Been Away – Bad Weather

I went away for a few days having planted some tomatoes outside, three in a grow bag outside the greenhouse, and four in the container near the kitchen. Plus I had a row of marigolds on one of the borders, I thought protected by slug pellets.

While I was away the weather was distinctly unkind, cold (my greenhouse thermometer registered -1degC as a minimum) and wet. As I result when I got back, all the marigolds had gone, and the three tomatoes in the growbag, with only two of the tomatoes near the kitchen surviving – just. Added to that was an entire tray full of ‘busy lizzies’ outside waiting to be planted that were no more! Plus the cucumber plant under the ‘door’ cover had died, and the two courgette plantlings planted in the same bed are looking pretty unwell.

However, other plants did manage to survive, and all the seedlings in the greenhouse did seem to be ok. So the broad beans, which were just coming up in pots before I went away, were big enough to be planted out. I manage to get that done a couple of days ago and now all the gaps in the bed of broad beans are now filled – see below:

The 'Broad Bean' bed - now full

The ‘Broad Bean’ bed – now full

It does lead me to the conclusion that in future I will plant broad beans either in the autumn in the ground or in pots in the greenhouse in the spring and not in the ground in the early part of the year – the results of which were not good.

The mangetout peas also survived ok, even the tiny ones I had planted just before going away – in fact I’ve had to add some canes as support to the first couple of rows since I took the picture below.

Mangetout peas (Oregon Sugar Snap)

Mangetout peas (Oregon Sugar Snap)

The strawberries are also flourishing, and one variety is in flower already:

Srawberries doing well

Strawberries doing well

Unfortunately the variety in flower was the one where only two out of the original four survived – but next year hopefully there will be more.

Inside the greenhouse I had planted up not just the three growbags intended to stay in there but also one that would go outside eventually. All have survived, though one or two don’t look entirely 100% healthy, it looks as though they will make it.

Growbags full of tomatoes in the greenhouse - the LH one will be going outside soon

Growbags full of tomatoes in the greenhouse – the LH one will be going outside soon

The climbing beans (from a pack of ‘mixed’ varieties) are just about big enough to plant out, and I’ve prepared the bed the are to go in with the addition of some of my compost. Also, the additional cucumber and courgette seedlings in the greenhouse are ready to plant out.

As a result of the losses though I have been forced to buy a couple of tomato plants (small fruit types) and another cucumber to fill in the gaps. The tomatoes I have already planted in the container near the kitchen. Also purchased were some replacement marigolds (big enough to survive hopefully) and some plants ready for the hanging baskets.

None of the carrots have appeared so I’ve change the compost and will be reseeding as soon as I get chance. The salad leaves in a container survived though – and we had some for out tea yesterday along with some rocket leaves from plants that survived over the winter.

I note the blueberry bushes are in flower now, as are the red and white currants.

Elsewhere, the garlic is doing well and the spinach is mostly thriving, as you can see from the pic below:

Spinach - mostly ok though at row ends not so good (I do have some spares though)

Spinach – mostly ok though at row ends not so good (I do have some spares though)

In the flower beds the perennials are starting to show well now, those that have survived, and some of the bedding plants have survived the slugs & snails at least.

Wildlife

Only thing to report is a squirrel that turned up this morning, but although I had the trail cam watching the main part of the garden, only pigeons turned up while I was away – although it actually looked as if it was probably the same pigeon every day!

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