Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Coldframe Floweth Over, and the Kitchen Windowsill Too!

It's that time of year - young plants and seedlings in pots and trays everywhere, all needing shelter for another couple of weeks. I ran out of space by the end of March and since then have spent trying to ingeniously re-arrange the collections of pots and seed trays, to make room for the seeds I'm still putting in. Today, after the nth attempt, I adopted a new strategy. I put out a flimsy polytunnel and planted out some of the seedling caulis under it and put some more in a large pot which I covered with a pane of glass. I put some of the leeks into the ground, even though they are still tiny. There are plenty left in trays, in case they fail. Fingers crossed for no more than a light breeze, as I don't think the polytunnel will survive a proper Welsh wind.
Also sowed today - more pumpkins, a variety called Snowman which are very pale in colour, Sweetcorn - full size and mini, and I saved the best til last.. Today was the day, the runner beans are in....or should I say... off. (I soaked them all afternoon before potting them up, so hopefully they will speed along)
Had a head count on the Tomato plants, and alarmingly found I have 16 of them. Found a new home for two of them later in the day, so only another ten to give away now.
Looking forward to more balmy days in the garden.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

One Potato, Two Potato, how many more?

Another five actually found their way to ground today - Reds, Desiree, not seed pots but kitchen rejects, too old too eat. So that's the running spud total at 23 today, with another seven on top of the fridge, waiting their turn. My strategy with spuds is to only plant them in places too inhospitable to grow much else, so rough ground, just reclaimed from wild and also the far corners of the veg plot, at the very frontier of wilderness where the giant slugs and snails venture in from the Bramble Land beyond the fence. I've never managed to successfully keep anything else alive in those far corners, but potatoes do OK there.
My Broad Beans are starting to look really healthy, though still less than two inches high, and the peas are growing slowly - almost past the inch now. I put another drill of them in today. They are Canoe (not Cannon as I previously mis-read. Since discovering their real name I have started to question what's going on in my head!). They are in fact the half pack that I complained loudly of losing over a month ago. A couple of weeks later I spotted them laughing at me from an outside windowsill. Though it had rained more than once, they appeared fine so I've taken a chance with them. Come to think of it, if you were looking for waterproof peas, what better variety than Canoe? I intended to stagger the sowing of the drills, but time is marching on and I am getting jittery about leaving it too late. There is a space for a third drill though, so I might yet get some late summer peas, if I can hold my nerve!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Lil' Peas and Lil' Beans

Yes indeed the peas are showing through, about time too, and I planted out the first broad beans today, though they are still tiny. Another week another tree to plant, I put a Crab Apple in the far corner of the vegetable garden. At less than a fiver per tree, how could I not plant another one! The Crab Apple is last chance saloon for the Jonagold which in two summers has never borne fruit. Fingers crossed it's a pollination issue. If no apples this year, that Jonagold will find itself re-planted on Llantrisant Common. I bought a large fruited Crab Apple - I doubt I'll use the apples but the birds will get a good feed off them.
I planted out some rocket for early salad and potted up about twenty leeks from a seed tray (there are loads more but I ran out of compost).
Indoors I sowed some marigolds and that was that - no more space in the propagators for now.