What a month we have had so far, a combination of about three sunny spring-like days followed by a weekend of snow showers, then biting winds and very cold nights – not really outdoor gardening weather.
Although it has been cold, signs of spring are popping up in the garden. The first daffodils are flowering, hellebores are blooming whatever the weather and many of the perennials like lupin and delphinium are popping through the soil. As soon as we get a dry period of weather the soil around these perennials will be given a sprinkle of general fertiliser like Fish, Blood and Bone and lightly worked into the soil – this will give the plants a boost and replace some of the nutrients to the soil washed out over the winter months.
Under glass the shallots and garlic planted into cell trays earlier in the year are now shooting nicely and are ready to move into the cold frame to gradually harden off before planting in the plot once the weather improves. I have sown some pea Twinkle into trays so they will be ready to plant out in April for an early harvest after hardening off.
Brassicas sown last month have germinated and have been pricked out (transplanted) into cell trays and these are growing on in the glasshouse shelving so they get maximum light and keep nice and short, until large enough to move into the cold frame next month.
Other sowings made of tomatoes, peppers and bedding plants are germinating and being pricked out as and when they are large enough to handle. Trailing petunia plug plants have arrived through the post and have a lovely root system, these have now been potted up into individual 7cm (3in) pots and they’ll now grow on until they are large enough for planting up some baskets.
The begonia corms are now shooting nicely in the propagator and will soon be moved out and allowed to grow on at the normal greenhouse temperature. Chrysanthemum stools (old plants) from last year and fuchsias are now producing lots of new shoots; these will be rooted as cuttings for this year’s blooms.
The seed potatoes are starting to chit (produce green shoots) and will be ready for planting outside as soon as the weather allows. It has got to change soon, when it does there will be lots to be done in the garden and on the vegetable plot. Fingers crossed, let’s hope Easter brings good gardening weather!