Here’s the garden update for April 2015. Another super busy month and still figuring out the ins and outs of working with the polytunnel. Can’t believe how hot it has been getting in here – we’ve already had temps in the high 30s and the plants are sweltering. In fact we lost most of our purple sprouting broccoli and cabbages because we think they got to hot. Am doing a bit more research and are also opening the polytunnel doors, both of them, wide in the morning when we let out the chickens.
So here’s what we got done in April:
Weeded the salad leaves and reseeded the gaps. So impressed with how fast the salad leaves grow in here. We literally can’t keep up with eating them, and fortunately too many leaves for the increasing numbers of slugs to cope with. This btw is our next challenge, nicely eliminating the slugs from the tunnel.
Planted a horseradish, thought we’d give this another go and see what happens. Repotted a large number of seedlings into larger pots. Luckily when we put out a distress call on FB for containers to use we had a lovely friend give us access to the most enormous pile of used plant pots we’ve ever seen. We were certainly grateful and they did the job as we got everything potted up. Feeling lucky that one of the polytunnel beds isn’t planted yet with anything other than a cover crop as we’ve had to put the potted plants directly on this bed as we’ve nowhere else to put them due to still having frosts outside.
We trialed a couple of plants directly into the garden. Nasturtiums – failed (frost got them), Dwarf Beans – failed (again the frost got them), Cornflowers – success (these have ignored the frosts and grown beautifully so we can plant out the rest of these. Our neighbour, a retired farmer has said to wait until June to plant out. Arghhh, most of our seedlings seem more than ready to go into the garden now!
Also planted some chamomile (from Victoriana Nurseries), I tried seeds and these did not take so I bought a plant and it’s doing beautifully. Can’t wait to pick it fresh for my tea drinking!
Also planted this month: Tansy (pot), 2 chili plants (pots), 8 cabbages into one of the polytunnel beds – alas by the end of the month, most of these have gone due to slugs and the couple that have survived haven’t grown 🙁 Not sure what to do about this – will research more).
Planted up some of our decking pots and they seem to have all survived the frosts, the nasturtium took a knock from the frost but is making a remarkable comeback.
Added some more plants to the medicinal herb garden: lovage, feverfew and hyssop that I purchased from Victoriana Nurseries – happy to report these are all doing well.
Finally, planted out spinach and beetroot in large prepared pots in the vege garden. These we covered with a blue netting that was kindly donated by another friend who thought it may come in handy for something (we are very grateful to our lovely friends). Both of these crops are doing nicely, we’ve mulched everything we’ve planted outdoors and these especially seem to be doing very well.
We used the last weekend in April to put up a more permanent fence between the garden and the birds. We wanted something fairly lightweight in case we needed to move it, something not too chunky so we could still see the birds from the kitchen window and also give us another surface to grow on – I’m thinking passionfruit vine! And the resulting outcome is better than we had imagined and does the job perfectly.
We also used some old bricks and an old railway sleeper and put together a super seating area that gives us a good view of the birds scratching around their yard and of the back garden. And it seems to be quite the suntrap too. Result! Think this might be the place to plant our Feijoa tree – the warmest spot in the garden! Looking forward to eating many lunches and having frequent work breaks sat out here!