So I was rather hasty in thinking that spring was on its way. We had a freezing north wind and frost for 6 days in a row. A disaster for orchards and vineyards in the area with some vineyards estimating to have lost 70% of their harvest.
The commercial farmers light smoky fires or irrigate to protect their crops from the ice. Fortunately in my garden heavy duty fleece seems to do the trick
But on Tuesday the wind changed direction and no more frost. Hooray! It was worth the effort of keeping the fleece on.
Unfortunately I think we have lost all our peaches and plums with the frost. The new shoots on the vines are damaged, but they will survive. I’m hoping the cherries and apples will be ok – bees still very active in the apples which is a good sign.
Whilst my neighbours still say it’s too early, I look daily at the fortnightly weather forecasts. As the Saints de Glace days (11-13 May) approach and no frost is forecast, my itchy fingers get the better of me! So… this week, 18 April, planted inside, courgette Yellow Fin, butternut Waltham, gem quash, cucumber Hillwood, butter beans Pienky Jas and french beans San Soucy. They should be ready to plant out in about 2 or 3 weeks when the soil has warmed up.
21st April planted 5 half rows of sweetcorn Alida. Germination can be patchy if the soil is cold, so I keep them fleeced until they germinate.
Tomatoes and peppers were getting lanky inside, so now that danger of frost is over it is a relief to pot them on and put them in the open barn to acclimatise before planting them in the garden.
The soft fruits are growing well now, unimpeded by the frost.
It is also time to take my “Jen Frogs” (in memory of my sister who would have loved my garden) out of hibernation in the shed and into their place watching over the garden
This week I was delighted to see a fox hunting rodents very close to our terrace. Unlike the deer, wild boar and badgers, they do not do any damage to my garden, so I love watching them.