What a great start to April. Lovely sunshine last weekend finally which enabled me to get out in the garden. The weather is promised to change to wet, but warmer so now I am going to risk getting the garden started. Ten day weather forecast for Shannon here (time for umbrellas!) :
As I went around the garden, one thing I did notice was there was a marked difference in the temperature in the soil of the raised beds compared with the ground.
Of course - I did pull in a favour off my hubbie to get the potato drills started. Planted my Sarpo Mira potatoes on Sat - these are a main crop variety. I spaced them about 12-14inches apart in the ground and covered them with a few inches of soil. I will build up the drills as the shoots appear. Sarpo Mira are supposed to be a good blight resistant potato - time and summer will tell. Fingers crossed! Only doing half the potatoes I did last year as I had such issues with blight due to the wet summer despite spraying them weekly.
Planted out my broccoli (calebrese) plants too - these I covered with a mini cloche tunnel to keep them from getting too damaged in the wind/rain that is forecast. This will also increase the temp for the seedlings so they should grow quickly. I also planted a small number of radish and pak choi (my first time growing from seed) seeds under the cloche - these will be well gone out of the way by the time the broccoli needs the space.
My last remaining parsnips were evicted from their bed to make room for the onions which are following them in my bed rotation policy. Great to still be picking fresh veg even at this late stage. I don't think I will grow parsnips in my raised beds again though - they grew too well (poor complaint I know!) - as my raised beds are 2 ft - the parsnips were almost impossible to dig out ( help was needed again) and we had to break some of them to get them out.
I have now my first raised bed full of garlic, onions and shallots. I will be planting more shallots and onions directly into the soil in a couple of weeks - weather dependant. I am also waiting for my purple sprouting broccoli to finish before I can dig it up and use the space for the onions.
I brought out my spring onions that I had growing inside on the window sill to my temp greenhouse. Planted a few other seeds in there too to see how they do. As it is only a plastic greenhouse with a couple of holes, it wouldn't be as warm as a glass greenhouse. Also brought out a few other garden plants (morning glory, nasturtiums, tomato) to start to acclimatise them,
We got a gift of new gloves and I cannot rate them highly enough - I normally end up flinging my gloves aside to get fine work done or handle small plants, but these gloves above were absolutely excellent. The only thing I wasn't able to do with them was handle fine seeds, but really managed to wear them for everything else. Some of the gardening gloves I have tried in the past are either too bulky or else you still have dirty nails afterwards which often negates the reason for wearing them.
Found a website below that sells them in the UK (note, I have no connection with the company - just one I found through google and I haven't used them).