Monday, April 6

Spring is in the air

The blackbirds are singing their hearts out, the goldfinches and robins are going around the allotment site in pairs, and the cock-pheasants are fighting for death or glory. My windowsills are full of seedlings, and I've just spent a happy hour soaking away a day's digging with Mark Diacono's book, making a list of seeds to sow tomorrow.

I've already got underway
  • Tomatoes - far too many varieties: Matina, Gardener's delight, red brandywine, gartenperle & mountain pride
  • Chillies - the ominously named Inferno, and a "hot shake" mix
  • Sweet peppers - Marconi red & Jolly Giallo (yellow, if your Italian isn't up to much)
  • Celeriac - Giant Prague
  • Coriander
  • Sweetcorn - True Gold
  • Aubergine - Calliope
  • Cucumber - Marketmore
  • Pumpkins & squash - Mars, berettina & butternut
  • Courgette - Verde d'Italia
  • Artichokes - Imperial star & Violet de Provence
  • Cauliflower - Romanesco
  • Flowers - many types, including but not limited to sweet peas, zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, nicotiana & sweet William - (the dahlias are going into the new coldframe tomorrow to free up some space!)
tomorrow's indoor planting list includes
  • Beans - borlotti, French and possibly broad (I have broad bean seeds, but I'm not convinced I like them enough to bother)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chinese leaf
  • Swiss chard
  • Kale - curly and Italian
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Peas & mangetout
  • Purple sprouting broccoli
and outdoors
  • Fennel - Romanesco (for bulbs - though it may be a little early yet)
  • Swede
  • Potatoes - King Edward & Pink Fir Apple are chitting on the bedroom windowsill, International Kidney went in a couple of weeks ago.

As well as assembling my new coldframe, I sweet-talked T into digging me a couple of new beds for my globe artichokes yesterday. Last year they were shoehorned in amongst the chrysanthemums, and three of the four I planted were devoured by slugs & snails. The last remaining survivor was transplanted into the herb bed at the end of the autumn, but this year's seedlings will need a home in a few weeks. So now I have a pair of 4 foot x 2 foot beds, generously manured (thanks to a plot-neighbour wanting to empty his last barrow so he could go back to his local riding school for more), tucked in between the herbs and the gooseberry bush: I reckon two, maybe three plants to each bed, Imperial Star one side of the path, Violet de Provence the other.

Busy day tomorrow, I best take myself off to bed!

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