What a Scorcher

I reckon this is going to end up being a picture post, I’m far too shattered to string words together. The day was glorious but after about 6 hours on the plot my skin is tightly shriveling with the sunburn and I need to spend the next month in a vat of E45 cream.

Jungle

My seedlings have been going crazy in Shakti’s front room nursery, the beans are threatening to smother everything in sight and the tomatoes need staking. None of these things go well with toddler sized birthday parties so they need to go. Not wanting to shock them into submission with an immediate relocation to the outside world, I’ve been hunting down one of those mini greenhouse affairs to act as a coldframe. I spotted something even better from Wilkinsons though, a full on walk-in greenhouse complete with staging for £40.

Experimental Peas

Considerable rearranging was required to squeeze it onto the plot. The compost bins were pushed to the corner shaded by the hideous ivy which seems like the best spot for them considering nothing else will grow there except for slugs. More problematic was the wigwam I planted up last weekend with some 7 year old experimental peas. It’s quite a palaver trying to retrieve ungerminated green orbs from a patch of soggy soil.

Given my unchallenged bodging tendencies, I’m quite surprised but pleased to say, the greenhouse went up relatively well. It only has one little tear in the polythene and I’m sure that existed before I took it out of the box. I’ve piled the edges up with soil, staked, pegged, clipped and tied down anything threatening to flap and if it’s still there tomorrow morning I may well do a little jig.

New Greenhouse

I’m going to plant the tomatoes in grow bags around the base – anything to try and keep the structure anchored, and I think the chilli peppers and aubergines will be overjoyed.

Summer Cabbage

Before the construction started we (I had Shakti’s help today) transplanted the greyhound cabbages from the seed bed and sowed a row of yellow french beans. We also managed to acquire a load of broken paving slabs from the site skip and have a veritable highway laid out between beds. Unfortunately the new compost bin and greenhouse layout, blocks all access to the bottom of the plot. I haven’t a cat in hells chance of accessing the peas if they decide to crop.

We left with a sack of multi-coloured delights for tea – Ruby Chard, Broad Bean tips and some of the overwintered onions.

Hungry Gap?

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Slugs Bite Back

Parsley Anyone?

I knew those darn slugs would mount some kind of retaliatory assault. This little clump of useless stalks is all that remains of a healthy French Parsley specimen I planted last weekend.

They’ve also been along the line of brassica seedlings under the environmesh and eaten every last one of them. All that is left standing is a row of weak stalks, looking like frail white flags of submission.

Snow Capped Spuds

I wasn’t able to do much on the plot this weekend as the snow fell and left the ground too wet for tramping around. I turned up to check on my broad beans though. They were weighed down by the snow so I shook them clear and stood guard for a while willing the snow to stop falling. I think they will survive the cold but I have not staked them up well enough and they are more or else crawling across the floor instead of standing proud and tall. I’ll do a better job next year but its too late now as I can’t straighten the limbs without snapping them off. The site secretary was round to check on the beans before I left and to point out that he hadn’t planted his out yet – they were still sitting cosy in his greenhouse.

Table Top Potting

As I couldn’t sow anything on the plot I retreated to Shakti’s front room nursery to pot on some chillis and dahlias and to start with the tender beans. Shakti is hosting a toddlers birthday party in her house at the beginning of May, so my seedlings have been served an eviction notice, hopefully everything will be timed to perfection and the weather will be kind enough to allow hardening off to commence very soon.

It’s going to be a very busy start to May, there are a lot of plants to get rid of now.

Front Room

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