Seriously??? Snow???!!!

Yup. Snow. Heavy snow. This is probably going to be a pretty big disaster for all the plants seduced into blossom by the gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately and all the delicate young plants I have planted out over the last couple of weeks. Even hardy plants will surely be pretty shocked by going from 15-18 or so degrees to this.

Blossom in the snow. :(
Blossom in the snow. šŸ˜¦
Marigolds in the snow
Please excuse the photo – I took it from the window as I did not fancy going outside in this blizzard. Marigolds and herb spiral in the snow – RIP ?

I have brought in some refugees from the polytunnel where they had been sitting this morning in brilliant sunshine with the door of the tunnel wide open. I am struggling to find enough space for everything indoors, especially since the wood burning stoves are going to be installed so two rooms have to be cleared before work commences on Wednesday. Aaargh! Not a good day.

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Potting Up, Companion Planting and More

We were expecting it to be rather a damp weekend but although we have had a few showers, most of the time it has continued rather dry and not too cold. It was warm enough yesterday to sit out in the garden for a while. I also took the time to earth up the first early potatoes one last time.

I have been working flat out today as there is so much that needs to be done in the house, polytunnel and garden. Here is what I have managed to do so far:

– Pot up lots of squash and cucumbers.

A few of the many squash.
A few of the many squash.

– Pot up a huge forest of tomatoes.

Tomato Jungle.
Tomato Jungle.

– Pot up all the bell and chili peppers.

Potted up Bell Peppers

– Plant out brussels sprouts into the vegetable beds.

– Plant out peas and beans into the forest garden.

Peas and Beans in Forest Garden

– Add some companion plants to the polytunnel.

Peas with companion plants Marigold

– I have also planted a few more lettuce seeds and pak choi to keep supplies going.

Lovely flowers are springing into bloom in the polytunnel on the peas and beans and all around the garden.

Pea flower in the polytunnel.
Pea flower in the polytunnel.

Lots of blossom

Amazing Pond Progress

While I was working today amazing progress has been made on the pond. I think it looks fantastic and I am sure it will look even better once the water has cleared and the plants have had a chance to take over.

Planted up wildlife pond.
Planted up wildlife pond.
A gentle beach on this side of the pond so any creatures can get in and out easily.
A gentle beach on this side of the pond so any creatures can get in and out easily.

We are expecting rain but it has not come yet. It is a shame that it comes on the weekend but the plants do all desperately need it – we have even had to fill the water butts from the tap a couple of times because we’ve had so little rain! With any luck the watery theme will continue and we will get the rain that is forecast.

Flowers on Broad Beans and Peas and the Pond is Full

Another really warm day today has brought the first early potatoes on even fasterĀ and I can now see flowers forming on the broad beans.

Flowers forming on the broad beans.
Flowers forming on the broad beans.

And on some of the peas.

First flowers on the early peas.
One of the few first flowers on the early peas.

The liner for the wildlife pond has been installed and the pond is now full of water and awaiting plants and the evolution of a complete and healthy ecosystem.

Pond Full of WaterI am looking forward to seeing the pond filled with native plants and I hope we will have frogs and other pond life before too long.

Hardening Off in the Polytunnel

I worked outside for part of the day again today as the weather is still gorgeous here. At lunch time I did manage to pot up some brussels sprouts to harden them off a little before I plant them out.

Brussels sprouts in the polytunnel for the night tonight.
Brussels sprouts in the polytunnel for the night tonight.

There are also some sweet peas in there that I will harden off in the polytunnel for a few nights before planting out.

Sweet Peas
Left them far too long – oops. I meant to pot them up ages ago!

I also decided to plant up some Tumbling Tom tomatoes that were getting too big for their pots and even flowering already.

The Tumbling Toms will grow in their hanging basket in the polytunnel.
The Tumbling Toms will grow in their hanging basket in the polytunnel.
Tumbling Toms Flowering
But for now I will keep bringing in the basket at night to be on the safe side.

As an aside – look how big the first early potatoes are getting already! It will soon be time to earth them up for the final time.

Potatoes 21st AprilWhether we really will be able to find and use our earliest of first earlies in June or not remains to be seen but it does look like we are well on our way.

Herb Spiral

We have finally got round to building our herb spiral (the first part of our design for the space next to the vegetable beds) and planting out some herbs and marigolds into it. I think it looks really good and should provide a range of habitats for all our herbs.

First of all I laid out cardboard to suppress the grass beneath, we then used biomass from the garden – thin woody cuttings, last year’s dead montbretia leaves and lots of grass cuttings – to build up a mound. We then covered the pile with compost. Stones dug from the vegetable beds form walls to complete the spiral.

Herb spiral with vegetable beds in the background.
Herb spiral with vegetable beds in the background.

Herb Spiral from North Herb Spiral From South Herb Spiral from South EastAs you can see, we also planted out the first lot of herbs from inside. Along with the parade of marigolds, we also have so far planted out chives, parsley, chervil, dill and coriander.

In the next few months it will soon fill up with the thyme and oregano that are already growing inside, rosemary and some basil (in addition to the basil that will be growing beneath the tomatoes in the polytunnel). I will also plant successionally over the summer. The herb spiral should provide many of our herbs but there will be more herbs acting as companion plants for some of the vegetables.

Happy Saturday: Seedlings, Sunshine and Home Brew

This morning I got out bright and early into the garden, the sun was shining and after giving everything everywhere a good water I planted out all my kohlrabi and some beetroots, while my husband made a basic netted frame to protect them from the pigeons.

Beetroots and kohlrabi safe from the pigeons. I have also direct sown some beetroots and will continue will successional planting over the summer.
Beetroots and kohlrabi safe from the pigeons. I have also direct sown some beetroots and will continue will successional planting over the summer. Some of theĀ onion sets around the edge of the bed are also now beginning to sprout.

Six of the eight vegetable beds are now populated, though I will still be adding some more companion plants. In addition to planting out the seedlings I direct sowed some mixed salad, little gem lettuces and radishes along the sides of the bed which will have a wide row of peas down the middle.

Thought the peas and potatoes are not showing yet, it will not be long until everything looks a lot more green.
Though the peas and two beds of early and maincrop potatoes are not showing yet, it will not be long (I hope!) until everything looks a lot more green.

We have also had plenty of time this afternoon just sitting and relaxing outside. It was really warm again. Our main challenge at the moment seems to be making sure that everything gets enough water – we have had very little rain recently.

This evening, the home brew has reached the bottling stage.

Bottling HomebrewThat should be good for future sunny Saturdays in our garden.