Saturday, May 26, 2018

30 Mar

Signs of Spring are all around

Happily, the good weather has continued and signs of Spring are all around. The fields are full of delightful lambs and and on Sunday we collected frogspawn with the boys. It is a relief to see how the teenage persona can disappear when faced with a pond full of frogs and bundles of gloopy frogspawn, and boys are boys again.  We now have a pot of the stuff in the garden which as usual will probably come to nothing, but somehow Spring wouldn’t be the same without it. 

This week the village gardening club had a talk entitled  ‘Growing Vegetables’.  I went along, armed with my notebook anticipating lots of top tips to ensure success.  Unfortunately, the supplemantary title, omitted from the original headline was ‘for showing’. Now this is growing vegetables in a way that is alien and most probably unattainable to me with my somewhat haphazard approach to gardening. Here, nothing is left to chance, and the patience and precision required can only be admired. The soil was ‘riddled’ twice prior to planting carrot seeds, and the ‘long’ carrots were planted in six foot pipes attached to the fence. Show growing is a labour of love and most definately not for the faint-hearted. 

However, as always every gardener has their pearls of wisdom to impart and those I learnt I will pass on to you. The first of these was that, at this latitude, it is best not to plant anything outside until May, when the soil has well and truly warmed up.  Now, I am always struck by impatience at this time of year and feel I should be getting things going early, so it was reassuring to hear that, as always, patience is a virtue and that holding off for that little bit longer will be better in the long run.  The second top tip, which I pass on ‘without prejudice’, is to put your parsnip seeds, three at a time, in a Rizla paper before planting, to ensure germination. Why this should work I don’t know, but at a matter of pence a packet it is probably worth a try when germination can be so hit and miss.


In the vegetable garden here all is going well. The netting has kept the rabbits at bay and the broad beans are growing nicely in and out, with the cloches providing protection from the hard frost at the weekend. Sadly, the ducks have disappeared, I think taken by a fox, especially hungry at this time of year with cubs to feed.  Such is nature and I do miss their friendly quacking, but being very mercenary, at least now I can let the dog in the paddock  off his lease.  I leave you with a photo entitled ‘looking forward to my plugs arriving’, the germination of my sweet peas falling way below expectations!


One Comment on "Signs of Spring are all around"

  1. Trevor Smith on Mon, 30th Mar 2009 6:03 pm 

    I assume the Sweet Pea seed wasnt purchased from Gardening Direct?
    I am sure their germination levels would be much higher?

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