Thursday 16 April 2015

We have lift-off!

After more than a week of mostly sunny and warm weather, stuff is coming up!

Those are "Chantenay" Carrots, in one of the black plastic crates in the wooden planter outside our kitchen window.  I sowed them several weeks ago, hoping for an early spell of warm weather to get them off to a good start, but it never happened. However, last week we had several days of decent weather, and the Carrots just shot up.

In the other plastic crate I have Carrots of two different types. The "Paris Market" ones are on a par with the "Chantenay" ones, but the "Amsterdam Forcing" ones are a fair way behind.

Paris Market ones at top of photo

The Radishes came up very rapidly too - just seven days after sowing.

I sowed 3 x 1.2 metre rows. One type ("Cherry Belle") is considerably behind the other two ("Saxa" and "Sparkler"), though of course probably only a day or so.

In good conditions Radishes mature very quickly, so I'm hoping these ones will be ready by about mid-May.

One of the two rows of Parsnips has come up too - though not so quickly! This is "Hollow Crown" (new seeds), so I'm hoping it doesn't mean that the "Duchess" ones from last year's seeds won't germinate. I know that you are supposed to use fresh seeds every year, but in the past I have managed OK with ones that are 2 or even 3 years old.

Not wishing to be left out of the fun, a couple of Chicories have re-appeared in amongst my Broad Beans.

This happens if you cut the Chicory at ground level and don't pull up the root. Normally I remove the roots, but I must have overlooked a couple. Still, having a few tender young leaves for a salad in a week or two is no bad thing.

In the shrub border the Hellebore plants are also putting up lots of new growth, so hopefully they will be "putting on some weight" and storing up energy for next year's flowers.

There are some new shoots on the Pineapple Mint too. The leaves are mostly white, with a bit of green, but at the moment the stems are bright purple!

The only thing I am really concerned about is whether my Cotinus tree is still alive. You may recall that last year the tree suddenly fell sick, and some people suggested it might have been struck by Verticillium Wilt. Usually by this time it has sprung into growth, but there is no sign of any swelling buds just yet.

I haven't given up hope yet, because lots of things are late appearing this year, but I'm certainly considering my options...


  1. My carrots are probably still a week away from germinating, but my radishes are up. We too have had a bit of nice weather now so things are starting to happen. We went straight from winter to May weather so things are really starting to perk up.

  2. Lots going on in your garden at the moment. It only takes a bit of sunshine to get everything going. Fingers crossed for your cotinus tree.

  3. Carrots are next on our to do/sow list. A neighbour of ours had a cotinus that suddenly fell sick. Part of the tree died and part shooted, He cut off the dead part and now the tree is back to its former glory.

    1. I think I may have to do the same thing with my Cotinus....

  4. I just love this time of year... last weekend with the warm weather, our garden seems to swell overnight!... love carrots, they can be tricky!

  5. I love that first round of great weather that gets things moving - like Daphne, we have gone from very cool to warm temperatures basically overnight. I've only got my peas in the ground so far; can't wait to get to transplanting some seedlings this weekend.

  6. Everything always looks so fresh and full of promise as the gardens awaken and seeds start germinating.

  7. Yes, the weather has been kind to most this week, great to see things growing well.

    Do hope your cotinus tree picks up.

    All the best Jan

  8. I had my third salad from the garden tonight, with radishes, The pea shoots are almost ready and my duke of york and sharpes express early potatoes are looking very promising.

  9. It might be worth making a few experimental chops at the cotinus - V. Wilt leaves tell-tale black rings in the wood (but clean your tools well afterwards if you find it as it's very infectious).

  10. We have had amazingly hot weather lately, which is great for us and the garden, but the temp is still dipping towards 1 or 2 degrees at night. I swear my mint is growing by an inch a day at the moment :)


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