Saturday, 3 April 2010

April Already

It doesn't seem possible the year is moving so quickly, but here we are, April already, and so many things to do in the garden. I have checked back through my diary to see what I was doing last year. I had more time of course, as I wasn't in at work, but I don't think that was the only reason things were further forward. The plum tree was in flower on the 2nd last year, this year the buds are only just beginning to burst. They said it was a cold winter, and the plants know it!
I did get very carried away yesterday though, sowing cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins and courgettes, (all in the heated propagators) so I hope the spring warms through soon.
There is no way I will have space for them all, but I'm intending to give some away, and my tutor group at school are setting up an eco-friendly business to sell free range eggs, plants and veg, so they can have any extras. We are going to canvas for donations of just about everything after the Easter break!
I would like to say a public thank you to those who have donated seeds through the Grapevine Forum. They are much appreciated, and we are intending to sell on seeds that are not practical for us to plant. Hopefully we will come by more as the time goes on. We have 7 weeks until the market day at school, so there is time to get saleable plants, although Easter has got in the way of planning.
I now have a good number of jalapeno peppers set on my plant, and there are flower buds on the habaneros, scotch bonnets and Dorset Nagas. I have 65 assorted plants in all, some of which need re-potting this weekend, space is definitely at a premium.
By this time last year I was risking the tomatoes in the greenhouse, but I don't feel so inclined this year. They are getting too tall now, they outgrew the cupboard, and are not really getting enough light in the living room, despite a couple of lamps as well as the conservatory style roof. It's going to be difficult to harden them off as they are all in their final pots, but they are too lush to go straight out, the setback may well kill them.
At the allotment garden I planted parsnips, beetroot, carrots and turnips a couple of weeks ago, and I'm itching to ge there to see what, if anything, they are doing. I have some broad beans; jubilee hysor; to plant out as well as some meteor peas. The broad beans have been grown in loo rolls, the peas just in pots. I have bought Moonlight runners, which are supposed to have been cross bred with french beans so they are self fertile, but look and taste like runners. I was also thinking of sowing some pink ones (Sunset), and some red ones (Lady Di), both from the seed swaps I've done. I was putting the loo rolls in the mushroom boxes (I do try to recycle), and found I was running out! It seemed I had millions, but it just goes to show how important it is to forward plan. I still have french beans to sow as well. I'm not sure whether to try the beans in the cold propagator in the greenhouse, or to wait until the heated ones free up.
As usual, what we do depends a lot on the weather, we are having very heavy showers interspersed with periods of sunshine, but the ground at home is still so wet.

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