Saturday, May 6, 2017

April 2017 garden recap

Photo of a young artichoke plant surrounded by mulch and weeds
Artichoke and friends
Roots

In the Roots bed I have garlic and half the shallots (the other half in the Misc bed), both started in autumn 2016 and growing strongly.  I have a small section of onions, grown in clusters from seed and planted out;  they've doubled in size since I transplanted them (started indoors in January and transplanted in March).  I also put down seed for parsnip and beet (February and March, respectively) but neither are doing much.  I've seen about four beet seedlings and no parsnip.  I also sowed three plastic containers with carrot seed in March, all of which have sprouted (yay).

I have a tray of celery seedlings (started in February) in my kitchen window growing strongly, to be planted out in June

Peas and beans

Broad beans sown in autumn 2016 are flowering, though the tallest plant is only about 12 inches (the rest are even shorter).  Spring sown seed is growing strongly and nearly taller, but not flowering yet.  Mange tout peas sown in February are shooting up their supports, with maincrop peas (March) not far behind.  First batch of early peas growing, but second batch not yet appeared (sown at the same time as second maincrop batch, which is sprouting up an inch or two now). 

Brassicas

The brassicas will share the Peas and Beans bed, but most are to transplant in after peas and beans are done.  I have about six young cauliflowers in between the broad beans and the peas, but only three look like they're growing (slugs...).  Early cabbages in the holding bed, looking happy.  Summer/autumn broccoli and Brussels sprouts just popping up from seed trays;  Brussels will go in the holding bed, though broccoli might squeeze in next to the cauliflower--if not, holding bed.

Last year's kale and purple sprouting broccoli still being harvested.  Probably get another two weeks or so off both of them (they're in this year's Misc bed).  Kale (Sutherland variety) is just beginning to flower, and I hope to save seed.

Miscellaneous

Spring planted shallots are just poking up, and a few new chard from seed.  I also transplanted some self-seeded chard here--half of which the blackbirds tore up while digging worms!  I still have plenty of this chard, however, and newer transplants look fine.  Last year's chard around the garden (not in the regular veg beds) growing strongly, and we've eaten some, and given some to the chickens.

I have leek seedlings growing in trays to transplant out later (my book suggests planting them out after early potatoes are lifted in June/July, but I have no early potato plants in my Potatoes bed).

I have some lettuce growing in my cold frame, and keep trying to sow more seed unsuccessfully (slugs? probably).  Might have to sow it indoors.

Also have tomatillo, tomato and cherry tomato seedlings popping up in a tray in my kitchen, for planting out in June.

Potatoes

I dedicated a small bed for maincrop potatoes, and also planted a few elsewhere as I had leftovers.  None have appeared yet, although some volunteers have sprouted up in random places.  We always have some but never know where they'll appear!

Fruit

All fruit trees (except the two young peaches and the little crabapple) have been/are flowering and all seem to have set some fruit, although it's hard to tell with the Williams pear and the Kordia cherry just yet.  I picked the immature fruits off the Asian pear tree after flowering, to encourage it to grow bigger (it fruited last year at the expense of growth, and is still about four feet tall with only three tiny branches).

Blackcurrants covered in flowers, and redcurrant forming small berries.  Both alpine and regular strawberries flowering, blueberry and raspberries flowering.

Little fig tree has 20 or more figs, growing well.

Perennials and herbs

Two artichokes grown from crowns this spring are alive, but haven't made much growth since planting out early in the month. 

I forced one rhubarb crown starting in January for two small harvests;  it's now regrowing without the forcer (aka black plastic bucket), as is the other crown (unharvested).

Asparagus all dead it seems, but am attempting more seeds (none sprouted yet).

Sorrel all moved from main veg patch to the Perennials bed out back, growing well with lots of leaves.

Been regularly picking new growth of rosemary, chives and thyme.  Planted out the tarragon, growing strongly.  Sage planted out and torn up by birds (why!?) and now protected with a plastic mesh tray--looks very sad.

Still have a little bit of self seeded parsley, and mint is regrowing.  Bergamot in a pot is growing well, to be planted out soon.  New sowing of chervil in pots is growing well.  Also sown but not appeared yet:  dill and summer savory (both in pots).

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