Saturday, 22 March 2008

Wet, windy and SNOW!

Well it's been a time since the last post. My first cold of the year decided to catch up with me, and I've felt pretty lousy for over a week. It's now Easter weekend, I'm still feeling grotty and it keeps hailing outside! I know Easter is very early this year, but it would have been lovely to get out into the garden for some fresh air.
Typically one plum tree has decided to bloom just as the weather turns bad again, the other one still has its buds snuggled up against the cold. The blueberry flowers are almost open now, and the camellias in the pots look lovely. Everything seems to be sprouting out, I just hope they don't catch a cold like me!
In the greenhouse I did prick out the rest of the celeriac seedlings. I've got 36 plants now, and I'm not sure if they will fit in around everything else. The leaves are a lovely shape and they looked good among the flowers last year but I did not have enough colour, so I need to put more flowers in. I think almost all the self saved lavender seeds are up, I haven't pricked them out yet, but the clumps of tiny thyme plants look good after their move last week. I'm still waiting for the busy lizzie seeds to sprout, and the dwarf clematis, a free packet of seeds, haven't shown yet either.
I was going to plant my seed potatoes, Vales Emerald, in pots last week, but I couldn't locate the pelleted chicken manure. After trawling the garden centres I found boxes at one of the cheaper odds and ends shops on Thursday, when I was looking for something else, so hopefully I'll get them in this weekend.
However I did notice the poor, shivering tomato plants at the garden centre. They had them in the unheated greenhouse part, and they definitely looked the worse for wear. I've still got mine tucked up in the warm, together with the chillies and peppers. They have had a couple of trips out to the greenhouse on better days, but looking out at the snow falling now, the best place is indoors!
I decided to try pre-germinating parsnip seeds as they are supposed to be very slow to get going. I've put them on damp kitchen roll in the kitchen, the forums reckon about 2 weeks in these conditions should do it, then plant into pots before putting outside. Daniel is very keen on parsnips, but space is at such a premium! Still he doesn't like much of the other stuff I grow so it seems a bit mean not to give them a go.
Yesterday I saw a gardening programme talking about a root veg called yacon, which is grown like a dahlia. The plants produce 2 types of tuber, ones for growing on next year, and storage ones to eat. Apparently you can eat them raw and they taste like pears, or put in stir fries like water chestnuts. There are some specialist suppliers of yacon syrup, sweet but we can't digest the sugar, so it's good for low carb diets. I found a supplier doing 5 plants for £12.50, and as long as you keep the growing tubers frost free, there should be no need to buy again! I'll keep you posted as to how it goes!

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