I love this time of year!  With the longer, warmer days the garden suddenly wakes up, and it is so rewarding to watch everything grow. The weather has been rather varied though; warm days followed by chilly mornings (but no more frost – hooray!) and after a very wet start to the year, I’m looking forward to some more rain.

The orchard is looking good and for the first year, I actually have some fruit on the apricot and plum trees. In previous years late frosts have come just when the trees are in flower. Not that I expect much fruit – I can just imagine all the birds eyeing them our already 😦Broad beans are ready to harvest and peas are swelling, so we should pick those in about a week. They never  reach the kitchen though ; both of us love eating them raw and pick and eat them in the garden!The dill. seeded inside and planted out in March, is thriving. Next to it,  Chinese cabbage Wa Wa Sai is hearting. It is a miniature version (common variety is just too big for the two of us)  and I am hoping it will be tasty. Next to them are Broccoli Marathon, the Cauliflower Boule de Neige, then Broccoli Sticolli (long stemmed) and finally Kai Lan (Chinese leaf/spinach)  Garlic in the background is starting to brown off – should be ready to harvest in June.The long bed which I planted out in March-April is doing well. Masses of coriander, but also harvesting turnips, radish and lettuce. The frame in the small bed in the background has cucumbers Paksa and MiniStars. It’s been a bit cold for them and they are growing very slowly. Peppers and aubergines planted out:
6 aubergine de Barbantane, 6 peppers Etudia, 6 peppers Roberta, 6 pepper Yummy Yellow, 3 peppers Doux d’Espagne and 3 peppers Yellow Long.

The white square behind the herb bin is a new cover for leeks (to keep the dreaded leek moth out)  I improvised last year with an insect cover and it kept the moths out, but this year Craig came up with a much better, robust and neater, solution. The frame slots into the pipe holders, so it will be easy to take out and store. Tomatoes planted out at 40 cm spacing:
6 Pozzano, 2 San Marzano ( both plum) 8 Mountain Magic, 8 Merveille de Marche .  Space left at the end for 4 Cytrynek Groniasty which were too small to plant out now.

Potatoes have been earthed up a second time. The earlies, Celtiane, are full of buds so they will flower soon.  Planted Borlotti and Bean Maïs (both for dry beans) 5 May. Sweetcorn has survived both the cold and birds (they eat the seed and can damage the emerging seedling) and should be big enough now to survive any snails. Of course the test is going to be whether the badgers get to them again this year!


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