Wow! What a garden! I would love all those raised beds although I have 3 large ones, I may try to squeeze in another. Happy seed sorting! X


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