Sugar ann is up, she is a pea, the seed was sown on the 14th March and she is now up, I am very pleased to see her, there is nothing quite like eating peas from the plant in the summer, it is also a vegetable that does freeze so well, not sure that there is a seed that does as well and taste as good after time frozen. I hope that the wind is going to start to die down so that I can get the supports up.
The spring fair went very well, we had some 200 more people than last year and the weather was bad on Sunday, we had true plant people here on Sunday, to walk around in such weather they must had been. I was very pleased to see a local nursery was selling sweet peas, since I have not planted any it was great to get them already up, and I did not have to pay, perfect. I got two colours, orange and burgundy. I did have to telephone Mrs Next-door and let her know so she could also get some, our usual source has let us down. I pricked mine out today into single pots with our own soil.
Not only do we open for the season tomorrow but it is also our spring fair, the lower field is looking great but maybe the star of the show is our stall, Fergus has had a fun day getting our stall ready and it does look great, he really loves this kind of thing. I just hope we have a lot of people to see it, I will be in my usual place, helping in the car park.
We have seedlings coming through in Mrs Nextdoor’s glasshouse I am very happy to see, it all happens very quickly when it starts. It is fun to go in the morning and see what has happened as with the end of the day. The only seeds that have not shown any life are the peas and beans, I think they maybe finding it all a little cold so I have covered them in fleece as with the seeds out in the garden, they to have not started to move yet but they will always be a little slower.
At this time of the year it is very hard not to full the garden with lots of rows of seed, we still do not know what the weather is going to do, I have put another four rows of seed in, one third of the high garden is now under fleece and last night we where reminded that frost is still around, we had a light frost which had gone by 9am but we still had one. I now need to weed through the high garden and then move onto the other side of the hedge.
I love the F T Weekend newspaper and the section that I really enjoy other than “How to spend it’ is the ‘House and Home’ section and that is because of Robin Lane Fox, he does get around and sees some great plants and then writes about them, on the weekend of the 24th and 25th January he looked at some interesting seeds for the summer ahead, one he wrote about that I loved the look of was Marigold Alumia Vanilla Cream from Thompson and Morgan so I ordered two packs and then this past weekend sowed one pack, I want to be able to eat the flowers in salad this summer. It looks like it is going to be a perfect butter yellow which will lift the green of lettuce.
I am very happy with Perry, he spent the time with me on the internet to get a good cover to grow carrots under. Carrot fly is such a problem and in a way the best thing to do is to keep them covered through their lives, you need a fine mesh that still lets light and water through. The covers that we got are a little too white but are very tidy. To help keep carrot fly away people will cover them and also grow onions on either side, I have spring onions growing on one side. The variety that I planted is C. ‘Early Nantes 2’, hope they are going to grow well.
I am not always happy to get up in the night to let the dogs out but I was very happy last night to go out at 2am and find it was raining, just what my seeds needed, a light rain on them. It rained till 9am then the sun come out and it was warm, I can not tell you just how happy I was to see all this, someone nice was looking down on the vegetable garden. I have now covered the area with fleece. It does not look great now but I hope the seeds will come through before we are open to the public and I can take the fleece off.
It was great to have my hands back in the soil after the winter, not that it is really over, it is too soon to say such a thing but I was happy to get out there and get the soil ready to sow seed, then to get four rows of seed in, the Parsnips may be a little too early but I have found it very hard to get them to grow for me so I wanted to try now, the seed looked very fresh still, this is often a problem. The rows of seed will be covered with fleece till they come through. The other three rows that I got in where, Beetroot, Spinach and Spring lettuce mix. Lets hope we do not get a frost now.
With the weather so good this week I have started to move part of my Pelargonium collection out of Mrs Next-door’s summer house into the fresh air, they have done very well in this room over the winter, it is light and heated but the growth is not so strong and so moving them out into the fresh air they will harden them up and they will be ready to move into the kitchen yard before too long, the nights are still not warm enough so I put them back in at the end of the day. I have also taken a lot of cuttings from them. I will have to start to do the same with the plants in Mrs Next-door’s glasshouse.