After my previous seed planting frenzy (see March 20), I have continued to sow even more sweet peas (how many is too many?), leeks, runner beans, sunflowers, cavolo nero and cucumbers in the greenhouse. Outside, I have put in a couple of rows of beetroot and some perpetual spinach. My onion sets are in and I am now just waiting, somewhat impatiently, for things to happen.
There has been mixed success with the greenhouse seeds… pretty much all of the sweet peas are up and doing well. The kallettes, cavolo nero and sunflowers are all showing willing but the courgettes, butternut squash, cucumber and chilli peppers have failed to show any signs of life as yet. So I have planted some more and brought them inside the house to get them going. This will no doubt ensure germination of the original greenhouse seeds in addition to the new ones and leave me with way more than I need (as I over-plant in the first place). This happened last year but I had no trouble moving the young plants on. In some cases, by leaving them on peoples’ doorsteps and then running away.
As I have decided to try and do things ‘properly’ this year, I soaked the beetroot seeds in water before sowing them to improve the chances of germination. I will not be doing this again. They turn the exact same colour of the soil and then stick madly to your fingers so that you have to sort of flick them off, often without any idea where they have landed as you can’t pick them out. It was very annoying and after 5 seeds, I abandoned this approach and just planted the rest straight out of the packet.
As well as the inevitable weeding, other things I have managed to achieve this weekend:
- Approx ¾ ton of topsoil has been transported to the bottom of the garden to top up the raised beds (not by me, obviously…) which were then fertilised with the foul smelling, brown, sludge from the wormeries and they are now ready to receive plants.
- Daffs have been dead headed
- Hellebores have been tidied up by removing the scrappy brown foliage from around the bottom of the plant. They are looking a lot better
- The hanging baskets have been planted up with very small plug plants and put in the greenhouse to fill out. I have gone with begonias this year.
- All the patio pots have been fed and watered.
I am hoping that we will get rain soon… some of my smaller water butts are empty already!
It’s getting busy in the garden and I just hope that I am sufficiently up together with my preparations.
This month’s burning question…. will I ever learn that I will not remember what I have planted either in the raised beds or in seed trays if I haven’t labelled them? Regardless of how many times I tell myself that this time, it will be different… I spent at least 5 minutes staring at one of my smaller raised kitchen garden beds this weekend thinking ‘I know I planted something in here, but I just can’t remember what it was’. It was only a week ago! Turns out it was onions. I know this because I was reminded when I tripped over the rest of the unplanted packet in the greenhouse later…