Busy, busy, busy…

It’s April, and as happens every year, my kitchen has been turned into a giant greenhouse as I get as many seeds as possible started in this busy month.  I’ve been really good this year and have spent most of the Easter holidays so far working on the garden.  I wasn’t sure about doing more than just maintaining things as there is still a question mark over if I’ll need to sell or not, but in the end I figured I’d go for it and plant both vegetables and cut flowers and at least I can hand over a full garden to the new owners, should it come to that.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 08.46.57 Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 08.46.20 Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 08.45.58I ordered some new flower seeds from Thompson & Morgan (as above) and these have all been started in a giant seed tray made from a plastic tray intended to put a large grow bag on, which I’ve filled with small seed cell trays.

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DSC_0137It was born out of necessity, after I ended up at a standard DIY store instead of my usual independent garden shop (which was closed) and there wasn’t a lot of choice, but it works really well.  Once the seedlings are established I’ll move the tray into the greenhouse so the plants get even light and don’t become too leggy.  I’ve also planted up lots of the seeds I collected from last year, mainly things like Nigella and Calendula.

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In the garden the spring bulbs have returned in all the borders, but with a little less enthusiasm, the exception being narcissi which come back year after year.

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My trough, that sits on the drive is looking promising, but sadly, the two small raised beds in the veg patch that were full of spring plants last year have produced nothing 😦 it would appear the various pests I suffer with in the garden have eaten all the dormant bulbs.

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On which note, I am determined to get on top of the rabbit situation and have spent quite a bit of time trying to block any remaining entry points, often by inventive means.  My methods are by no means perfect and not always pretty, but I’m determined to eventually keep the little furry critters out.  Sadly, this wasn’t done in time to stop them munching many of the nice new plant shoots that emerged early last month so a lot of the damage is already done.  Must get on with cleaning my decking as well, I have swept it a number of times over but it needs power hosing down to get it really clean.

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Indoors, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of making mineral bone broths, you can google a zillion methods so I wont bore you with those, but basically it involves slow boiling your left over meat bones (often browned in the oven beforehand, especially if you’re using beef bones) with any vegetables, herbs etc that need using up, for hours and hours and hours.  You add a splash of vinegar to cold bones before cooking the broth to help bring the minerals out.  It’s pretty much the same process I’ve always done for making chicken stock, expect I now really do throw every vegetable peeling or limp carrot from the back of the fridge into the pot and I boil it a lot longer, until the bones start to break down.  I’ve mostly then been using the stock to then make batches of chicken soup for F as he loves it and in theory it ‘might’ help his broken arm heal quicker.

To add to my vegetable list from last month, I’ve added:

Sweetcorn ‘Conqueror’

Climbing BeanBlauhilde’

Indoors and in the greenhouse, in gutters:

Peas

Salad

Direct (under cloches) I’ve sown:

Spring Onions

Radish

Beetroot

Turnip ‘Snowball’

I hope to get broccoli, kale, and all the squash on the go in coming weeks.

Right, I’m off to give everything a water, it’s amazing how quickly things dry out in the greenhouse if they aren’t carefully monitored.