I’m pleased to be able to report a fair bit of garden action last month after the long lull of winter. The weather’s warmed up, my patch has been rotivated (thanks to our trusty tractor driver friend), anti-chicken and other feathered or furry beast fencing has been installed (thanks to Phil), the poly tunnel has been re-installed, the plot layout finally decided on (roughly!), seeds a plenty have been sown and I’ve even started a little planting out. Yippppeeee, I love gardening season! The knock on effect is sadly my lack of blogging action. There seem to be so many things to juggle these days. So apologies now for my reduced posting over the spring and summer, but I’ve got veggies to grow!
So here’s the new fencing and enlarged plot, ha ha you’re well and truly scuppered my feathered friends:
Most of my seedlings are fairing pretty well out in the poly tunnel though mysteriously several of my wee tomatoes died off a couple of weeks ago. So far I’ve set off 3 types of tomato (plum, beef and cherry), peppers (also having problems with germination, but hopefully I’ll have enough come good), celery (this year they’ve miraculously germinated unlike my total failure last year), cucumbers, aubergines (again a 100% success), peas, globe artichokes (for the first time!) and butternut squash. And they’ll be lots more seeds sown this month!.
Peas...in toilet rolls!
A cucumber seedling
A Surviver of the Tomatoes
As for the stuff in the ground. I’ve given the herb bed a little overhaul and below the mountain of weeds and leaves I’ve found quite a few plants survived the minus 16 temperatures we had a few weeks ago. We have chives, flat leaved parsley, lots and lots of thyme, rosemary, sage, tarragon and oregano. I’ve also sown coriander and basil and more parsley and tarragon and have extended the bed somewhat.
Meet the Herbs
Shallots and red onions have been sown, notably in lovely neat straight lines this year….I have succumbed to the inner Virgo and said goodbye to my random sporadic planting of last year (that no doubt disturbed my fellow gardener neighbours).
My Virgo lines of loveliness!
I’ve also split the plot this year into four main groupings, to be rotated on an annual basis. Apparently this is the only way to do things if you want to be organic. So I have one space for potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. One for roots and onions. Another for legumes (peas and beans etc) and last but not least one for the brassicas (broccoli, cabbages, cauliflowers and the like). There’s also a perennial bed for my herbs, strawberries, artichokes, raspberries and rhubarb. And all those other things like melons, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, salads etc can just be slotted in wherever there’s space. And please note that each of my plots has been exactly calculated, measured and divided with string. The unleashed virgo.
My perennial bed has been planted with lots more strawberries this month so I’m hoping Phil and I might actually get to taste a few this year, and get past the greedy fingers of our kids! I’ve also put in a few raspberry canes and rhubarb plants. I was amazed to find the rhubarb at our local market last weekend, I’ve been looking for some plants for ages and came to the conclusion the French just don’t do rhubarb.
One of my new strawberry plants
A raspberry cane
And last but most certainly not least I’ve finally started on the extremely arduous task of potato planting. Actually the planting of potatoes itself is none too bad, it’s the digging and breaking down of the tough clay soil in areas that have been previously unworked that’s a killer. But bit by bit and row by row I should be there within a couple of weeks….I have a LOT of potatoes to plant! Two types of ‘old’ and one of new.
So that’s it for the March round up. I’m reckoning April will be even busier. Happy days.
April 6th, 2012 at 7:35 am
Wow, you certainly have been busy! I love this time of year though – all the hard work now will be rewarded later, so it’s worth putting in the effort.
My Aubergines are growing incredibly slowly. Is that normal? I have never grown them before.
April 9th, 2012 at 7:12 pm
Thanks Mark, from memory my aubergine seedlings grew very slowly last year, and even the plants themselves are pretty small…though they were happily dripping with gorgeous glossy aubergines from July onwards! Good luck, they’re one of my favourite veggies!