26th April, 2011

The excessively dry weather has necessitated a disciplined approach to watering with a good soaking every evening. Fortunately I have had several days off work due to a combination of bank holidays and a royal wedding which has allowed me to do the vital watering and get on top of the gardening (almost). The dry weather has been glorious though and it's been lovely working outside.

So it's been a very busy time.


In seed trays

Dwarf beans
Runner beans
Wild flowers

Nice green seedlings in the greenhouse.

The picture below shows the 3 home grown peach trees; they are the tall plants at the back and growing very well.

Beetroot and kohlrabi.

I have plenty of sweetcorn this year, about 30 plants.

Despite my initial optimism about the fig, it looks like only one will survive. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm hoping the plant is still young and needs to bush up more.

Sowing outside

I'm trying direct sowing for parsnips this time



Onion sets

The onion sets are up already.

Sadly, I have run out of last year's onions and will have to buy some (the shame!), but I have planted a lot of onions this year and the overwintered onion sets are beginning to swell so I may only have to use supermarket onions for a short while.

The Kestrel potatoes are through and I've earthed them up in case of a late frost, which doesn't seem likely with the past weather but it's never worth the risk.


Purple Sprouting Broccoli

The pigeons never attacked the purple sprouting broccoli and we had several nice meals from the 4 plants that did survive the winter.

Also around the garden, the broad beans are starting to flower and the mulch of my sieved compost is working well in keeping the weeds down and holding the precious water in the soil.

Sieving my compost was becoming hard work so I had a light bulb moment after watching soil sieving methods on youtube. I converted the old guinea pig hutch into a rough and ready siever. It works by me pushing the sieve backwards and forwards and the compost is collected in the old hutch; so still hard work but less strenuous.

Any new plantings are treated to a freshly dug bed with plenty of the compost, plus a mulch of the stuff.

The sievings get recycled into a heap that is about at its limit now. I've resolved that any further sievings which are essentially the shredded wood of the Leylandii hedge will be sent to the brown council bin where they can be better processed. Otherwise I'll be sieving them forever I think.

Also around the garden, the strawberries have plenty of flowers.

The runner beans are hardening off in the coldframe.

I've erected a more sturdy frame for the peas using some spare wire fencing. It's difficult to get it looking nice with the slope of the garden but it should do the job.

Finally for now, the blackberry and tayberry have nice new growth and I need to weed and feed them with a good mulching.

The raspberries have spread and filled their area and now that the hedge has gone I can properly set up their supports.

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