After the horrific weather this spring we can finally get in the garden.
It’s Finally a Gardening Forecast!
It’s catch up time, we are about a month behind
What a relief to get into the garden. It’s been a joy to be out in the evenings this week and do some graft on my own garden. Every day the garden has woken up just a little bit more from this harsh Narnia winter freeze. There are sprinklings of yellow showering my forsythia, the pulmonaria is flowering and today I woke up to blossom on my confused plum tree.
I have got my new borders dug out and prepared with soil conditioner and a sprinkling of lime (to help the cloddish clay crumble and entice my worms!) I was going to plant straight away but Peter feels they will benefit from another dig and a dollop of farmyard manure, unfortunately he will be too busy to help! I have eager stipa grasses, alliums and lime green red hot pokers keenly queuing up to plant.
Helping Out Our Fruit
Just before the rain I managed to get wood ash around the base of my fruit trees but my strawberries, new raspberry canes and gooseberry will have to wait until it dries out again before they can have a sprinkle of my wood burners gold dust. If you are planting raspberry canes and strawberries it does help if they are planted into muck lined trenches with their roots all facing the same way because they make runners. I have crammed every little space with fruit even around my rhubarb bed I have squeezed more strawberries in this week. They grow well together. I have terracotta forcers on a couple of my rhubarb plants and muck around the edge all helping to warm up the pot and leach nutrients into the ground.
Now I can think about my potatoes and shallots as the ground continues to warm up.
Seeds for Spring
Every spring we sow seeds but this year we have had to hold back, unless you are prepared pay to heat a greenhouse. I find an airing cupboard or a flat-topped indoor boiler excellent for vegetable seeds. You might want to pop a big clear freezer bag around the seed tray this stops the soil from making a mess and creates a mini steamy greenhouse effect. As soon as seeds emerge you need to get them out of the dark and prick out into a frost-free light place. If you don’t they will go very leggy. I will be doing my best sweet plum tomatoes and definitely some courgettes and it might be worth warming up a few root crops before planting them out.
Spring Sweet Peas are quiet hardy. There are so many delicious varieties I don’t know where to stop and I had to do some Painted Lady and I am itching to try some of the new perfumed varieties. I have these seeded under cover but those done in the autumn have already made plants.
Broad bean are very easy to grow, mine went straight into the ground but at peril from my ravaging mob of hens which will have to be restrained quiet soon. Lastly I always find investing in some cut and come again lettuce and baby spinach is a must. They don’t need any fuss. Just sprinkle them on a reasonable bare bit of ground and when they come through keep cutting and eating and save on expensive salad bags.