The Easter weekend 2021 – A 4 day weekend!!

With lockdown slowly easing there is a sense of hope in the air. The vaccination program is going really well in the UK and everyone over 50 has been offered their first jab. We’re all under 50 in our household, so our time hasn’t come quite yet, but hopefully will soon.

I am feeling very excited to be getting the vaccine soon, not only for myself, but knowing that it’ll be keeping other safe as well. There is also another side of me that is feeling rather apprehensive about getting the vaccination. Many people have told me that they had no reaction to it at all, some said they felt a little feverish for a few hours, but then you’ve heard of others feeling really ill for about a week. It seems to me that the younger you are, the more of a reaction you seem to get. This is worrying me a little as I know I may have to have some time off work to recover. Usually I’m the sort of person who takes painkillers and carries on, but I may have to bite the bullet and spend a few days in bed (hopefully with Mark).

I’ve been thinking ahead about having enough food in the house so the kids can cook and look after everything while I can’t. Am I over thinking this? Maybe. But being a mum and the provider of food it’s always something that I have to think about. I think I’ll just have to wait and see. I like my life to be organised and plan everything so I know what each day brings, but this is something I can’t plan ahead and I feel a little stressed out about it. As Lance Corporal Jones says in Dad’s Army, “Don’t panic!!” I’ll try Jonesy.

Now onto the gardening over the Easter weekend.

It’s been a very busy weekend in the garden and at home. Because there was a Bank holiday either side of the weekend, it meant that I ended up having a four day weekend. Not wanting the rest over those four days, well it’s just not like me. I decided to make myself a list of things I wanted to do, which took up the entire side of an A4 piece of paper. Clearly I had a lot to get through, both inside the house and outside in the garden. Would I get all those things done, well that was anyones guess?

I won’t bore you with all the house chores, I don’t think you really want to hear about that, so let’s get straight onto the garden stuff.

The sun was shining so Emily, Kai and I went out in the garden to take some photos of my Lottie and Dottie books in various ways. I’m setting up an Etsy account to sell them. Click HERE to go straight there, and will add various other bits as and when I do them.

Most of the seeds and seedlings in the greenhouses are doing really well. There are some very old seeds that I sowed that haven’t germinated yet, so I think the time has come for me to throw them away. They did very well, but like everything their time has come and they’re no longer going to grow.

The brassicas have been growing really well and are now large enough to be pricked out and go in individual pots. They’re about an inch and a half tall and some are just about getting their first set of true leaves. It didn’t take too long as I made sure that I only sowed a few of each this year. It’s very easy to sow too many. You really have to restrain yourself when sowing seeds.

The Globe Artichokes are also popping along very well, so they are now in their own individual pots and will hopefully grow very well. When they are large enough I can then plant them out around the garden and let the bees enjoy the flowers.

The melons took a while to germinate, but the little blast of warmth we had last week helped them on their way and they soon popped their heads through the compost. Bless them.

Then I moved onto some flower seeds. Now unlike everything I’ve pricked out so far, where it was one seedling per pot, if I did the same with the flowers I would still be pricking them out now. When you see flowers growing in a flower bed or wild out in a field, or along a verge by the road, you’ll notice they grow in clumps. So with this in mind when I prick out flower seedlings, I tend to do them in groups of a few seedlings. These ones I did in groups of 3, but if you have a load of poppies then groups of 10 seedlings would do fine. You don’t have to count them exactly, just a rough guess.

Because the weather was beautifully warm and sunny and as I was out in the garden the chickens felt that they should be as well. If I let them wander round the garden (which due to bird flu you have to keep them in an area that is netted on the top as well as the side) they would get into all sorts of mischief. Fortunately I have two rather large brassica cages that I’m not using at the moment, due to the fact the brassicas are still in the greenhouses. So these are perfect for impromptu runs for the chickens to play in. So in they went to have some fun and play in the soil without me having to keep a watchful eye on them all the time. After a good scratch about it was time for them to have a dust bath. They were very happy lazing around in the sun stretching their legs and wings out and enjoying life.

I also had some mixed hardy geraniums to prick out, and because these grow rather large and are different varieties they needed to be pricked out individually and put in small pots. Watch when you get geraniums as many are not hardy and will die over the winter unless you keep them in terracotta pots and put them in a greenhouse over the winter. I have some that I have to move in when it gets cold, but as long as you do that they’ll be fine. The hardy ones can stay out all year, so just make sure you get the right ones.

All the seedlings whether they’re flowers or veggies will be fine to plant out about mid to end of May time. But they’ve still got lots of growing to do before then.

The last lot of planting I did was my potatoes. I know lots of people swear that potatoes must go in on Good Friday. Why this is I don’t know. I’m sure one of you will tell me. But as long as you get your potatoes in by they middle of May at the very latest they’ll be fine. I usually plant mine in the first half of April as I find the weather is a little warmer and the soil is easier to dig. But this year I’m trying something new. I’m planting all my potatoes in large buckets. I have two different varieties this year, Sarpo Mira and King Edward. I’ve sown two seed potatoes per bucket.

If growing in buckets, place about 6 inches of multipurpose compost in the bottom of the bucket. Sprinkle in some potato fertiliser. Place the seed potatoes on the soil and then fill up the remainder of the bucket with more compost. Firm the compost down and then water. They should only need watering once or maybe twice a week to start with, unless it’s very dry. The more they grow the more they’ll need watering. Hopefully by the time the leaves poke above the soil then all worry of frost will be gone.

If you’re growing them in the ground this is how I do mine.

So Friday, Saturday and Sunday were beautifully warm and sunny…..but what about Monday I hear you ask…..Well it snowed!!

Not much and it didn’t settle, but it snowed nonetheless. And the wind was bitterly cold, so I spent Bank Holiday Monday doing lots of chores in the house. Can’t have my wobbly bits getting cold now can I?

Hope you all had a lovely Easter and didn’t eat too much chocolate. I can’t eat chocolate, it makes my head very angry, so I have Easter beer instead which makes my head all happy a fluffy.

I didn’t quite get everything done on my massive list, but I’ll just have to sort those things out next weekend.

Take care and stay safe and well.

Happy Gardening xxxxx

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1 Response to The Easter weekend 2021 – A 4 day weekend!!

  1. NebraskaDave says:

    Claire,
    We here in Nebraska are open for business with minor restrictions. We still need to wear a mask in businesses but restaurants, bars, events, and all things are basically open. Vaccinations are 50 and above but very to close to anyone above 16.

    I’ve just started gardening today with soil preparation for my strawberries. I have some planted already but the last batch has to go in the ground soon. They can only stay dormant healthy so long in the refrigerator. I didn’t get any seeds started this year because of family responsibilities so I will have to purchase plants from the local nursery. They usually have what I would want as a selection so it won’t be to devastating. I will start some seeds as a backup in case something happens in the spring weather which usually does in Nebraska. The biggest threat is hail.

    I just didn’t have time to prepare the soil for potatoes this year. I did get my onion seed started in February before the family responsibilities ramped up. I should have more time for gardening in April.

    Have a great day in the garden.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

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