It’s been a busy one…

Now getting slightly annoyed with seeds….

Everything is so, so busy in the garden at the moment. The birds are tearing about nest building and flirting – the blackbirds are particularly entertaining. The insects are all buzzing about, the plants are bursting into life. And then there’s me. I had an almost maniacal approach to gardening over the Easter bank holiday. I behave as if there may never be another sunny day ever again so I must be out from dawn ‘til dusk to get everything done. And then there is another sunny day, and the process repeats. I am exhausted. Thank goodness for the wind and the rain –not only for the garden and the water butts, but for me. I need a rest! Shame about the blossom that is being battered, though.

So what is it that I have been so busy doing? Well, for starters I feel as if I am being run ragged by my seed babies. I know this is possibly my own doing for planting so many but they either seem to be germinating too much or not enough, constantly demanding water or needing to be potted on.

Got me a few courgette plants it seems….

Seed and veg patch update:

  • As predicted, I have all the courgette and cucumber plants that will ever be needed in the county. They have been potted on and are rapidly taking over the greenhouse. Roll on the end of May when they can be planted out.
  • The butternut squash seeds have been a little late to the party but are now playing catch up very convincingly.
  • The cavolo nero, kalettes and runner beans have been planted out and are doing well. I have paired them up with nasturtiums as a ‘trap crop’ to distract the associated pests away from the veg (aphids and cabbage whites, namely). Shame, really as I think nasturtiums are lovely but equally I want to protect my veg crops.
  • Sadly, the chilli peppers have continued to disappoint. Out of the 30 or so seeds that I have planted, only four have germinated. I will try one more time. Once again sowing indoors and possibly with a different seed batch. Maybe that one was dodgy.
  • The onions are romping away and looking very healthy.
  • Salad crops have benefitted massively from the warm spell and are coming along really well. I don’t think it will be too long until home-grown rocket makes an appearance in salads in the Lazy Gardener household.
  • The maris piper potatoes have finally chitted sufficiently to be planted out and they have gone into sacks on the patio – I don’t have enough raised bed space for them – along with some salad potatoes I bought from the farm shop to eat but before I got the chance, they went mad and sprouted.
  • I am still on tenterhooks to see what the asparagus bed is going to produce 2 years after planting 15 crowns. So far there has been the tremendously exciting appearance of a single healthy looking spear but other than that, it has just been very spindly what I call ‘asparagrass’. The recommendation from the RHS  is to start cutting it anyway to encourage further growth so that is what I will do.
  • Some heavy duty weed barrier has gone down in between the raised and some gravel added to try and keep the pesky weeds at bay more effectively. It also looks jolly smart and not at all like my garden. I am very pleased with the result.
Go the onions!
Rocket and lettuces looking good

In other garden news…

  • After a week or so of hardening them off in the cold frame, I have planted the sweet pea seedlings out up against the bare fence with an unnecessarily complex web of twine that I created. Fingers crossed for a pretty display from them this year as well as plenty of cut flowers.
  • The borders have all been weeded. That was no minor undertaking as I had let things get a little out of control AGAIN. I never seem to learn….  little and often is definitely the way but I get distracted by another bit of the garden and then turn around and everything has gone mad again. This year I am determined to keep on top of the weeds. I am just waiting for a tree surgeon friend to deliver me some bark chippings to finish off which helps to keep the moisture in (useful if we have a similar summer to last year) and to control weeds.
  • I have also moved a few plants around to hopefully provide a more balanced display height-wise and added two David Austen ‘Winchester Cathedral’ roses which are just visible from the house.
Sweet peas looking very small when planted. Bless them…
Veg patch looking very smart after its makeover. Let’s see if it lasts…

And breathe……

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