A long weekend and hardly anything planned. That doesn’t happen very often. Good Friday I worked, but that was because I really needed to finish off someones garden, and another I’d not been to for a month because last time I was due to go we had sleet, snow, hail, basically all that cold horrible weather. Saturday was spent doing shopping and house chores, but Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday were garden days. I had a list as long as my arm, and my arms are very long. I didn’t get through everything in the garden, but I made a huge dent in my list of things to do.
I decided a systematic approach would be best, so weeded and watered 3 of the large raised beds first. The fourth raised bed is the fruit bed and that is a job all on its own so will have to wait for another day. As I checked for weeds in the bed where I planted my potatoes I noticed a few leaves had broken through the surface of the soil. What clever little potatoes they are.
I’ll make sure I cover them with a little more soil just incase we have a late frost. Just pile some soil on the top of the leaves and it’ll look like a little mole hill. We do get moles occasionally in our garden, usually during the winter, but the more you walk around the garden the better, as they don’t like the vibrations. The row of Parsnips that I sowed next to the potatoes haven’t started to sow themselves yet, but they can be rather slow. There was enough room for another line of something else, so I sowed a row of Beetroot “Chioggia”. I love these, they did really well last year and they look so pretty when you slice them.
Here’s how I sow mine…..
Because I was in the garden the chickens assume that they are entitled to come out and play as well. One of the brassica cages is over the potatoes, but the other one is over one of the other beds where I’m planning on planting this years brassicas, so that’s the one they play in at the moment. You let them out and they follow me (well most of them) to their new little play area. I pop them in and they scratch about, then they dust bathe and then scratch some more before lounging in the sun.
Outside their play area, but also in the bed I have some room, so sowed a couple of rows of Carrots. I have three different varieties “Rainbow” and “Purple Sun” which I have mixed together and then “Paris Market Atlas” which I am keeping separate as they are round and don’t grow down like the rest.
Here’s how I sow my carrots….
After watering these in, and the garlic that is growing in the bed as well I then moved on to the brassica bed where my one remaining Brussels Sprout and several Sprouting Broccoli are. As soon as I got into that bed the chickens got all excited. They love their greens and were hoping for a little treat. How could I not oblige, they just love their mummy so much and are very sweet. So I dug up the last Sprout, took off any I wanted and then gave the entire stem to them. They’re like Piranhas. They pounced on the Brussels stem and surround it. They then proceed to peck off every scrap of green and within about 5 minutes all that is left was the thick stem. I tidied up any debris round the sprouting broccoli and removed any sprouting bits that had either gone over, or were about to go to flower. Don’t worry about striping these back to the stem, just give them a few weeks and new sprouts will appear that you can harvest. Sprouting broccoli is the plant that keeps on giving. I just boil mine in a small amount of water for a couple of minutes and it’s amazing.
I then dug up the remainder of the Leeks, and will cut them up in to slices and then put them in the freezer and take and use as and when we need them. Leeks freezer really well and just cook from frozen. They did really well this year, some were a little on the small side but that’s not a problem as you can always cook the whole.
So, once the 3 large beds had been tidied I then moved on to the 3 square beds at the back. The bed that has the Asparagus in is doing really well, and I planted the 5 new Asparagus crowns that I received from Sutton’s. I’m sure they’ll settle in very well with their other asparagus friends. Once they were in I gave them a good water.
The bed next to that has a Tayberry in, but there was space at the front to plant out my Peas. I thought little wigwams would be better with the space that I had. Hopefully the peas will climb up the canes, with a little encouragement from me, and not climb about on each other. Now these are in, I’ll start another lot off in the greenhouse so when the first lot are finished the next lot will be ready to harvest. Again I gave the bed a good weed before I planted out my peas, and then a good water once the peas were in.
Whether you have peas, sugar snap or mangetout they need to be planted out in exactly the same way. Here’s a video on how I do mine…..
The final bed at the back, not only has my Kiwi growing in, but the space at the front has my Broad Beans growing in as well. These are been in for a few weeks now and are settling in well. They have doubled in size since I planted them out a good month ago. Again a weed and thorough water.
I have a little Belfast sink that is the perfect place to sow little things. This year I have Radish growing which I sowed a couple of weeks ago and they are coming up wonderfully.
There is a little space left, so I sowed 2 rows of Spring Onions “Guardsman” next to them. Radish prefer cooler weather so I tend to find they do better at the beginning of the season, unless you can find a sheltered spot in your garden.
Here’s how I sow my Spring onion seeds….
I have to admit that all the 3 beds at the back do look lovely, especially with some tulips flowering between each bed.
Then it was into the greenhouses. They are both filling up nicely, but are also a little messy. My view is a clean and perfectly tidy greenhouse is never a well used greenhouse. That’s my excuse and I’m going to stick to it.
They both needed a general tidy up, seedlings needed to be pricked out, some plants needed sorting out because they’d not taken, some other plants needed to be planted outside, some troughs with plants needed trimming and moved outside and finally if I got time some seed sowing, but I couldn’t see that happening today.
I’d pricked out a load of Lettuce seedlings several weeks ago and they are now large enough to be planted outside. I have a little Woodblocx bed by the patio and this is the perfect place for them to go. So I planted them out and there were a few more little ones that needed to be pricked out so I planted them in small pots, and when they’re large enough they will go outside with the other ones.
I then pricked out my Celariac, a few more Tomatoes, some Rosemary, and some Italian Parsley. All these need to me planted deep, so all the roots and stem needs to go under the soil and only the leaves are showing above. Water from above so the compost can level off and fill up any holes, and then put a little water in the tray so the compost can soak it up and encourage the roots of the seedlings to grow down.
Having reshuffled various plants the greenhouses were now tidy. It was too late to start sowing any seeds, but Tuesday I am only working a half day so will do them then.
Happy Easter everyone and I hope you man aged to enjoy your weekend xxx