This was an opportunity not to be missed, so I spent some time sowing seeds in my pre-prepared raised bed. There's not much for you to see of course, especially since I have protected the bed with netting laid over some flexible plastic hoops, and weighted-down with bricks:
This sort of precaution is absolutely necessary in my garden these days. I am 100% sure that if I do not provide it, the foxes / badgers will dig up the bed within no more than 48 hours of sowing, thereby ruining my work. With the evenings being lighter these days, I have seen a fox in my garden several times. Whenever I do, I bang on the window and/or shout at the animal just to let it know it's not welcome. I don't mind if they pass through my garden, just as long as they leave my crops alone!
Under that net are:
One row of Turnips - a mixture of "Atlantic", "Golden Ball" and "Purple Top Milan"
One row of Parsnips - a mixture of "Panache" and "Gladiator"
One row of Beetroot - a mixture of "Boltardy", "Red Ace" and "Detroit 2"
Those are the real crop, but in between the rows I have also sowed two rows of quick-growing Radishes - "Cherry Belle" and "Flamboyant", which hopefully will mature before the other crops block out their light.
I chose to mix the seeds in the rows as a way of "hedging my bets" in relation to the weather. Hopefully at least one variety of each will do OK.
You remember I planted some peas in a couple of pots? Well, the d****d wildlife has dug them up about 10 times already! I'll be really surprised if the poor peas ever amount to much. I did put some small sticks across the top of the pots, woven between the support canes, like this:
but that proved insufficient, so now I have surrounded the pots with some plastic clematis-netting, like this:
I also potted-up some of the little seedlings that I have been keeping alive through the good services of the recently-acquired Grow Lights. It really is time they experienced the Great Outdoors! On Saturday I transplanted them into individual pots in the garage, where I left them overnight to recover before putting them outside on Sunday morning. I have given them the protection of my second little plastic greenhouse, so that their eviction is not too much of a shock for them.
Those are mostly brassicas - Tenderstem Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts, but at the back are four Aquilegia plants grown from seeds sent to me by fellow-blogger David Ford. Thanks, David!
Upstairs in the spare bedroom, the tomato seeds almost all germinated:
From that tray of 15 pots, each containing 2 seeds, only one seed failed to germinate (it may still decide to do so). Since this photo was taken, I have thinned them to one seedling per pot, so that they don't get overcrowded.
With the weather finally looking as if it may be turning, I decided to plant my next batch of potatoes. I have again put them in pots, but since I have no means of protecting them outdoors, I have kept the pots in the garage for the time being.
When the potato shoots poke through the soil I will earth them up at least once, possibly twice, before I take the pots outside to get some light. By the time they are ready for this Spring will hopefully have finally defeated Winter.
Just for the record, the varieties I planted today are the same as those I planted on 22nd March: Ratte, Swift, Rocket, Accent, Orla, Casablanca, Lady Christl. The "Pink Fir Apple" tubers have so far not produced any chits, so I'll delay planting them for a while longer.