Its hard to believe the weather warnings again
Having just spent an enjoyable morning in shirt sleeves digging over the potato bed, it is hard to believe the weather warnings for sub-zero temperatures and snow that are forecast for our part of the UK over the coming weekend. The sun is watery today but it’s providing some warmth and combined with the birdsong is giving the day a distinctively spring-like feel. We’re going to leave all our little plants still covered in the fleece and cloches that have protected them all winter and ignore the cold weather ahead. Normal service will hopefully be resumed next week and we can finally put the winter behind us.
Over the past few days, we have been pricking out seedlings in the greenhouse and trying to make room for them on the greenhouse staging. The greenhouse is now crammed with plants (including Coleus seedlings shown above) there's something very therapeutic about pricking out - one of my favourite gardening jobs. Some have been moved to the cold frame, but that is also packed full now. Once the icy weather is over we can start planting out and making room. Next week we will plant out our shallots which are now showing lovely healthy shoots and are ready to go in the ground: indeed they have been for a week or so but we are being super cautious with the conditions. We also have little brassicas plants ready in the cold frame but may just give them an extra week to grow on before planting them outside. We will also be continuing the pricking out as seedlings grown in the propagator in the greenhouse; one of my very favourite gardening jobs. We are hoping for a nice sunny spring day to throw open the greenhouse door, turn on the radio and nurture our little plants into new compost and bigger pots.
Since the snow disappeared the garden seems to have jumped into growth and nature appears to ne trying to catch up on the pause that the snow brought. And it isn’t only the plant life that has come alive – the slugs have begun to appear clinging to the bottom of pots and seed trays. This week we will be ordering the first Nemaslug application of the year. The soil needs to be above 6 degrees in order to use it, so we will pop it in the fridge and place a soil thermometer in the earth to give us the green light for applying it. We have used nemaslug for many years now and have always found it to be very effective indeed. It will be applied every six weeks right through until October.
The weeds are also beginning to grow, which is always a good sign that the soil beginning to warm up. Now is the time to begin a weekly ritual of removing them whilst they are still small. Initially this will be done by hand with a hand fork, but as the weather improves the hoe will be used to cut them off and leave the in the sun to perish.