This week in the garden Week 7
This week in the garden week 7
After a week away for some winter sport and I have come back to – not much change in the garden. Or that is perhaps how it looks at first. A deeper look reveals cyclamen flowering well, primula and polyanthus colour dotted all over the beds, crocus in various stages of life and colours and daffodils not flowering.
Yes, not flowering. At one stage I had suspected that they would all be done and over by the end of January but the irregular cold checks have worked perfectly to delay them. In fact I don’t recall some of the varieties I have being this late in the years in this house.
But the early growth in perennials has been checked back again, this week quite severely. Notably Crocosmia and Nerines, but also Osteospermum. This time they may take a while to recover, but in turn means that the first rush of colour in the borders will be pushed back, perhaps smoothing over a gap period I have in mid May.
In the greenhouse everything is rosy. Or perhaps beany. Broad beans and peas are growing well in the vacant greenhouse borders and in pots. This year I have not applied any water to them, leaving them to fight for whatever they can scrounge from the sopping earth outside.
And I have sown some runner beans too using the same principle, setting pots on damp earth in one corner and leaving them to it.
Keep an eye on Dahlia tubers
I have been checking the Dahlia tubers that are stored in there too, opening the crates and leaving them on the bench as much as possible to ensure no dampness gets in. I lost over 50 per cent of my stock last year to damp.
In the other greenhouse seeds are sprouting everywhere. Many are perennials that I will use to fill borders while other plants bulk up to split in the spring. These were sown on January 1st and are being pricked out and potted on already. Some are tough annuals like Calendula and French Marigold; I want to use as companion planting in the vegetable beds.
Another highlight this week in the garden were the chillies. Some regular, some small and brightly coloured and some for flavour. The Rotocos hit 350,000 on the Scoville scale; you don’t want to be taking a bite out of them. These are now pricked out into their first pots. I will keep the heat on them for a while to get them ready to plant out in May, some in pots and some just outside the greenhouse.
Cuttings taken in early January are also fully rooted and now being potted on, providing more plants for the first Abbotsbrook plant swap late in April or early May.
Another couple of frosty nights are forecast, so I have covered up a few things and tucked others into a cold frame.