A slightly delayed EOMV post mainly because I was away from home and garden for a couple of days or so at the end of the month, during which time everything seemed to have grown with indecent haste. This time a phrase for the month rather than a single word - the phrase being 'ENGAGE BRAIN BEFORE ENTERING THE GREENHOUSE'. The latter was scheduled for a thorough winter top and tailing but the saga of the nose put pay to this, so it became more of a quick lick and polish when I was feeling up to it. At this point I removed last year's detritus with gay abandon and at one stage knocked a poppy seedhead into the compost bin. I fished it out immediately but too late the damage was done. The consequence was that some early sowings sprouted zillions of unwanted seedlings which I've spent ages extracting. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Why I took the seeds into the greenhouse into the first place is beyond memory but the greenhouse will be strictly out of bounds when I'm saving seeds later this year.
It was a busy month mainly with sowing, the inevitable pricking out and starting to harden stuff out. I sowed a second batch of tomatoes which were more successful than the first I'm pleased to say. The first have been pricked out whilst the second await that pleasure. 'Box Car Willy', 'Banana Leggs', Ananas Noire', 'Cream Sausage' have been joined by 'Gardener's Delight,' 'Sungold', 'Noire De Crimée, 'Black Cherry' and 'Aunt Ruby's German Green Cherry'. Cucumber 'La Diva' has germinated along with courgettes 'Romanesco and 'Floridor'. Germination of courgette Brice' has been disappointing so another batch will be sown this weekend, or maybe I will try another round green courgette. Pumpkin 'Black Futsu' and 'We B Little' were also sown. By the end of the month the greenhouse also contained beetroot and chard seedlings, basil - 'Mrs Burn's Lemon', 'Purple Leaf' and 'Lettuce Leaf', sunflowers 'Red Velvet', 'Vanilla Ice', more sweet peas, gaura lindheimeri and cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity'. I think that I may have already mentioned that for various reasons I'm sowing less this year. It's been difficult to restrain myself but I'm just about winning at the moment. Elsewhere a few overwintering plants lurked. One or two of the dahlias started to sprout even before they had their first drink of the year, a couple of lemon verbena teased me with their dried up twiggy state (will they ever green?) and the pensetmon cuttings shuttled in and out of the greenhouse.
At the allotment shallots and red onions were planted along with broad beans and peas. Unfortunately the last two crops are already showing signs of serious nibbling. I will be putting more peas in later but just hope that the broad beans recover as I will not be sowing more. Much time has been spent weeding and tidying but much more hard graft remains. My early potatoes went in on Easter Saturday. Early days yet but it looks as if it is going to be a good year for goosegogs, white currants and strawberries. I've been enjoyed some delicious purple sprouting broccoli so must remember to sow it again.
There were several April plant purchases some via mail order, some from a garden centre trip and others from a plant fair but rather than 'fess up all at once I will introduce them in coming posts. The one reveal is auricula 'Late Romantic'. I feel that this may be the start of a slippery slope to another fatal addiction.
Unexpected pleasant surprise of the month was to be the lucky recipient of a copy of Louise Curley's (aka Wellywoman) book 'The Cut Flower Patch'. This came about through entering a giveaway organised by the lovely Caro over at 'An Urban Veg Patch'. You can't imagine how delighted I was be so fortunate especially in view of my self imposed embargo on new book purchases this year. My resolve had been in serious danger of cracking! I'm looking forward to a good browse through this book soon. Thanks again Caro and thanks also as usual to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' who came up with the idea of an end of month view. I'm off later to catch up with what everyone else got up to in April.