I was busy repotting my tomatoes over the last couple of days – and of course almost all the seeds germinated. This means I have 12 Ailsa Craig, 5 ‘Sweet ‘n Neat’, and 5 Moneymaker – clearly far too many for my needs. What’s more I have some more seeds (planted only the other day) to come – the are from a packet of Italian tomatoes I found a while back ‘on sale’. Although I can give some away I am loathe just to throw any excess away – I get this problem almost every year, as I suspect many other gardeners do.
At least I have my growbags now – 5 of them from my DIY store, I was there buying more slabs to go round the as yet installed raised beds. The problem now is going to be finding the space in the greenhouse because all the perennials and now the separated tomatoes are occupying almost every bit of flat space. Still it has to be managed somehow – I’ve already moved a tray of plants (annuals for the hanging baskets) into the temporary cold frame and some of the perennials may follow. They are doing well – mostly and I think only a couple look as if they’ve given up so far.During the last week the raspberry canes (Tulameen) I’d ordered a few weeks ago turned up (as did a couple of climbing perennials as well). They are bare rooted full size canes, so are supposed to fruit this year. Being bare rooted I needed to do something with them fairly pronto. Three of them have gone in close to the greenhouse – where there was already a cane nearby, and it was a small patch difficult to do anything with. The other three went into the border running up to the central pear tree – it’s a border that was full of ivy and perennial geranium until recently and really only just ready to put anything into – I’ve still got some edging bits to sort out along the border but raspberry canes are fairly easy to work round so should n’t make it too difficult to finish off tidying up the border.
Another major step forward in tidying up was being able to have a bonfire early in the week – I suddenly realised it was a day without wind so got on with firing up a bonfire – and in less than 2 hours had cut down the pile of hedge cuttings and other debris down by a half – all without much smoke as well. Just needs another good day and I should be able to clear most of the rest. Mind, there are still a few bits of hedge that need serious trimming before they sprout too much so there will be more cuttings to come.
I managed to get a bunch of parsley seeds to germinate from a bargain pack – a sort of self-contained ‘greenhouse’ based on a sort of large yoghurt container with a clear lid – I picked up a couple for 50p each some time ago. Anyway, the seedlings are now planted out, some in the ground outside the kitchen, some in a pot in the kitchen and the rest in large pots in the greenhouse. At the same time I planted 3 flat-leaf parsley plants outside the kitchen which I had in the greenhouse havingsurvived the winter.
I finally did something about the potatoes today as well, and planted up the bags/containers I’ve used previous year – except this year I’ve moved them right down to the bottom the vegetable garden away from outside the kitchen. I’ve put maris piper in two of the bags and the other two have maya gold (from tubers I’d saved from last years crop), so we’ll see how they do.
I notice that the rhubarb, currently being forced under my old water tub, is at the point where I should be able to take enough for a rhubarb pie next weekend mmmm.
On top of all that, I’ve put almost all the rest of the broad bean plants out in the raised bed with the other – just one more baby plant to go – the autumn planted rows are close to flowering now as well. I’ve planted some peas (mangetout) in post inside the greenhouse now as well.
I’ve put the ‘container’ with the carrots in outside now – temporarily in the new raised bed that hasn’t been filled with soil yet.I’ve also spent a bit of time trying to sort out the tank which has acted as a water feed for inside the greenhouse – it enables watering inside without having to use a watering can, but the feed broke over the winter. Now having examined the situation I think I need to replace it (it’s an old metal tank on a stand) probably with a conventional plastic water-butt – maybe next time I visit the DIY centre….
The weather has been reasonable just recently with some rain, but not too much and reasonable temperatures. Today it was 12 degC early in the morning – but I gather some frosty nights are possible during this week.
Wildlife – well I have identified some of the butterflies I’ve seen, a couple of peacocks and a brimstone, presumably they have over wintered. As for birds, well there is a major battle going on between blackbirds over garden territory and one or two finches have been visiting the sunflower seed feeder but otherwise it’s been pretty quiet.