The reason I am starting everything indoors is the blinking slugs or mice, whatever it is. Pretty much everything I’m sowing direct is not getting chance to take as strongly as I’d like so I’m going to suck it up and transplant anything that can handle it. The peas have done well on this round interestingly.
If you want me, I’ll be outside getting on with the growing season! That’s how this last whirlwind of a week has felt. We are out of the starting blocks and in it for the long run.
April is the month when even more seeds can be sown and there can be a false sense of security weather wise when we’re sat in the baking (ok, warmer) sun, without the need for jackets or gloves.
I’ve noticed new growth all around, replacing the snowdrops and early daffs. However don’t be fooled. April has seen snow in the past so those of us growing our own need to be ready to deal with it if it’s forecast. To lose seedlings or plants now after nurturing from seed as far back as January would be devastating.
We’ve been working hard on the new orchard (mini orchard) and feel it is really getting there. What do you think?
It’s hard to see in the above photo, as I was trying to capture the width of the plot. The back trellis shows the 10 apple trees we planted on a 45 degree angle and a couple of them are already showing growth. The conference pear tree (below) is growing ridiculously fast. These leaves were not there last week!
We have managed to get all but two of the soft fruit bushes in that are going here. Two are outstanding as they’ve not been delivered yet. So far we have 2 varieties of cranberry (mountain and ), a honeyberry, 2 varieties of blueberry (north county and aurora). We have a pink lemonade blueberry, billberry and goji berries due soon. There’s also another 3 blueberries (Duke) that are going in another part of the veg plot.
The soft fruit has been spaced out around the other fruit trees and planted in large holes filled with ericaceous compost where needed. For those who don’t know, blueberries amongst other fruit bushes don’t like “normal” soil. You can buy the ericaceous soil at garden centres or some people make their own. I’m short on time for this planting, but plan to top them up with home made stuff.
Blossom is coming thick and fast on the new fruit trees and I hope it’s a good sign of the harvest to come!
The greenhouse is well and truly filling up. My problem now is trying to keep it cool when I am at work. The doors can be left open but I have to put the mesh door on to stop the chickens going in and eating everything!
My blackcurrant cuttings have rooted but the red and white aren’t doing much. Also a raspberry runner that I severed and rooted to see what would happen.
The PSB, caulis, calabrese, cabbage, corn salad, carrots, leeks, onions and sunflowers are all looking great. The tomatoes are growing strong and need to be potted on this weekend before they become pot bound.
I hope you’re all enjoying the sun which we seem to be having in fits and spurts. I’m not complaining one bit! It’s starting to dry the fields out just in time for the horses to go back on them and it can’t come soon enough!
Below I have kale and spinach in the left hand tray – spinach hasn’t germinated yet, if at all. Kale shot up so I won’t sow these 2 together again. Then aubergine and beef tomatoes in the bag. They’re next to my indoor peas which I sowed at the same time as the ones in the greenhouse (which are just starting to germinate so a week or 2 behind these). The tray to the right is tomatoes, different varieties and 2 or 3 of each.
I made a bold move this weekend and binned the weaker seedlings and only kept a few strong ones of each. I felt like I was doing something wrong throwing seedlings out!
I made a start on the plastic bottles that we had saved (Ste uses them for water in his gym) and am keeping them to use as mini greenhouses/cloches for when plants are put out or maybe for direct sowings to help germinate. I’ve cut the bottom off so canes can be put through the hole in the lid, to support the bottle from flying away.
My bare root comfrey arrived. I ordered 5 from ebay and to be honest when they turned up, I wondered what on earth they were! However after a quick chat with Dawn and an email from the seller, I filled a container with damp compost, placed the roots in and covered with a touch more compost then wet newspaper. I’ll see where to roots grow from then plant them up when the weather warms a bit.
One thing I was really excited about was the piquant seeds Dawn sent me when she offered them on her blog. The seeds originally came from Dani on Eco Footprint South Africa and I shall be offering mine when they are ready too. I think it’s a lovely way of keeping this little pepper family going.
We have had a brilliant last week which I haven’t had time to post about so for tonight I will just post pictures showing what we’ve been up to. This includes a very successful and happy party, 3 night UK break, veg plot and greenhouse updates and our first chicken ready for the table. I’ll go in to more detail over the next few days. However for tonight I’m chilling and enjoying my time off. Bliss.