Sunday, April 12, 2009

April Showers

Awakened at 7-00am by noises of the Alvin variety crying at the bedroom window.
"It's raining dad, we want to come in!"
I faithfully drag myself from the bed and, as any caring father would, let both cats in and serve them with breakfast.

Last night it rained quite heavily and continued at a lesser rate throughout the day. Both Alvin and Tommy were both quite dry when I let them in so they must have spent most of the night out of the rain, snuggled up in the patio chairs.
Lots of standing water around.............. you can see.
It's far too wet to work the soil but fortunately I did get some outside jobs done yesterday while it was dry so all is not lost.

So, the Happy Gardener will now don his wellies and show you around.
Here's the box that used to be situated between Plot1 and Plot2...........

With it's purpose fulfilled I removed it, dug up the area it had been occupying and supplemented the spot with some fresh topsoil and compost. So now I have.......................

......well......... I suppose it will have to be called Plot 1.5? But this change around has given me around 2 or 3 extra feet of growing space. The onions and garlic will continue to occupy Plot 1 and the newly extended Plot 2 will be the home for 4 or maybe 5 tomato plants which I plan to place up against the shed wall. This will leave the whole front section of the plot available for other usage. Those of you with sharp eyes may notice that the Determinate tomato plant I put into Plot 2 a couple of weeks ago has mysteriously disappeared. More about that later.
Here's another little idea I had for creating extra room. I removed the young trees from their winter positions at either end of the centre path.
They are now sat in Plot 6 until it dries out enough for me to site them in their (yet to be decided) permanent positions.
I then dug up either end of the path, made brick barriers, filled them with fresh topsoil and compost so now I have......................

...not one............................

.........but two new growing areas. Both of these will probably house a tomato plant each.
I mentioned the onions and garlic in Plot 1 earlier.............

..........I hope they live up to their promising looks.
In Plot 5 the Swiss Chard is slowly returning.

It's had plenty of water, now it needs a bit more sun to get it started. In the background are the sad remains of my potato plants which, despite being covered, were mauled by the freezing temperatures that hit us last week.
But I'm not giving up on them...................... new growth is coming through daily. This killer frost proved too much for the new Determinate tomato plant I'd purchased and planted in Plot 2. Sadly it didn't make it.
Moving indoors, well............. it's all go at this end!!

The tomato seedlings are doing great.............

......with Old Virginia, Giant Beefsteak and Big Red varieties all coming along nicely. I'm planning on growing around 6 or 7 plants myself so any spares will be give to neighbours and workmates. I've made a conscious effort to grow less tomato plants this year but, even now, I have around 20 plants on the go plus the Cherry Tomato plant seeds of which I promise I'm only going to keep one.
The Determinate tomato plant........................

...........has been replaced. It's too wet to do anything with it today so it will spend the next few days in the comfort of my growing room.
After a week, the Cherry Tomato seeds are starting to germinate..................

.....with around 4 or 5 showing now.
And the cats are going to love me. Look how well the Catnip is growing!!

I'm still faithfully nipping off the top buds and the plants are looking great for it and bushing out all over the place.
Finally the Spicy Globe Basil.

I do believe that every seed I planted has germinated.
Basil is a great herb and I've planted some of my fresh batch of seed today so I should hopefully have a bountiful crop. Some will be placed in the flower beds and some with the veggies. I'll also be purchasing at least 2 of the African Blue variety as they do such a fine job of attracting the Honey Bees.
OK, enough for this weekend. The rain continues to drizzle but hopefully the temperatures will keep above freezing now.
Keep your fingers crossed for me.


Sophie said...

I just stumbled onto your great blog & I am glad that I did!
Unfortunately, I live in the center of Brussels, Belgium & I don't have a garden, but my father lives in the counrtyside & he has a beautiful fruit & vegetable garden.
Good luck with it all!

Mick said...

Why, thank you Sophie for those kind words.
Do you have any room to perhaps try a little container gardening?

Sophie said...

hello Mick, yes I have. I have windows sills & got fresh herbs & planted garlic bolls & chives etc from my fathers garden because I like to use my herbs!
I don't have a balcony & that 's a pity! But when I am in my father's garden I help out a lot!! I love gardening!!