Thursday, 22 April 2010

What's sowing and growing this week.

The speed that things are growing at the moment is proving quite a task to keep up with. I love that so much is going on in the garden but there is a small part of me that want's to slow it all down just a little bit so that I can get full enjoyment out of each new thing that has sprung up or burst into flower. Even goings-on in the greenhouse have sped up dramatically in the last few days. The investment of a heated propagator was truly worthwhile, as you can see at the front of this picture, I now have 2 cucumber seedlings and 3 courgette seedlings! Hoorah!! At last. Thank you everyone for your advice and kind words during my moments of cucurbit frustration last week! I think the cold must have had something to do with the lack of success, it would appear these babies love heat. I have only been turning the propagator on at night so as not to cook my precious seeds but so far they all seem quite happy and content.
Also springing up are the climbing beans and some more broad beans. My last sowing of broad beans only produced 4 plants but I now have another 4 peeking up through the soil. The runner beans I am planting this year are Wisley Magic and I am also growing some long purple beans call Blauhilde. I first grew these last year and they were a great success with a fantastic flavour, their purple colour also looks incredibly pretty on the plot.

The tulips have started to flower this week and the borders are looking all the better for the splashes of bright red. It's funny to think that only a month ago this border looked so dull and brown. Note to self: Hydrangea heads need cutting off.

After losing all our pelargoniums over winter we bought all new plugs a couple of weeks ago. These have been taking up alot of valuable greenhouse space and so we have planted these up this week and are hoping they will survive outside. We may have to cover them up at night if frost threatens but the weather here has been quite mild so I am hoping they will be ok.

We have bought a mixture of standard and trailing ones in scarlet and white. I think the bright red should look lovely in this old drainpipe against the white wall in summer.

A couple of weeks ago when I planted my early potatoes I removed a large clump of forget-me-nots that had seeded themselves in the middle of the plot. I bought them home and re-planted them by the shed.

I know they will cover everywhere and I will be in-undated with forget-me-nots next year (and forever more) but I love them and they cheer up what is a rather dull and practical, working area of the garden. Note to self: Shed needs painting.

On the plot the spring planted garlic and onions now have green shoots and I am pleased with their progress considering I only got around to planting them a few weeks ago. This is the first time I have tried planting garlic in spring.I have previously grown it overwinter so it will be interesting to see the results and compare with other years.

I have now planted my pak choi. I am hoping the marigolds will protect from whitefly and the netting will protect from pigeons and butterflies but I fear the biggest enemy for these will be slugs. Thankfully I don't think we have any visiting pheasants like Shiny New Allotment Holder!

Jobs for the weekend:
Plant tomatoes in greenhouse border.
Finish planting potatoes.
Deadhead hydrangeas.
Pot up climbing bean seedlings.
Sow chard seeds.


  1. Tales of your germinating seeds is making me worry that I haven't put everything of mine in yet!! Time really does seem to be going too fast...can we have an extra week this April? Please?!
    I should be greatful that sowing seeds is the worst of my worries I suppose :)

  2. I agree...I'd like an extra April this April please. Where did the time go??? I still have so much to plant! I love your use of the old drainpipe! I remember our old house in England had those hefty cast iron drainpipes (not the flimsy things you see here). But I'm sure as many are replaced, they just get thrown away. I think your geranium will look amazing up there. I do hope you'll post a photo when it's in full bloom!

  3. I have also planted my garlic in spring. It will be interesting to see the results. As far as I know, they should be smaller than ones planted in autumn. But, let’s see!

    There is still no sign of my cucumber plants sown in greenhouse. Maybe I will have to sow them again.

  4. Glad to see that you managed to get your cucumbers and courgettes to germinate. I agree, time is going too fast, I wish it would slow down a little as I still have so much to do. Your border is looking lovely and colourful. I also lost some overwintering plants this year, but your new pelargoniums will add some more colour in the summer.

  5. I have had real mixed success with my pumpkins and squash this year. The courgettes are fine but a new batch of squash sown about 3 weeks ago refuse to germinate even in a heated propagator. I guess l mustn't be greedy and be happy with what l have but it is frustrating as l like to try and grow different things or different varieties each year. All eyes open now for those dreaded slugs and snails!

  6. Hi Geoff and thanks for visiting. An extra week in April is a great idea. I am not usually so organised but I almost missed out on several things last year when I left things late and they didn't propagate the first time...climbing beans for example, last year took 3 sowings so I've done them early this year and sod's law they've all sprung up with no effort and I am probably too early now!

    Hi CVF, yes will certainl post when the flowers come out...I love recycling old things like this planter, this was from my parents house when,yes,unfortunately the old cast iron guttering was rotten and a plastic replacement was inevitable!

    Hi Vrtlarica, my garlic wasn't that great last year and suffered rust so I am looking forward to seeing how these spring ones do. Definitely try sowing your cucumbers again,all may not be lost!

    Hi Jo, I'm sorry to hear you also lost plants overwinter. It was so harsh even the plants in the greenhouse didn't survive. Always sad to see things destroyed when so much love and attention goes on them!

    Hi Trevor, I haven't progressed to squash or pumpkins yet - maybe next year if my courgettes go well this year. I love to try new things each year but yes sometimes frustration is the only result, last year chillies and celery were my experiments, both disasters and probably alot more trouble than they were worth!

  7. Those heated propagators are really worth their weight in gold Nina. I am lucky enough to also have a heated sandbench in the greenhouse which is great for starting things off early. Pleased to see that you now have some cucumbers and courgettes :)

  8. Yes, I agree, forget-me-nots are lovely. And who cares if they overrun the place. That and the reams of violets I can't ever pull out and discard.
    Has it been ever so dry where you are? Our rainbarrels are already running low. A touch worrying.