Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Icy winds today

After a lovely few days of bright sun and warm (ish) days, today was a real reminder not to get too ahead of ourselves. The sun was shining, but the north wind was cold enough to cut you (and any tender seedlings) in half. I remember seeing runner beans last year in a diy store, but on SUnday there were some in a well known garden centre close to us. Madness!
However, talking of madness, the Dec 27th tomatoes have been out in the greenhouse for over a week now, and are doing fine. Even with a frost the other night, the fleece (and I have to admit, the fan heater on the frost free setting) seems to have done the job. There are flowers on 3 of them, so hopefully they will set. Acccording to info I found, it depends if the night time temperature is high enough for the pollen to remain viable, so fingers crossed. I counted up, I've 32 tomatoes, with room for about 8 inside permently.
The chillies are doing well too, I've 11 of those I think, and 6 peppers. (Yes I know I said last year I wasn't bothering, but well..) I did have 10 peppers, but when Amanda came round last week I gave her a couple of the orange bell, and a couple of canape (red). Hopefully she'll be able to get some fruit from them. She bought me a jar of her tomato chutney, absolutely delicious, and thats just from a spoon. I'm sure it's even better with cheese. Mine wasn't half as nice, so I need to get the recipie, ready for this autumn. She also gave me some Hurst Green Shaft peas and some Meteor. I soaked some of each overnight, then left them in my seed sprouter until the roots were just emerging. Some of the Meteor were sown in loo rolls, but the rest have had to make do with pots. The Hursts have gone into a deep trough (actually a recycling bin given back to us in mistake by the bin men, we left it out for a week, but the owner did not come and collect it so its been 'recycled'.
Contrary to what I'd been told, celeriac seed does last several years. I sowed the rest of the pack I had left over, and I reckon most grew! Takae pricked a load out for me, we now have 132 seedlings. The greenhouse is beginning to burst at the seams, what with the tomatoes, celeriac, sowings of lettuce, flowers, and parsnips in loo roll tubes (we just don't use enough). I haven't even got started with the more tender stuff like beans, courgettes and cucumbers yet.
In the garden things are moving on apace as well. In Takae I have a willing worker, she has dug over the beds for me, and we now have the bean sticks in position ready for sowing next month. It also lets me see what space we have available for other stuff.
In the garage garden the broad beans from last autumn have taken well, and even the new sowings, started off in the greenhouse, are looking good. The first 5 parsnips planted out seem to have grown bigger already, but there are no green shoots on the shallots yet. However the radish I sprinkled between them are coming through nicely. Those in the Patio Gro covered with the plastic cover are beginning to swell, so hopefully I'll be pulling some in the next couple of weeks.

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