5 April 2008

Spring is here!

Then again...

And those hail stones hurt! In between being pelted with hail it was bright sunshine. I guess that's what you call April showers...

So clocks went forward signalling the start of the evening visits once more. However the first night I did this it was colder, wetter and windier than it looked, so it was also a shorter visit than daylight allowed and the onions remained unplanted.

Checking over the plot (no 1), nothing much happening. No seeds through (not surprising given the weather), no sign of the potatoes under the polytunnel, but plenty of weeds begining to make their way to the surface. The rhubarb that was showing some promising signs has flowered! Now this apparently isn't good, so I've removed these and am crossing my fingers that I get some rhubarb from them this year.

Given the foul weather I decided to sort out the main path going down the middle of the plot. It has to be said it's a little uneven (!) so the plan was to lower and level the path, putting the excess soil in the main beds and covering the path with the weed surpressing fabric. I'm also taking the opportunity to narrow the path a bit too to increase the size of the fruit bed - by about 20cm... Eventually I will cover this with bark chippings. However the crap weather made things a bit wet and slippy so didn't get as much done as I'd hoped - which is a familiar story with most of my jobs on the allotment!

Earlier in the week
When spring was still here, took my son to the new plot so he could try out his new gardening tools from the grandparents. Has to be said the quality of them is better than some of mine! He tested them out by digging a big hole and burying himself in it! After digging him out he then proceded to 'dig over' and trample all over the rest of the bed I'd dug a few weeks before. However I did forgive him as he discovered some couch grass I'd missed and helped to dig out a seriously big dandelion root.

In between digging him out I planted the broad beans I'd started off in toilet rolls in the greenhouse. Not much top growth but they've got some good roots on them, which I'm hoping is a good sign. Moved various seedlings up to the greenhouse (various brassicas and leeks) to create more room to start stuff off at home and gave the salad leaves and strawberry plants a water. Sadly there is no sign of the sweet peas at all. I'm sure the slightly erratic watering hasn't helped but not one of them has germinated ;>(

More planting
So rubbish forecast of snow showers for the day decided to stay put and plant some seeds. As it happens most of the day was bright sunshine with no snow here, certainly none that settled. Quality forecast as ever...

So planted some parsley, coriander, peas, sunflowers, pumpkins, cucumbers, and courgettes, the latter three just sowing a few of each to see if I can get an early start with them. Having just planted the parsley and coriander, my two little helpers arrived to help with the larger seeds. Planted all those in toilet rolls which were ideal for small hands to fill with compost, put the large seeds in, top up with more compost, put the labels in and then finally water. They seemed quite happy with the job, which of course means I was happy!

Few days earlier I planted some more Brussels, cauliflowers and calabrese to supplement the rather poor specimens I've grown so far. These are now through already, having found a new place for germinating seeds - the bedroom windowsill. Fortunately Mrs D has quite willingly given her approval for this move!


Greenmantle said...

If you are missing ALL your sweet peas after they should have emerged, then I'd suggest that's not due to watering.....that's due to mice!


RobD said...

But there's not been any sign of distrubance and they're on the 4th shelf on my greenhouse staging???

Paul and Melanie said...

Never seen flowering rhubarb before... lol I wish mine would do soemthing, even if it's flowering, it's still really small! Grumble... ;)

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem with my rhubarb last year, so I gave it a generous dose of Growmore. That made it happy enough not to want to produce any more flowers.