Wednesday 11 May 2016

Fast Forward

Warmer weather and plentiful sunshine has given my garden a long-awaited boost. Everything seems to have grown more in the last week than in the previous six!

The fruit trees have hopefully got their timing right - their blossom is opening at a time when the likelihood of frost seems small:

Pear blossom - "Concorde"

Apple blossom - "Winter Banana"

The Asparagus is shooting up so quickly you feel as if you can see it getting taller by the minute.

My experiment with transplanting the Asparagus into that big tub seems to have worked. Each of the four crowns I saved has produced at least a few spears, and more are continuing to come up.

In the sheltered spot between the big tubs that house the Asparagus and my new apple tree, I have established a little patch of culinary herbs. At present it includes Chives, Parsley and Thyme, but I expect others will be added in due course.

The Cabbages and Brussels sprouts in the raised bed in front of the Asparagus are looking great - almost too good to be true.

Such good looks in a brassica must be a great temptation to a multitude of pests, and whilst the net I have provided will keep off the butterflies, it won't deter Cabbage Root Fly, so I have just placed an order for some nematodes. The type I normally use is effective against a range of pests, including the Cabbage Root Fly and (allegedly) the Carrot Root Fly.

Nearby, my second sowing of Radishes is coming on rapidly now. I'm expecting them to mature just as the first sowing comes to an end. That's the plan, anyway.

You can see that I have put in a few Lettuces between the rows of Radishes. They are only small at present, and the Radishes will be gone before they need more space. This is the sort of planning ahead that a gardener with limited space available must engage in.

Just next to those Radishes is my Baby Leaf Salad mini-bed:

Germination of the salad has been a bit erratic. It seems that most of the seedlings are brassicas of some sort (including Mizuna and Red Mustard), and very few Lettuces.  Actually that's no bad thing, because I have plenty of Lettuces already.

This tray of seedlings left over after I had planted out the ones I needed is definitely destined to be a Baby Leaf Salad!

The Spring Onions are looking good too. Their little "loops" are unfurling now, such that it seems they have doubled in size overnight.

All five types of bean that I sowed are popping up now. These ones are Runner beans "Tenderstar":

And these ones are climbing French bean "Cobra".

The bean-poles are up and ready whenever the beans are!

The Cucumbers are living outdoors during they day now, and in a mini-greenhouse at night. They are just forming their first true leaves now.

The patio table (seldom used for dining, I regret!) is laden with pots of Chillis, Tomatoes etc. This is a place where they can get sunshine almost throughout the day. Notice the use of old washing-up bowls as a way or reducing the effort of carrying them round when needed. I have drilled holes in the bowls just so that they don't fill up when it rains.

I love this time of year! Everything is so full of the promise of good things to come.


  1. You are definitely a master at using every space conceivable for our gardening.

  2. It's looking good, Mark, but you've a lot of wrapping up to do with cold nights coming this weekend.

  3. The apple blossom on the plot looked beautiful this week. I love spring too.

  4. Your garden is looking very impressive Mark! Whatever you have done this year seems to have worked a treat.

  5. Spring is such an appropriate name for this season what with the way things grow! I am always taken by surprise at how quickly the veggies mature in my garden. I have a patio table that is suffering the same fate, it's crowded with seedlings during the day and perpetually dirty. It will get back to normal duty once I get the tomatoes, peppers and such into the garden. Your garden looks great, those big new boxes are going to serve you well.

  6. There's so much going on in your garden. After seeing your potted vegetables, I have also started using more containers for brinjal and chillies.


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