Weather not Good, I’m not Well

Started the week with a few hours in the potting shed. Ended with some sort of bug getting me. The strong winds and general sogginess making outside tasks impracticable. Frustration meter now at 150% as some of the outside jobs are becoming urgent.

I’ve broad beans that are overdue to be planted and parsnips in biodegradable pots due to go out this week. Not to mention a window full of homeless chitted potatoes. Hoping this weather will finally improve.

The tomatoes (and cucumbers) doing well in the Vitopod. Had to add another layer as they were pushing the lids.

In the shed the tomatoes are doing well, so well that I’ve put another layer on the Vitopod to stop them crowding the lid. One exception being the Crimson Plum whose success rate had been very poor. I’m going to sow a pack of Nagina next.


In the propagator I’d sowed 10 calabrese Gemini seeds and 8 had emerged. The seeds were packed in 2021 and had a sow by date of 2024 so an 80% rate is pretty fair. They were in the propagator at 21ºC which seems really high for a cool weather crop. However, the optimum germination temperature for the leaf brassicas is generally held to be 25ºC and some papers reckon 29ºC.

The calabrese were sown in Bustaseed modules so I could have left them in those for another week or so. Moved them into 9cm square pots. Conveniently, I get 8 pots into a seed tray which makes managing them easy. They’re stayed in a propagator but it’s set at 8ºC minimum and went into the greenhouse after a few days.


Sowed three Bustaseed trays with Bulgarian giant leeks which I’ll thin to one per module. They’re under heat at 21ºC which is their optimum germination temperature. I’ll thin down to one per module once they’ve properly emerged.


Although parsley has a reputation for being difficult to get going, in truth that’s just outside sowings. It will germinate, eventually, when the soil is as low as 4ºC but its optimum temperature is 24ºC. When it’s cold the time to germinate extends and the longer a seed is sitting there in the soil, the greater the risk of harm becoming it.
Anyway, my first sowing from an old packet is showing no signs of germination so made another sowing with fresh seed into Bustaseed modules. I should have some sign in about 14 days.

Potting Compost

Dropped down to the garden centre on Monday and loaded up with potting compost. I find the peat based composts far superior to the coir based but our government is banning it. Think I’ve got stock for about three years now, so headed down for yet another load on Tuesday to take it up to four year’s supply.

Hopefully there will be decent peat free compost by then. I know the manufacturers are spending fortunes trying to develop good, affordable compost that meets the green agenda of those who fly around the world, staying in the best hotels and dining on the best food to decide how we, the little people, should live.

Estima Potatoes

I was very firm about how many potatoes to grow this year. So, get to the garden centre and I’m a bit worried about how things might go. With the flooded fields and worried farmers talking of food security across the world, I’m convinced we’ll at least see another round of food price inflation if not empty shelves and rationing
Almost a panic buy of some additional Estima seed potatoes. A couple of pounds invested now for a kilo makes little difference but if my concerns are founded, we’ll be very grateful for them.

Casablanca Potatoes

Grabbed an hour of decent weather to plant the remaining Casablanca first earlies, this filled the 2M by 1M bed behind the brassica tunnel.

The Casablanca in the raised bed in the polytunnel are coming along now. I felt they looked a little yellow so dosed the bed with potato fertiliser washed in with Miracle-Gro. Miracle-Gro is a high-nitrogen fertiliser and yellowing leaves can be a symptom of nitrogen deficiency.

More Strawberries Arrive

I’ve bought 20 plants of Cambridge Favourite to go into the hanging baskets. Bit miffed to only get 19 when I unwrapped them and popped them into water to re-hydrate. Planted up into hanging baskets in the polytunnel.

Broad Beans

Gary came over and we planted a bed of Karmazyn broad beans. Still had some left to go out and they had to wait a few days when Gary popped back to . Was feeling a bit off or we’d have got them all in in one go.

The next day I was struck down by the dreaded lurgy. Waves of freezing cold with cold sweats, stomach upset to add to the fun and feeling nauseous. Spent a day drifting in an out of sleep.

Slowly improved over the rest of the week but slowly was the operative word.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
4 comments on “Weather not Good, I’m not Well
  1. Nick O'Doherty says:

    Hope you get well soon. It’s good to hear others expressing the same frustration. Today at least is starting off well and forecast here is for 5-6 days dry or occasional mm of rain. Day 3 I will be down the allotment weeding, planting and repairing.

  2. Carrie-Ann says:

    So sorry to hear you’ve been so unwell. The dreaded lurgy is awful. Get well soon x
    I know you’re having awful weather but here in Oz, it’s just as bad but different. We’re in a drought. I cannot remember the last time it rained. A couple of spits here & there but not enough to even register in the gauge. The other side of Oz is suffering floods, thunderstorms, bouts of cold weather & then heat again. The world’s gone nuts weather-wise. But you know what – us gardeners will have a whinge or moan but we will get back out there as soon as the weather breaks. Even if it’s only for 10 mins. We’re a hardy lot & a smile soon comes on our faces when we’ve planted some seeds, seedlings or cuttings etc. So hang in there everyone, we will prevail 🙂 xx

    • Richard Thompson says:

      Hi Carrie-Ann

      Is there a remote chance you could send some of that beautiful sunshine to us in South Wales UK?

      It rains day after day here, and we are about to enter into our summer season.


  3. Jane says:

    Hoping you recover quickly. April is definitely no time for a gardener to be ill. I garden on the east side of the country and I think we’ve had a modicum of relief from rain compared to you on the west this last 2 weeks. Anyway I’ve been out and gardening from pathways. The jobs that I haven’t still got done are the jobs I missed during the late autumn and winter and unfortunately the garden doesn’t understand this and it’s firing ahead full throttle with me running to keep pace. I cannot believe what an early mild spring it’s been here. The lilac is out already and I am usually a full 2 weeks behind other more mild areas. I am keeping pace with you this year – never done that before! But I haven’t put strawberries in hanging baskets inside – never thought of that! Going to see if I can buy some. Thankyou. I enjoy your blog – look forward to seeing what you’re doing

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