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Walpurgisnacht ....April Into May

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Walpurgisnacht ....April Into May

Post  plantoid on 4/28/2013, 8:47 pm

Walpurgisnacht the time when the spirits move from April to May & the gardens start to bloom.
All things seem possible in May , so the old time gardeners say .
What a wacky weird year this 2013 has been so far here in the UK and most of Europe.
I’m way behind in getting my seeds sown despite having a nice handy warm glasshouse to give them a heads start. My glasshouse staging is quickly filling up with plants that are frost tender or newly sown seeds that are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the sun for a few hours each day .

During this lull in the garden year I’ve been busy getting various materials together for this years homemade compost , one of the biggest finds was a local “ free range eggs for sale “place where I decided to buy half a dozen eggs .
The guy gave me about 600 pounds ( nine tied off bags ) of pure chicken muck and loaded them in my trailer free of charge . It’s all been tucked away in my Dalek composters mixed in with their contents.

What’s ready for putting out in the garden at present ?

Well , I’ve put five Lollo Rosso glasshouse raised lettuces out in the beds under plastic clotches . Two more celery “ stumplings” are also bedded .
A year ago I was given some perennial kale cuttings that were held up for ten days in the May day bank holiday post and they had started to go rotten . I managed to cut off most of the slime and bathed the rest of the cutting in a weak domestic bleach solution and after five or so seconds rinsed it off then use rooting compound to try and get the plants to form new roots.
I managed to salvage three plants in this manner and slowly but surely they started to grow in pots in the glasshouse , nothing to write home about but they grew .
I took new cuttings as soon as I could for these are the cuttings that have all the growth hormones in them and make for good plants , from these I managed to get six healthy fast growing plants. These gave us a lot of our sweet soft lush greens over winter and they are still in fine fettle .
A few weeks ago I took more cuttings and root treated them, I now have around 20 well rooted healthy cuttings for friends and for increasing my stock . My plants will be getting planted out in my mother earth garden sometime this week in between the bad weather periods.
There is around 15 raised from seed celery plants almost ready planting out plus over 15 Mussleburg leeks .
The broad beans were put out to beds ten days or so ago along with peas & a couple of lettuce under clotches .

The birds have been having a hard time with e harsh weather and as a consequence have been giving me a hard time by going through the top of the MM desperately looking for worms and grubs on the odd warm day we’ve had. Trouble is they have lifted several garlics and onions , so first thing of a morning is a quick search across all the beds to find any uprooted plants and replant them before they start becoming dried out . Due to this morning survival search for food I’ve not bothered putting bird lines or anti bird netting over the beds just yet, I’m sure that the gardens can stand the donations.

What’s for harvesting ?

Today I took the last swede out the beds and found the slugs have beaten or should I say eaten me to it . On the parts that were visible the swede looked lovely just right for Sunday lunch with chicken and roast spuds etc. On lifting it the underside was holed like a loofa sponge and just as hollow .
Double helpings of soft curly kale became the order of the day .. the plants now look a little thread bare , still I have plenty of the perennial kale to play with for consequent meals .
The last of the parsnips is still in the ground , it may /may not be woody , tomorrow will tell , for that’s the day it gets taken out .
I have a growing celery “stumpling “in the beds that is ready for taking a few sticks off as well as a
“ stumpling” to plant out.

Whats for sowing two or three seeds of , in my seed tubes on the heated beds or in the glasshouse ?

Cabbage, cauli, sprout , beetroot, kohlrabi , more lettuce .. this time icebergs, tomatoes ..cherry, medium ,big and special varieties . A few more runner beans as frost casualty back ups and five more broad bean seeds ( I like fresh broad beans Laughing ) .
There will be another 15 sugar snap peas sown once I go and buy the 2 inch ID green house down pipe tube to cut up to make more small seed tubes .
Aubergines and capsicum peppers are in a heated bed in the office under UV LED lighting along with some bird of paradise seeds that take from one to six months to germinate at 75 o F
All manner of herbs have been sown ... just a few at a time in my seed tubes.

What’s for direct sowing plenty of outside, in at least a foot row in a square foot square .
Radish ,Cut & come again salad leaves , white Lisbon salad onions

There is bound to be something I’ve missed veg wise but that’s the gist of things .
Many 21 day germinating half hardy flowers will be sown this coming week as well , though there is not going to be much space left in the glasshouse to set them out on the benches etc.

The hanging baskets went on all through winter with something green or showing a flower or two in them.
I had to anchor the bottom of each of the baskets in two place to the wall with green plastic coated garden wire as the winds tried to tear them of the hangers.
There are six home grown seed sweet pea plants to be added to the baskets along with some new glasshouse over wintered pansy’s and primula.
All the proposed hanging basket flower seeds will also be getting sown this week in seed tubes .

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