Signs of Spring

Over the last few weeks, we have seen the arrival of spring. Daylight hours are increasing and it will soon be time to start sowing in earnest. Wonderful to be back outside. Seen several Bees already, and fed one some sugar water as it was looking a bit weak.

I am trying not to be too eager to rip open the seed packets as I have found that it’s better to wait for longer days and the soil to warm up rather than having trays on every windowsill, with plants ending up getting leggy due to insufficient light levels.

I am trying to do successional sowing this year and I have started with Broad Beans and Lettuce. IMG_20170301_114232
Here is a picture of the peas that I soaked prior to sowing, then have now been planted at the Allotment.IMG_20170302_085836

I have potatoes chitting, this variety is called “Nicola”.IMG_20170301_162011

I have planted all my shallots and some of the onion sets into modules, they are starting to put on growth.IMG_20170301_114259

Re-potted a few Strawberry runners from last year to fill any gaps in the fruit cage at the Allotment. They are so easy to do, just take the runner off at the end of the season and pot up. New stock for next year.IMG_20170301_114454

The crocus is in full bloom and brightens up the back garden.

The tulips are starting to put on good growth and it won’t be long before I see the different types and colors. This year I picked 5 different varieties and mixed them up in the pots, looking forward to seeing how they turn out.IMG_20170301_114138

New Gardening Season.

Over the last few weeks, we have been doing some preparation for the new gardening season. The allotment has been tidied and dug. Just the fruit cage left to be weeded and the Brassica cage to be emptied. A few plants of purple sprouting left – although whether they come to anything remains to be seen. The Apple trees have been pruned. It’s great to be outside again after a long winter. The soil is a bit wet although we did manage to dig it. Just need some sunshine to warm the soil up and it will be good to go.

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Im planning on sowing some parsnips this coming weekend in the raised bed which was used for carrots last year. The variety I have picked is Unwins – White Gem.It is a short rooted variety. I always buy fresh Parsnip seed each year, as it doesn’t store well.

I have also prepared a two short rows for peas. I have found that if I soak the peas the night before sowing, I have better success and it appears to deter  mice from digging them up. I pop the seeds into a jam jar – soak in warm water overnight and sow them the next day, I have had good germination rates with this method on the allotment. My first sowing will be – Alderman – Sow March to May.

Today, I brightened up the trough outside the front door with some polyanthus  (primrose) for an immediate splash of colour. The tulip and crocus bulbs are coming up in the garden so that’s a sure sign that Spring will be here soon.

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So far I have potatoes (Nicola) chitting.

Broad Beans – Aquaduce

Spring Onions – White Lisbon

Celeriac – Monarch – Sat on kitchen window sills

Celery – Tango – Sat on kitchen window sills

Lettuce – Crisp Mint

Lettuce – Rosedale

Cabbage – Greyhound

Kale – Curly Scarlet

Herbs: Marjoram Sweet, Winter Savory, Thyme Creeping, Anise Hyssop, Hyssop. All from Jekka’s Herbs.

Hopefully, today (between the showers) – I will be sowing some Sweet Pea’s in the greenhouse. I have soaked the seed overnight and have picked two varieties to try. Normally, I would stick with the Old Fashioned variety as they have always stood me in good stead, beautiful perfume, quite a heady scent, but this year I will settle for Sweet Pea – Ocean Foam – A special blend of Heirloom, Old Spice Sweet Pea’s that are highly scented and heat resistant. They are blue, purple and white in colour.

And my second choice Mr Fothergill’s – Sweet Pea – Counterpoint. This variety is an “Extra frilly ‘Spencer’ type in cool colours – white, lilac and pink.  Love the scent of Sweet Pea’s in the Summer.