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Sowing between the showers - the April garden

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default Sowing between the showers - the April garden

Post by Chilli-head on 1st April 2015, 12:53 pm

We've arrived at April ! However I try to plan to reduce it, April is when the majority of sowing goes on.  All those tender crops for outdoors - Sweetcorn, squash, tomatoes, beans - can be sown under glass this month.  I find the "6-8 weeks sowing to final planting out" rule of thumb a very good guide, so as my last frost is usually late May, mid August is prime sowing time.

Then there's all the stuff that can be sown direct now; I still have the second lot of broad beans to go in, then there's Parsnips, carrots,  beetroot, peas, etc etc.  Good job we have a few days off work coming up !


Last edited by Chilli-head on 2nd May 2015, 9:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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default Re: Sowing between the showers - the April garden

Post by Dandelion on 1st April 2015, 1:39 pm

In between going to the dentist, having my hair cut and waiting to hear that DD2 has touched down from her trip to Australia, I have been out in the shed sowing beetroot and kohl rabi in modules, and lettuce. I feel very fortunate to have not had any damage in the garden from the storms though - I'm in a gardening group on facebook, and people have been posting very sad photos of greenhouses completely turned over and smashed.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Sowing between the showers - the April garden

Post by Chilli-head on 1st April 2015, 1:54 pm

One of the plus points of having sited my greenhouse on top of a paved area is that it is firmly bolted down !

I'm interested to hear you sow beetroot in modules. I know that some start off a lot of stuff that way; even garlic. Beetroot I've always sown direct, but I am slowly backing out of modules for other things too - I've switched back to the old fashioned seed bed approach for leeks, and even wonder about doing the same for cabbage. I have a small, light sandy veg plot in the garden that does well as a nursery bed for raising from seed. I'm thinking not only would it cut down on compost needed, but the peat free composts are a bit miserable, and the plants often seem to run out of steam before planting out time. I'd welcome a discussion of the arguments for/against module sowing -vs- nursery bed to help me make up my mind.
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Post by gunners71uk on 2nd April 2015, 9:05 pm

i sowed some sweetcorn in my propagator sat mar 28th its up so i put it on window sill propagator works well all seed has come up Smile

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Post by Dandelion on 2nd April 2015, 10:56 pm

I've sowed sweetcorn for the first time this year, in compressed fibre pots in the heated propagator. Mine has all germinated as well. So far I'm quite impressed with it as a crop!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 4th April 2015, 7:54 pm

My sweetcorn is still in the packet for now. My allotment is pretty exposed, and I know from experience that if I plant it out too early it gets a big check to its growth.

In the garden today I spotted ... Asparagus Smile won't be long now ...
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Post by Ploshkin on 17th April 2015, 12:25 pm

I've only been looking at stuff in the garden this morning but I'm pleased with the progress of my riverside patch that I cleared of nettles & brambles last year (inspired by Freebird). I need to put a few more things in the gaps but the primroses, hellebores & foxgloves the I transplanted last year are all looking good. The nettles haven't returned.
The other thing that looks nice at the moment are my bulb pots. It's hit & miss whether or not I manage to get things that flower together. These pots were full of crocuses earlier & now the dwarf tulips & anemones have obliged by flowering at the same time. The second picture will be on a separate post as I can't seem to get more than one at a time
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Post by Ploshkin on 17th April 2015, 12:39 pm

...and the pots
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Post by freebird on 17th April 2015, 2:50 pm

Beautiful Ploshkin. I love Anemone Blanda. I was hoping to get a dappled shade/wooded area planted up this spring. Unfortunately all dependent on someone coming to sort out patio edge first (L O N G story, don't ask), so everything is still in pots. Very very frustrating.
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Post by freebird on 17th April 2015, 9:36 pm

Some of my pots - mainly herb pots, which are near the kitchen window, so decided to have some spring colour in amongst them before the herbs really come into their own.

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Post by Dandelion on 18th April 2015, 5:00 pm

Pretty!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: Sowing between the showers - the April garden

Post by Chilli-head on 19th April 2015, 10:04 am

I spent the afternoon on the allotment yesterday. It is a lot less pretty than these photos ...

Anyway, I went to sow root crops - carrots and parsnips. I followed my normal method for carrots, which is to make a trench and incorporate lots of sand and spent greenhouse compost to lighten up the heavy clay. It seems to be the only way to get straight carrots in my heavy clay. This year I decided to follow my dad's suggestion, and grow parsnips by dibbing a big hole (using the dibber I made for leek planting, from an offcut of 35mm curtain pole !), and backfilling it with the same compost, then sowing a pinch of parsnip seed on top of each "station", later thinning to one seedling. The idea being to get long, straight, clean roots. We shall see.
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Post by Ploshkin on 19th April 2015, 11:04 am

I was about to commiserate over the no show of your patio man, Freebird, as I have been waiting eons for polytunnel site digging man. I had resigned myself to no hope of a tunnel again this year but, yay, man + machine appeared yesterday and in an hour I had a nicely levelled site for a 14' x 30' tunnel. There's still a bit of ditch filling and a fence to do to keep the cattle and sheep out but I might actually get something growing this year!
Out now to plant my spuds - Aran pilot and Kestrel
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Post by Chilli-head on 25th April 2015, 9:57 pm

Finally, the day I've been saving for since Christmas ! No, not money ... toilet roll cores ! Sowed my beans today, six varieties: Cobra, Kew blue, runners Moonlight and Painted lady, and drying beans Soissons and genuine Greek Gigandes.

Also sowed sweetcorn, popping corn, outdoor tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, pumpkin, and butternuts. Oh, and some basil Gunners sent me.

Nearly done the bulk of the sowing now. Just as well, the greenhouse is bulging !
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Post by freebird on 25th April 2015, 11:16 pm

If you lived nearer, CH, you could use some of my greenhouse space. There's nothing in it at all this year. Feels weird.
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Post by Ploshkin on 26th April 2015, 9:21 am

I've managed to sow my courgettes, squashes & brussel sprouts. Still got the peas & beans to go. Everything seems to be slow to get going at the moment.
Thank you to whoever it was that mentioned wallflowers last year & prompted me to get some. They are now in flower in pots outside the kitchen and the perfume is glorious. I always forget what a beautiful smell they have.
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Post by Dandelion on 26th April 2015, 3:29 pm

It's that time of the year when I'm running out of space on the windowsills for all the seedlings. We do have a greenhouse on order, but it's taking its time...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 29th April 2015, 11:24 am

We had 2 consecutive nights of frost - down to minus 4c. I think the plum & damson blossom has survived, it hasn't dropped off or gone black & my bees were earning their keep yesterday on the damson tree. Unfortunately, the flowers on 2 large dicentras (bleeding hearts), that were just coming out, have succumbed. It's a pity because the flowers are always good for ages.
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Post by Dandelion on 30th April 2015, 8:32 pm

Will the dicentras bloom again Ploshkin? I hope so - they're so pretty.
It hasn't been that cold here, but I've been glad that I've grown potatoes in a dustbin: I've just been popping the lid on at night to keep them warm!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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default Re: Sowing between the showers - the April garden

Post by FloBear on 30th April 2015, 10:24 pm

I've been moving things about when I haven't been weeding!
Am currently clearing a neglected area and making space for a doggy sandpit Embarassed
Hoping my naughty Shih Tzu, who loves rolling in sand, gravel, soil etc will use it instead of the parts of the garden where I want to grow plants!
Meant to say, lovely riverbank and pots, Freebird and Ploshkin


Last edited by FloBear on 30th April 2015, 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding a bit)
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