Tuesday, 1 May 2012
From the Greenhouse
I've been offline for a few days although it won't have been obvious. Gales took down a tree and with it my telephone line. It's been quite a while getting fixed although putting the positive spin on it they did get it done two days before they said they would, so I'm pleased really.
Apart from the very first year here, when we didn't move in until quite late in the year, I don't think we've ever been quite so far behind with the planning, planting and sowing. Some toxic combination of missing direction or ambition and the appalling weather has put a stop to nearly all progress.
Yesterday finally I did plant some rows of root veg; burdock, large radish, carrots, parsnips and beetroot, but if the land hadn't been prepared in the last few days of the good weather of March it wouldn't even have been possible to do that.
I'm looking at starting everything else indoors this year, plug plants that can be popped into the ground when (or if) the conditions improve sufficiently for some rapid cultivation of a bed for them and it's become warm enough for growth. It's late for that but late starters often catch up better than weedy straggling seedlings that have struggled through the chill and poor light of early spring. With fingers crossed we should get some harvest.
It's in complete contradiction to everything I've been striving to study and improve on for the last five years because except for a very few tender or slow growing plants nearly everything we eat can normally be grown in the open without this sort of molly coddling. For sustainability that's the better way to be. Still, I'd like to have something good in the garden and so concentrating on things like sweetcorn and salads will be useful practise, these are things which have not been so successful in recent times.
The bad weather (don't be fooled by the picture, it's cold and windy and has been raining for two weeks) has had some effects on the wildlife too. We seem to have only one pair of swallows this year which is really sad and the early butterflies have had a hard time getting out and about to feed and mate, that's probably going to reduce numbers substantially next spring.
Can't wait for some real springtime sunshine and warmth.