May 2015

To be honest the spring months have been a bit disappointing in my garden.  The weather’s been very dry and the odd warm day has been followed by quite chilly spells.  My onions have been very disappointing and I’ve had to start again, basically – the same with the parsley I sowed, which didn’t germinate at all. IMG_5618 Better luck with the peas, they’ve perked up and I’m just putting some sticks in now to support them.  The radishes and parsnips have come through, I’m glad to say.  But I’ve had to re-sow spring onions, leeks and red cabbages.  Just when you think you’re getting good at this, something plays a trick on you.  I suppose that’s what gardening is all about.  It’d be boring if everything happened exactly as it’s supposed to.

Towards the end of last month I put down six bags of well-rotted manure on the plantingIMG_5477 area and Rotavated it in; I’ve sown some beetroot seeds which have come through nicely already.

But the courgettes and sweetcorn I had in propagators completely failed, so I’ve re-done them.  IMG_5503I’ve got some runner beans in pots which look healthy enough and I’m pleased with the progress of the blueberries I’ve got in pots in ericaceous soil, which they need.  I try to water them with rainwater only.   All the other fruit bushes have had a good dressing of liquid manure which should do them good.  In this very dry weather they take moisture in through their leaves.  The strawberries  have had the same treatment.

As for the little new strawberry plants I’ve planted – they are basically just shoots off the existing ones, and you’re supposed to pick the flowers off them as soon as they appear, and any runners, so that the plants concentrate on growing strong roots, which means they should produce good fruit next year.  It seems a shame to be stopping them from creating fruit this year but it’s for longer-term benefit!

I impulse buy things sometimes (don’t we all?) and that applied to some healthy looking aubergine plants I saw at a well-known upmarket supermarket the other week (no prizes!)  It turns out the plants are actually grafted onto sturdy root stock and they need to be in 18 inch deep pots, to give them room to develop.  They look healthy; I haven’t come across this sort of grafting before.  I bought a few sweet pepper and tomato plants as well, also grafted, and we shall see how they do.  They’re all in the greenhouse.

I don’t usually top-dress the lawn to encourage growth but now I’ve got someone helping me with the mowing, so I’m not so worried about vigorous growth!  So out I went and gave the grass a good healthy dressing.

We’ve been cropping the asparagus and enjoying it; similarly the spring cabbages are perfect now after their winter in the ground.

Hopefully the weather will warm up now and everything will recover from a slightly shaky start to the growing season.  See you next month!