Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Update Mid April 2014

Yet again, time got away from me and so I have quite a bit to update this time round.
Starting with the greenhouse. This is now home to the following seedlings - 76 x Orlaya, 140 x Antirrhinum "Royal Bride", 72 x Aster, 72 x Lavatera, 12 x Swiss Chard,  12 x cauliflower "Cheesy", 12 x PSB "Red Arrow", 12 x Cabbage "Hispi", 12 x Brussels Sprouts "Nelson", 10 x Gardeners Delight tomatoes, 10 x Constoluto Genovese tomatoes, 54 Musselburgh leeks,  and this years selection of sweet peas.

There are 7 varieties of sweet peas and 21 seeds of each were sown, all on the same day in the same compost, However, germination is pretty variable between varieties:- Gwendoline - 21 from 21, Percy Thrower - 19 from 21, Royal Wedding - 5 from 21, Lovejoy - 18 from 21, April in Paris - 20 from 21, Madison - 17 from 21 and Raspberry Flake - 17 from 21. Yet again it seems to be the white variety that is the poorest performer. Anyway, the sweet peas have all been pinched out and the beds for the cordon grown plants are manured and have the canes in situ ready for planting out. The remaining plants will be grown up wigwams in the herbaceous borders.

The dahlia tubers that we wish to take cuttings from have all been planted up in the greenhouse bed and I should be able to start taking cuttings tomorrow. There are also 18 strawberry runners waiting to go out, and the 50 or so gladioli corms have been cleaned and set to chit.
There are also 29 x Verbascum grown from seed and some Delphiniums from seed in there too, so it's pretty crowded. There were, until last week, 100 onion sets (50 each of Centurion and Red Baron) These are now out in the new veg garden - more on that below.
The borders are beginning to green up and most plants are looking good.

 I am particularly pleased to see that all 5 or the tree peonies that I have grown from seed (sown three years ago) have started to sprout, especially as I thought four of them had died!!!!
We have quite a few plants in the nursery bed too  - spares to fill any blanks and possibly to also go to the charity plant sale at Foulis Castle in May.
All the freestanding apple trees have been pruned again and we should now finally be able to harvest all the apples from the fruit ladder without the need for extending poles with bags on the end!
Now, more news. The garden has had rabbit netting attached right around it's perimeter and so we should be able to keep the hare or hares at bay this year.
I finally got the last burn pile burnt and what a difference that makes to the bottom of the garden too.
And so to the major project - the start of the new veg garden. After a series of delays, we finally have all the beds up and I have started to dig them over, removing all the perennial weeds as I go (mainly docken and creeping buttercup with the odd thistle thrown in for good measure).


The onion sets were planted in the first bed that I got dug over as they really needed to go out. No manure or fertiliser will be added to the beds at all this year as experience has shown that with 24 years of plant matter in the existing soil, the soil is pretty rich for the first year or two, depending on what you grow in it.

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