Spring…almost!

It’s that time of year again when I have to be patient; it’s easy as the temperatures warm up to think that spring has arrived, but I know from previous years that late frosts  can prove that winter is not over.  I look at temperature forecasts obsessively though, and for the moment no frost…. yet!

A lot of my gardening time is now spent potting on seedlings into bigger pots which I then leave undercover to protect them from frostI also took the opportunity to plant out dill that I had seeded indoors and to move Calvino Nero ( Tuscan Kale) To make crop rotation easier, I’m really focussing this year on restricting each bed to one plant family.

Broad beans and peas have been staked and cleaned up. So far only one of the beans succumbed to the earlier snow and the second sowing of peas (to replace losses) has sprouted well. Garlic (in the background) is looking good too.

On 2nd April I planted onions in the top quadrant of the pumpkin patch. It was a drizzly day, but having had the quadrant covered with black plastic, I’m hoping the soil was both warm and dry enough for them. I’m doing a bit of an experiment with varieties this year: Red Baron, Stuttgardt, Keravel, Snowball, Jaune Paille, Takstar.

The mid/early potatoes, Celtiane, have chitted well, so I planted these on 4th April with a plant spacing of 30cm. Next day I planted Victoria – spacing 38cm. Will wait to mid April to plant the Sarpo Axona.

Craig cut an old wine barrel for me to provide two tubs for cherry tomatoes. They will ultimately sit atop the stone wall. 
My seeding programme continues. 1st April, I seeded outdoors  :
Chioggia Beetroot
Carrot Flyaway (new seed with increased carrot fly resistance)
Parsnip palace
Ciboule rouge (spring onions)

I opened up the fleece on the long bed and was thrilled to see good germination of carrots, CCA lettuce and turnips. If the warmer weather continues I will remove the fleece and replace it with netting (birds cause a lot of damage hunting for worms in the soil!)

Apricot tree is flowering – now I just have to hope there are no strong winds or frost to destroy them. The other fruit trees are ready to burst into bloom too.

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