25th April, 2012

I did some more sowing, some of it successional such as more beetroot, radish, spring onion and kohlrabi.  I also potted up the tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.  These are all in the greenhouse although the weather has turned cold and growth appears to have slowed down.

Outside the fruit trees continue to flower.   I have a nice crab apple tree as a bonsai which is looking lovely now with flowers.

The plum and greengage have been attacked by pigeons I think. I've spotted them on the branches which they have snapped and the fruit buds and leaf buds have been removed.

But there are some left, let's hope it's enough. For the moment the apple and pear tree are untouched.

The tulips are looking great too.

17th April, 2012

I didn't have much time for the garden this weekend.  I spent most of it helping to run the electronic timing for the kids swimming club gala.  It's noteworthy that our future Olympic champions are all a result of parents volunteering their time at such galas, being a taxi service and of course buying all the training kit and paying the club fees that go mostly towards heating the pool water. I have to say though that swimming is one of the best sports for keeping fit.It could save your life too.

So after that all that I only have some pictures to show of progress in the greenhouse.  The shelves are filling up.

The parsley has germinated, it takes a while.

The peas that  sowed in a gutter are also up,

And I potted on the Cristal tomatoes which I plan to mostly make passata from.  The passata was very popular last year so I'm growing more plants; some of these larger tomatoes and the trusted tigerella variety.

I think it's still too cold to sow any of the tender plants yet.

10th April, 2012

I feel that I should be busier in the garden than I am but I'm relatively up to date with the chores.  I've plant the potatoes in what I call the middle bed where the soil is still very sticky and stony.  But this year digging the trench was much easier, so all that compost I've been adding is slowly but surely working to improve the soil structure.  This time I added a nice layer of compost to the bottom of the trench, sprinkled on some potato fertiliser and then placed the chitted spuds about 18" apart.  This is a bigger gap than I usually give but I seem to have more space this year.  I may regret saying that.

The tomatoes, basil, aubergines and peppers have germinated nicely on the windowsill.  When the first true leaves appear I'll pot them on into their own pots.  I've already done that for the Tigerella tomatoes and they are in the greenhouse.

My lemon tree did not survive the winter.  It dropped all its leaves and I hoped that new ones might sprout but no.  I'm not very successful at overwintering tender trees in the conservatory.  I lost a peach tree too.  I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong as I thought the lemon tree I had was tolerant to -5C.  I was really looking forward to eating home grown lemons too.  All that I can get to survive are cacti and Venus fly traps.

The Aloe cacti produced lots of side shoots which I potted up for friends.

The Swiss chard is getting bigger after over wintering.  I had nearly given up on these but maybe there will be a meal or two there.

I added a nice compost mulch around the base of the greengage and plum trees.

Now it's time to mow the lawns but this year I'm going to experiment with leaving areas uncut to generate a meadow effect.  Well that's my excuse for not mowing it.

2nd April, 2012

Nice weather again with plenty of signs of spring.

The fruit trees are coming into blossom.  The picture shows the greengage in front with the plum tree behind.

The flowers are very pretty.

and there are lots of them.  I should remember this year to thin the fruit so that the branches don't break as they did last year.  The good thing is that the trees are still in good health it seems.

The blueberries are also flowering.

I removed some more of the Leylandii hedge to allow the redcurrants more space to grow into.

Next weekend will be the first meal of asparagus!

I have been harvesting more PSB

and leeks.

The seeds are sprouting in the greenhouse.  These are the radish and kohlrabi.

I also sowed some chillies, the seeds were taken from last year's harvest which I dry out and can use throughout the year.

The tomatoes and basil I sowed have germinated nicely on the windowsill but I'll leave them there until they show the true leaves.

I planted the onion sets (golden ball) and potted up some strawberry runners that had rooted and I had missed.  I can give these away to friends.

I replaced the sieve with a coarser mesh in my home made compost sieving contraption.  I don't need it to be so fine and I ended up returning much of it to the compost bin.  Maybe I don 't need to sieve it at all but it does improve the soil nicely.