After Wednesday’s blizzard things improved quite quickly. By Thursday morning most of the snow was gone from the lowlands but the mountain tops were looking beautiful under white tops. The roads were quite crowded, lots of caravanners arriving for Easter. Shame they won’t get the weather we had at the end of March. Still there’s lots to see apart from the beaches in N Wales That’s my plug for the tourist industry over!
So Good Friday arrives and we’ve still got snow up here, quite thick in places, in the shaded areas. Not exactly gardening weather. Still, I managed to put in a bit of time in the shed so it wasn’t a total waste. I fixed up a few tool hooks, I’m gradually getting everything a place to live. I was getting fed up of tripping over the post hole borer and now that’s put out of the way. I’m one of those people who likes things tidy but have the knack of turning things into chaos, so a constant battle.
I’d picked up a pack of hot chilli seeds from Wilkinsons on Thursday. Not a named variety but I’ve grown them before with great results, prolific plants and the chillies store well dried. Sowed some into modules.
Next I filled some large plant troughs with compost and sowed leeks (Musselburgh). I like starting leeks like this. They take up next to no space until they’re ready to plant out and it’s easy to transplant them with little root damage.
Val sowed a load of flowery things and has taken over one of the propagators. At this rate I’ll have to get her a greenhouse of her own! She’s already on about over-wintering things in there at the end of the season.
Saturday and the snow has melted away in the overnight rain. It’s a fair bit warmer and not too bad but the clouds keep threatening rain even if they don’t deliver until the end of the day. I’d had a bad night, awoke at 3am feeling like I’d caught a chill and didn’t get back to sleep until nearly 5am so felt like a zombie all morning. Anyway, dragged myself out in the afternoon and felt better for it.
I dug out the top six inches or so of compost from the barrel slices and then added a mix of fish, blood & bone, calcified seaweed and some slow release fertiliser, mixing it in well. Lightly tamped down and then topped up with fresh multi-purpose compost. This should give me a good crop of clean roots, with luck.
In the remaining three shallower barrel slices I again sowed carrots. Tip Top, a French variety, Early Nantes and Maestro (Suttons). Maestro is one we give away with our books and is carrot fly resistant. I don’t think carrot fly is a problem up here but insurance anyway. I also sowed some Early Nantes in a trough in the greenhouse, it will be interesting to see if they germinate and crop faster in there.
Sowed some Brussels Sprouts – a variety called Revenge from Thompson and Morgan. They’re sturdy, which is a must here, and hold well. It’s funny how I used to loathe sprouts, just the smell made me gag, but home grown and properly cooked I love them. It wasn’t until I had the allotment I’d even grown them – there’s no point growing something you don’t want to eat. Then Larry gave me some of his and I discovered how good they can be.
I also sowed some dwarf green curly kale, the best winter standing vegetable. Finally sowed some cat mint for the moggies. Hopefully I can distract them from using my raised beds as a toilet with it. They’ve got a toilet area nearer the house but when do cats ever do what you want them to? I’ve even draped netting over the carrot and parsnips to keep them off.
Had a bit of a shock as I closed the greenhouse door. I mustn’t have properly tightened the nuts on the wheels in one of them and it basically fell off. Quite a bit of fiddling around to re-fit them making sure the nuts were tight and re-hang the door especially as it had started to drizzle. Anyway, job done and in before the heavens properly opened.