Friday, 19 April 2019

Easter Garden


Warm spring sunshine has at last brought life to the garden. A couple of weeks ago we were still getting frosts so the warmth of this past week has been welcome. Tulips and wallflowers are in full flower and the apple blossom is just opening. Today is Good Friday and I planted most of my remaining seeds this morning and the garden finally tidied up by tea time. Each year is full of tweaks to various ways of doing things with the hope of a good growing season ahead and time more efficiently spent on management. Last year worked well despite the intense heat and I hope this year will be better. I would really like a veg patch that is an overflowing wilderness of plants and flowers with all available ground being productively used. I am not sure what the secret is - plants have a mind of their own with unpredictable successes and failures and that is without the vagaries of the weather to contend with. But you know all that.

The 'trampoline greenhouse' had a makeover and is now covered with commercial thermal anti-drip polytunnel polythene and should last a few years. The greenhouse is not fully sealed, being open at the back where it leans against the fence. The metal framework was covered with cloth and tape to protect the polythene from hot spots/wear. Thus it is more of a large cold frame designed to keep the chill off plants and provide warmth without overheating. Plants started off in here last year did very well.

There is a cold frame next to this that I have had for many years. I recovered this with polythene and changed the polythene front to wire netting. This will also keep the worst of the weather off seedlings without them overheating during the day.

The aluminium greenhouse frame I obtained from a neighbour last year has been cut down in size by a quarter and is now covered with netting. In here I will grow purple sprouting. It won't be butterfly proof but it will keep the pigeons off the plants. I will then move it to a new location next year. I try and move things round each year, not in a strict rotation though. 

Here is what I have/intend to sow/plant this year:

Vegetables:
Potatoes (charlotte and rocket)
Red onions
Garlic
Chard 
Spinach
Climbing beans
Drawf beans
Cucumber (outdoor type)
Courgette
Tomatoes (cherry, on cordon type plant)
Radishes
Carrots (in a planter off the ground)
Lettuces
Salad leaves

Flowers:
Wallflowers
Zinnia
Cornflowers
Stocks
Sweet Peas
Mixed annuals

Herbs:
Mint, Chives, Sage and Parsley to replenish and bulk up existing plants