Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Rain, Rain Go away -and stay away !

As the title of this post suggests, today was rather wet, though it wasn't anywhere near as bad as the forecasters had predicted - at least not up in this neck of the woods.
So here are the borders from the usual vantage point this morning.

Still greening up and new shoots appearing all over the place but the only new colour in the borders comes with a couple more types of tulips

Started the day by sowing some beetroot, variety Bolthardy, in cells. I know that you don't get the beautiful tap root etc by doing it this way but as these are culinary and not for show, it gives me a head start and also means I can plant out without any gaps appearing due to non germination. I can also thin the seedlings in the cells before planting out. I also sowed some Black Tuscan Kale and a pot of leeks, variety Musselburgh. I know it's a bit late for leeks but these can go in the ground whenever, as I already have a number of pots growing in my greenhouse at home for the various gardens I look after.
After sowing the veg, I started to take some cuttings from the dahlia tubers which are finally starting to produce shoots.

After this I made a start on this years temp veg patch by planting out the onion sets - 50 each of Sturon and Centurion F1. Just as I had levelled and raked the area for the onions, Sally came down to the garden and we set about deciding where to place the various perennials that have been growing on in the greenhouse over winter. So after placing the pots where we wanted them, Sally made a start on planting them out whilst I planted out the onion sets. When I had finished this.....

.....I finished planting out the remaining perennials. In total we planted out 18 x Campanula pyramidalis, 6 x Verbena hastata " Blue Spire", 3 x Rudbeckia, and 21 x assorted Hemerocallis, including 3 which produce double flowers.
I also planted out the 9 x Phlox that were laid out in the borders last week and transplanted  3 Geums and removed 3 Lupins that had self seeded last year and were where the Rudbeckia were going. .
There are still some perennials in the greenhouse - including 3 more Rudbeckia, 5 Echinops and 4 Phlox that weren't looking too healthy and were beginning to go backwards , so I removed them all from their pots, checked their root systems were okay and repotted them in some fresh compost with perlite added. Hopefully this will give them a bit of a boost and with the weather turning warmer (soon hopefully) they should be okay to go out next month.
Whilst I was in the greenhouse, I took the opporchancity to have a look at the sweet peas and select the strongest sideshoots on those that are to be cordon grown, removing the others with a pair of nippers. These will have to go out soon as the roots are now at the bottom of their pots.
Aftre this I returned to the veg bed and sowed three rows of Parsnips, variety "Gladiator". These were station sowed with three aseeds per station and then each row was covered by a plank of wood. I had read about this previously on a veg forum as a way of aiding germination of 'snips and this idea also appeared in the latest edition of Simply Veg - the quarterly magazine of the National Vegetable Society.
I finished the day by cutting back the foliage and dead-heading some of the clumps of daffs that had gone over. I know there are those who do this regularly and those who say you should never cut back the foliage but leave it to die back naturally - I personally have no preference. My main reason for deadheading and cutting back the fioliage to about 6" was to let the light and air into the white Campanula that are growing at the edge of this paticular clump of daffs. Then I lifted the last of the leeks and that was it, another day done.

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