A long post this month.
The start of the month saw me exchanging plants with friends over coffee and cake. I handed over two runner beans, one broad bean, six chitted potatoes, and a spider plant. In return I received three pots of continental-mix sweet peas.
At the start of the month, space was at a premium in the greenhouse.
So much so, that I put the runner beans in the log store to make room for the fifty-six beetroot seedlings I’d pricked out and potted up.
My fuchsia cuttings are a success – first time, and no failures.
And I haven’t lost any of the Pelargoniums – five plants last year have become ten in this.
. . . sharing their water tray with Lollo Rossa lettuce.
The garlic is growing well. These are the bulbs I planted in pots last year, now planted out in Raised Bed B. The others were planted straight into the front of Raised Bed A to overwinter.
It was an experiment to see which grew better – bed or pot.
The first May bank Holiday and overnight frosts arrived. My potting shed/greenhouse is over-run with plants while the raised beds remain empty.
I’ve pricked out and potted on the last three of the six vegetable strips bought last month – 56 beetroot seedlings, 72 chard seedlings and 34 baby leaf spinach. Then I planted 5 of the runner bean plants into Raised Bed B and covered them with some bubble-wrap to ward off the frosts.
Fast forward to the second weekend of the month and, after several days of heavy rain, a sunny start to the day saw me planting out what vegetable seedlings I could. Broccoli, broad and runner beans, lettuce, beetroot, radish and peas.
The next day, and more planting out – leeks and spring onions grown in little bio-degradable pots, then interspersed with addition seeds to fill the gaps.
I planted up two urns with the sweet peas swapped with friends. They are next to the shady bed but hopefully will scramble up the fence in search of sunlight, I just need to pull them back to my side of the fence every couple of days!
I’ve finally completed ONE of my brick borders – the herbs I moved a few weeks ago are doing well. I’ve added Greek Oregano and filled the smaller section with alpine strawberries from the very shady rear border.
The second bed is set to become my succulent bed as most of the Houseleeks (sempervivums) from last year survived the winter and even have some babies.
I went ahead and planted four of my courgette plants into the front border. The peony foliage will shade them from the hot sun until they establish – and keep off any last frosts.
While planting the courgettes, I also separated and planted out some of the Cosmos seedlings. I planted them in the raised beds last year but they were far too tall, but ideal to grow up through Astilbe and Peony foliage which should give the stems some support.
By the May Bank Holiday weekend, all runner beans and courgettes had been planted – either in raised beds or large pots. Carrots had been thinned and the thinnings planted; potatoes earthed up, and an attempt made to prevent cats fouling the vegetable beds.
Almost all grids in both raised beds have been filled. Some may only have one plant, others are full to bursting.
I’m also trying a new experiment using plastic drink straws. I’ve cut each straw into four or five pieces and pushed each piece into the ground so one end stands proud of the soil. Then I’ve dropped one spring onion seed into each straw. The idea is that the seeds/seedlings are protected from birds until they reach a viable length/width (when I see something green poking out of the top). I will then remove the straws and leave the onions to grow on.
An added benefit is that the straws – hopefully – should deter the local cats from walking on the area. I’ve tried the same in another square with parsley seeds. The larger the seed the easier it is to get it in the straw!
And finally a look around the rest of the garden – in no particular order.