April Showers – but it’s May!

The title is the giveaway, the weather has broken from sunny days and no rain to more typical April weather with showers and sun (thanks goodness say the farmers and gardeners!). Temperatures are still in the mid to upper teens or above though with no night time frosts where we are. Of course the rain showers are a double-edged sword as if has meant that not only are the crops growing well, but also the weeds, lawn and hedges! The hedges have really got a move on – leading me to spend a chunk of Friday last cutting the front hedges – and both side in the main garden will have to be tackled this week f a t all possible

So, in the veg garden, the beans are coming on – the broad beans are now staked (both rows) and row 1 is well in flower with row 2 about to be – all the bean seedlings are in so row 2 is pretty packed now. The climbing french beans have just started to climb and look pretty good. I may plant one more (it’s still constrained to a pot) as it looks as though the second planting of runner beans is not going to produce a plant and I have on ‘slot’ left.

The mangetout peas are finally finding their stick and attaching themselves (sometimes they seem to wilfully ignore the stick right next to them and decide climbing along the ground is better – they have to be ‘encouraged’ to att themselves to the sticks). The second row is ok – and the recently planted peas in the greenhouse (another 8 in theory) are just starting to show.

Elsewhere, the potatoes near the greenhouse (in the ground) are well up after earthing up – and the potatoes in all the containers likewise, and the containers are pretty well full up now.

The salad crop (radish, carrot parsnip etc.) are a bit disappointing really  – don’t know why they just seem to be a bit slow – and I kept them watered through the dry spell. Maybe they’ll pick up now with the weather change.

The tomatoes outside the kitchen seem to be thriving (Ailsa Craig), but one of the two (the more recently planted) in the growbag in the greenhouse doesn’t look very happy (see pics below) and I’ve no idea why. My other two Ailsa Craig seedlings I gave away to my neighbour (along with two aubergines and a pepper) as for various reasons she’d had no chance to get anything going so far this year and only last year obtained a greenhouse – it would be a shame if it wasn’t put to some use this year).

The fruit seems to be doing well despite the lack of rain – gooseberries developing nicely  as well as the currants (see pics below). The apples seem to have set well also.

In the greenhouse, the aubergines and pepper in containers are ok (see below) are looking good and as mentioned above – one of the two Ailsa Craig tomatoes in a growbag looks fine. There are now several tomato seedlings coning on – Gardeners Delight and cherry type. I’ve also grown on a couple of self-seeded plants from last year – I suspect a cherry variety but we’ll see…

Other seedlings – some basil & oregano as well as salad leaves in a container.are coming on. The grapevine has survived the winter and as usual is now trying   to take over the greenhouse.

Meanwhile, the blackbird young have fledged, two large chicks (as big as their parents have been around trying to persuade their parents to keep on feeding them. I’ve also seen the robin feeding young as well.

beans - broad & climbing

Climbing french beans in front with peas * broad beans behind


Aubergine and pepper plants

Two aubergine plants on the left, pepper on the right


tomato plants greenhouse

The Ailsa Craig tomatoes in the greenhouse - note the LH one looks poorly


Tomato plants kitchen

Tpw Ailsa Craig tomatoes flourishing outside the kitchen


Developing goosebarries

Developing gooseberries


Developing currants

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