Sunday, 21 April 2013

What a difference a couple of weeks makes


Colour in the garden at long last, and they are not the only signs of spring:

This batch of spawn has been laid quite recently, the first batch we had was laid several weeks ago, and then got badly frozen and will probably not have survived. I think I saw a newt in the pond the other day but now I'm beginning to doubt myself because I haven't seen it again since.

These are my hardy annuals, some of them will soon be ready for planting out at the allotment. This morning I moved all my half-hardy annual seedlings out to the greenhouse (from the conservatory) because although it's probably a bit colder in there at night time, it gets warmer earlier in the day and is warmer generally in the daytime so I hope they will make good progress now. This morning I have sown courgettes, squashes and sweetcorn.

At the allotment all my potatoes are now planted, and so are the onion sets which had rooted well in their modules. I have sown carrots, parsnips, beetroot, lettuce, spinach and more broad beans, and also planted a few flowering plants in my cutting patch (SO excited about this!)

It's just occurred to me that I don't have a space allocated to celeriac, which I have decided to give another try this year. I have never had much luck with purple sprouting broccoli, so I'm just wondering now whether to give them a miss this year and use the space for celeriac instead. Decisions, decisions. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Still too cold for planting.... I've found some other jobs to do. In the fruit patch, I sprayed the couch grass a few weeks ago - I know, I'm not really keen on using weedkiller if I don't have to, but you can't really get couch grass out from among raspberries without digging up the whole lot - and now that it has died back I am planning to cover the area with bark chips. There is a big pile in the car park for anyone to use. I started this job this morning, firstly by covering the rows of raspberries.

I took the temperature of the soil as well, with my new soil thermometer - result - less than 1 degree c. Closer to zero actually. So I have taken the drastic step of covering up the potato patch with clear polythene to try and warm it up a bit. I have anchored it down well with bricks, tyres and water barrels, and buried the edges with soil, so I hope it doesn't blow away or rip. I've sown what I can in pots and modules in the greenhouse, and will be doing some more this afternoon, but everything else such as carrots, parsnips, spinach etc that I would normally be sowing around now, will just have to wait.

On a brighter note, here is my first harvest of the year - a lemon - from my lemon tree! It's quite small, and not very juicy, but it definitely looks and tastes like a lemon. Naturally, I used it in a G & T - cheers!