Having partly convinced myself that the risk of serious frost must be fading by now, and that the onion seedlings were (a) reasonably hardy and (b) desperately crowded and needing to get out of the seed tray, I planted them out this weekend.
I’m not sure they survived the process terribly well; my fingers aren’t anywhere near green enough to transplant them like that without them suffering considerable trauma – especially as I’d never got around to thinning them out. Time will tell if they get it together (right now they’re lying down in a not-very-happy way) but I think the big lesson for me here is to start seedlings off in pots or similar, so I don’t kill them when I come to plant them out.
Oh well, I still have plenty of seeds so even if they die, I started early enough that I can recover!
On a brighter note, I’d sown the early cabbages more carefully and they seem to have transplanted quite happily into pots – I’m now eagerly awaiting their first true leaves to appear, which is (apparently!) when you’re supposed to plant them out.
Lastly on the planting front, I came across an old packet of spring onions so I put in a row of them behind the dying onions – the theory being that they crop quickly, and because I can sow them direct into the ground I don’t need to worry about transplanting them later.
Well, it appears as though the Weather Gods, at the very least, are regular readers here. No sooner have I (rashly!) put in the potatoes, the weather forecast is suddenly threatening us with winter returning, and possibly even snow!
Being a highly resourceful chap (or possibly just a useful mix of lucky and lazy) I managed to give the lawn it’s first cut of the year last weekend, and decided to leave the cuttings on the grass rather than tidily picking them all up and putting them onto the compost heap.
I’ve read all sorts over the years arguing both sides of this; half the world thinks it’s a good idea and the other half is convinced it will ruin your lawn. Well, my lawn isn’t exactly a masterpiece but leaving the cuttings on it never seems to harm it very much and to my mind is a sort of lazy man’s approach to composting in situ 🙂
Anyway, the practical upshot of this is that I had readily available a big pile of grass clippings, which I’ve gathered up and layered over the freshly-planted potatoes in the hope that it will provide a little insulation and help them through the cold snap.
Oh, and of course the onion seeds I planted a little while back have grown unexpectedly enthusiastically and are now crying out to be planted out. I think they might have to wait until after the snow though…
This weekend we finally got a bit of a break in the weather; although the year has started very warm, it’s also been raining so much that I’ve not really managed to get out into the garden very often – it’s either actually raining, or so soggy that doing any work is pretty tricky.
However, this weekend came after a relatively dry week, and came with some glorious sunshine too. Plus, I managed to find a garden centre last week which had some very interesting looking potatoes – so these year’s will be Edzell Blue.
I finally managed to dig back as far as I’d intended, and straightened out the bed so it’s now a straight(ish) line rather than they meandering border it used to be. When I’d started clearing ground I’d tended to follow the line of surviving grass (to minimize my work!) but this did have the effect of some pretty random shaped beds.
After all that digging I put the potatoes in; yes, I know it’s pretty early but they are a 2nd early variety and it’s turning out so warm this year I reckon we’re well passed the risk of significant frost. I did just see a squirrel taking some serious interest in my freshly dug garden though, so it might not be frost I lose my potatoes too!
In other news, the onion seed has sprouted wonderfully and will soon be ready to go out into the big bad world. I also sowed the early savoy seeds to get them started good and early – as I mentioned previously I’m going to try and push them out a little early, and tag a second crop of the regular savoy after them in the same plot.
I think the next task will be to dig the final couple of yards back to the sheds, which will be my courgette space – well, that and buy some courgette seeds of course!