Garden April 2021

This was a stop/start month due to the weather covering all 4 seasons sometimes even in the same day.

However looking at the garden today and comparing it to the same time last year we’re already in a much better position. Weeding borders is a lot easier as was digging over the veg plots. There are still the occasion random bit of metal and large rocks being removed but I must have most of them out by now.

I’ve emptied the square compost heap at the start of the month, sieved some for use in pots and then the rest has gone into the new border I’ve dug out from the lawn. It’s for shade-loving plants and a lot of the bluebells which have swamped the front flower border will end up there.

We don’t have the big plastic greenhouse this year, it got too much of a battering from wind last autumn and the frame was damaged but I have kept the cover so I can make cloches at some point.

Our early potatoes are in the ground rather than bags this year and bearing in mind we got hit by wireworm last autumn I’ve planted them out so that we’ll be lifting from the lawn side first rather than last (it appears lawns can act as a reservoir for them)

There’s still a couple of brassicas where the main crop potatoes will go but they’ve flowered so I’m leaving them a little while longer for the bees. We had our first purple sprouting broccoli this month and it was delicious. I’d been using it as a green vegetable as I’d lost the label so the florets were an unexpected bonus. I’ve been good at maintaining my garden journal so that shouldn’t be a problem

Our main issue right now is we don’t have enough windowsills for seedlings. I’ve put the cabbages, kohl rabi & celeriac out into the middle bed under cloches (empty Pepsi bottles) and that appears to be protecting them.

Done a second sowing of carrots, Amsterdam 2 went into felt grow tubs late March and now some Flyaway between the onion sets mid April.

The fruit border is coming along nicely, signs of growth to some degree on all the patio fruit trees. The soft fruits have come back well, even the redcurrant which I thought I might have over done with the pruning last year. And I’ve had my first rhubarb! Lightly stewed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

There’s been some failures and successes with seedlings so far, the celeriac and kohl rabi are very much successes as I used really old seed and didn’t expect to get anything. The chilli peppers have been a bit hit and miss but I have kept at least one of each variety an we’ve bought a black one to try out.

Cucumber has done better than expected with all four seeds germinating and looking healthy, I know I’ve probably jinxed them now as they are renowned in our family for just dying for no obvious reason. Squashes are looking good, as are green beans, the sweetcorn is now on it’s third attempt as I’ve only managed to get one seedling from each of the previous two goes.

I’m trying different tomato varieties this year after the Gardener’s Delight was wiped out by blight, one is a blight resistant variety, the other a patio version. I have no idea how they are doing, one seems to be galloping ahead of what I expect and the other is really slow. It’s going to be a learning experience.

I’m still buying more herbs, latest acquisitions are variegated mint, pineapple sage, tri-colour sage and apple mint. They’ll stay in their pots on the herb circle at least for the short term.

And finally, because this year we have bulbs and spring flowers here’s a selection…