Because March was so mild everything in the garden is moving on at long last, but because the soil is still quite wet and cold below, night frosts are still around so it is important to take great care.
So far on my allotment I have direct sowed onion sets, making sure I sow them into the driest soil. I followed with a sowing of radish seed. The radish germinated after 14 days, showing some warmth is finally getting into the soil. Other vegetable sowings will be made from April when the soil is warmer; sowing seeds into cold soil is pointless as germination will be erratic and poor. The first things sown will be parsnips, carrots, beetroot, peas and broad beans.
Next month I will be planting my seed potatoes! I have already planted a few early-maturing potatoes such as Maris Bard in potato bags in the greenhouse. I also have a few pots of carrots growing in the greenhouse to ensure an early harvest until the ones sown next month are ready later in the year.
The plot is also harvesting a lovely crop of sprouting broccoli, especially over the last month but it is surprising how much you can harvest from only six plants. The rhubarb Fulton’s Strawberry Surprise is beginning to shoot, so it won’t be long before we can pull some sticks for a crumble.
I have one batch of lettuces large enough to plant out under cloches, plus I may put a few in the polytunnel for an early crop, and the second batch is already pricked out. Talking salads, the first tomato seedlings have germinated and will require pricking out in a few days time. I also have spring onions germinating in multi-sown cell trays, for an early start.
The geranium cuttings are growing into good size plants and I have pinched their tops out to encourage more side shoots. The carnations and lobelia cuttings taken earlier in the year have been potted up. My fuchsia plants that were kept from last year have some good growth and are ready to have some cuttings taken, as are the chrysanthemum stools I kept, these have some nice shoots ideal for rooting shortly.
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