Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Chugging Along

Off on errands shortly - I've run out of seed compost!  (Crisis level - not quite teabags, but at this time of year above bread shortage). 

I've started using Dalefoot compost this year.  One of the local garden centres (two bus rides away as opposed to a train & cab or wait till we hire a van) started stocking it, so having heard good word about it, thought I'd give it a try.  It's made from composted bracken and waste sheep's wool, so no peat, and more consistent ingredients than green waste based composts.  It's got a nice light texture and so far we've had good germination, even though we've used the general purpose version rather than dedicated seed compost.

So yes, I have been getting busy between the rain & snow with the seed sowing.  We've even started cutting the first batch of salad leaves (micro greens, to be precise, but still a joy to have some fresh greenery from the garden), and the Ramsons are getting into full leaf, so there have been assorted garlic tinged dishes to liven up breakfasts of late.  My pots of herb are springing back to life, so there will be fresh mint & oregano for use in the kitchen pretty soon.  The salad burnet is doing really well, so I'm starting to use that for a slightly bitter cucumber taste.  I fear that despite all my efforts the lemon verbena plants didn't make it, so I'll be on the lookout for replacements in the next month or so.

As usual, I've been using the Planting By The Moon book as a guide as to what to sow when.  Not in terms of adhering to biodynamic practices (too rigid, too much hassle for my brain), but more as a way of keeping some sort of order.  For instance, as yesterday was a "flower" day, I got more summer flowering bulbs, corms & tubers started (freesias, gladioli & dahlias), to be planted out at the allotment once the weather is closer to dry and warm.  Also sowed plenty of flower seed.  Some to go with the bulbs & so forth in a cutting garden patch, others to be dotted around the vegetable beds to attract beneficial insects & repel others.  Tomorrow is a "leaf" day, so once I have stuff to fill the trays, I'll get the next batch of salads started, then over the weekend "fruits", such as peas, beans and the last batch of tomatoes can be dealt with.  If we can work out a way of moving them without the expense of a hire van, some of my fruit tree purchases may get planted at the allotment too.

All but a couple of trays of onions, garlic & shallots we started in modules have been planted out at the allotment, as have first and second early potatoes.  The rhubarb is sprouting, so in a few weeks we can start eating that (along with some of the sweet cicely which is looking particularly good among my herb pots.

I lost so much time after my fall last year that, since I started getting mobile again late last September, I've determined to make full use of my time to garden.  Of course this year Spring has been slow to start, so I've been able to pace myself.  But there is still a inclination to make use of every shaft of sunlight.

I just have to remember when we have another cold or rainy spell and I can't get outside for a few days (still using a picnic table on the deck as a potting bench - must get a new shed this year), or the ground is too sodden to work, that even if a bit late in sowing or planting out, the plants will catch up.

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