Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring is Here!

Well Spring must be here because the blossom is out! A wonderful show this year, the perfume is heady and I have even seen a few early bees doing their duty!
My purple podded peas are settling in well to their new home. A few weeks before I planted them out, I pinched out the tips of the seedlings. This encourages side shoots to form, on which there will be a large number of pods.

At last my spinach and Swiss Chard are showing signs of recovery. Throughout Winter they just sit there and appear to do nothing, then, as if by magic.. they start to grow and grow and grow. From now until about June or July there will be an endless supply of fresh green leaves!
They say a watched pot never boils, but I can't help going out and looking at my little tomato plants each day! They are still in a heated propagator to keep them warm at night, but during the day they can get a little warm inside the greenhouse as the sun is getting brighter. If they get too much heat and not enough light they go spindly and tall. Now is the time to strike a difficult balance between not getting them get chilled, and starting to get them very slightly hardened off. Lids off and greenhouse door open on warm sunny days from now on.


At 9:23 PM, OpenID exuberantlady said...

These are heady days! even here in the Minnesota northland signs of spring abound (if some of them are under grow lights in the basement!) A bit of patchy snow still lingers, but it steadily melts now. Hopefully we won't be surprised by an early spring storm like last year--which dumped 12 inches of snow on April 3rd!

I loved the photo tour of your garden progress. Your tomatoes look so strong and healthy. And thanks for the tip about pinching back peas...I had no idea, but will definitely do so.


At 1:44 PM, Blogger LOUISE @ HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS said...

I only got to sow my tomato seed this morning. I am so behind. I just hope they grow in time, to get a decent length of crop, before the end of the summer. Hopefully with the longer daylight hours and the propagator lid, they should get going? x

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

Isn't it difficult with tomatoes (and peppers) at this time of year. One minute it's sunny and I'm cooling them off, next minute worrying about cold and lack of light.

A week or two of consistent weather would make a nice change.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Yes, this is indeeded a packed post! What a beautiful tomato! I will have snap peas and snow peas. Do you recommend pinching all peas this way? My sprouts aren't quite 1 inch high yet, but I remember they grew quickly once they sprouted.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Matron said...'s certainly not too late to sow tomato seeds. Last year I planted first ones in January then some more 1st week of April.. they ripene together!
Petunia..I pinched the shoot out when they were about 3 or 4" high, you can do this to all peas and particularly the flowers sweet peas. You get oodles more flowers!

At 9:31 PM, Blogger VP said...

Your way ahead of me Matron! Thanks for stopping by on my blog the other day :)

At 9:43 PM, Blogger Big Gaz said...

Always a great read - your blog, and i keep coming back!

Finally got round to adding a link from my blog to yours ! Hope you don't mind!

Keep up the good work,


At 1:06 AM, Blogger primrozie said...

The only thing I've had winter over is kale. How cold does it get where you are in the winter?

At 1:22 AM, Blogger said...

Your greens look fantastic.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger Evington Hilltop Adventures said...

Looking good old girl, esp the rhubarb


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