Gardenwatch: Heatwave!

The South East is experiencing a bit of a heatwave at the moment – it feels more like late May than mid-April. Consequently, all my plants are doing a bit better than I had expected.

I planted three small trays of french beans (1) and courgettes (1 tray of each type) earlier this month, and experimented by planting each seed/bean inside its own ‘pot’ made up of an inch-long section of loo roll. The aim of this was to help contain the roots within the tray (as I was planting 8-10 seeds in each tray) – and worked very well. I put all three trays into the heated propagator until they had sprouted and unfurled, and then removed and put in the mini-greenhouse. They have continued to do well and I have now repotted and will plant out / give away surplus in a couple of weeks.

My first set of seedlings (tomatos, okra, courgette) stayed in the heated propagator for too long I think, and turned out spindly (and ultimately most have died – although this may be due to putting out in the mini-greenhouse too early).

A tray of garlic (sultop) and red onion sets (donation from a friend at college) are doing well in the unheated propagator inside the greenhouse and will be planted out in the raised bed/allotment later this week.

The strawberry plant which I thought was dead (and added to the large tub which stores the old compost) most certainly is not, and is doing quite well in its new home.

The garlic (Sicilian red) which I planted this winter with my little brother is generally doing well in pots, although half of the ones planted in troughs have died off (perhaps not enough drainage?)

My tub with rosemary, and thyme is doing well – I need to attend to the couple of herb troughs I have left over from last year, and re-vivify them. The chive is OK, as is the parsley, and the mint is hanging on too.

When I was up visiting my sister at the weekend we went to her local garden centre (a pursuit both our husbands recognise as financially dangerous…) and I bought a few more seed packets: radish, spring onion, salad leaves (cut and come again), F1 chilli seeds [Krakatoa], and swiss chard. I’ve planted a tray with the first three and put that in the mini-greenhouse as well, to supplement summer salads.

Looking back at my list below, I am reminded that I need to plant the beetroot and spinach soon too.

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April

Plant Spinach

Plant Climbing French Bean

Plant Beetroot

Plant Courgette F1 Zucchini

Plant Courgette: Cocozelle v. Tripoli

Plant Coriander

Plant Okra – Clemsons Spineless (inside)

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