Over the last week my young plants have been happily living out in the green houses, enjoying the warmth and sunlight and establishing themselves in their new size pots. The fleece hasn’t been needed, as temperatures have been good during the day and have remained relatively warm at night and the plants have thrived as a result. And so it was with a modicum of surprise that a casual glance at our weather station, revealed a quite dramatic drop in temperature on Friday evening. It wasn’t even dark yet and the temperature was already reading reading 6 degrees which meant that the overnight temperatures were likely to be even lower, once the last of the daylight had gone and darkness had fully descended.
Ten minutes later and all my more delicate plants such as the chillies, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and various squashes were tucked up under a layer of fleece, ready to face the trials of a cold April night. Thankfully, they all looked remarkably perky Saturday morning but even the daytime temperatures haven’t been brilliant this last few days and growth has slowed noticeably, no doubt as the plants conserve their energy until the warmer days return.
That said, I still have seeds to sow, potatoes to plant out and weeds to pull.
Mind you, there has been some growing action in the greenhouses, with all of the second sowing of radish germinating and the second lot mixed lettuce pots have a healthy covering of green (and purple) seedlings. I could do with getting some more of the deep root seed trays for more successive radish production and I need to sow a third round of salad seeds today but with twice the number of pots, to ensure a steady supply over the next months.
Elsewhere in the greenhouses, the ‘Atlantic Giant’ seedlings are beginning to dwarf their neighbours and the ‘Asparagus Pea’ seedlings are still surprising me with their much slower growth whilst the mangetout continue to grow at what I think of as the normal rate of growth for a pea variety. Both need second sowings to ensure a steady crop and I intend to direct sow some of each as well. As for the tomato plants, well they seem quite happy and it won’t be many more days before I will need to pot them on again but this time into Tomato Grow-bags (for in the greenhouse) or the compost from one or two of these bags for outside plants. The cucumbers are growing at a much more sedate pace but they will also be transplanted into grow bag compost in the very near future.
Outside and while there is no sign yet of potato shoots, under the netting the first of the tiny carrot seedlings have appeared but only from the orange seeds. The ‘Cosmic’ purple carrot seedlings have yet to show their faces and the parsnips are still a few days away from emerging, especially with the cooler night time temperatures.
As well as the successive sowings mentioned above, Middle Mudlet and I also have beetroot and cabbage seeds to sow, as well as a replacement round of courgettes (from a new packet), more runner and climbing beans to sow and the sunflowers also need sowing and I think we have a couple other flower seed types to sow – I’ll need to check my seed box.
The cool temperatures haven’t affected last years pansies though and the pot that Little Mudlet grew last year plus the tray of spares, both of which have over-wintered on the bench outside the protective cover of the greenhouses, have burst back into life and, as you can see from the two photos, are showing their happy, colourful faces to all and sundry, adding a much needed splash of Spring promise to what can be dark and dismal days.
Mud informs me that some forecasts are predicting snow for Monday/Tuesday!!! Enough already!!! It’s spring! I need warmth and sunshine. Snow at the start of May? I’m sorry but I simply won’t allow it!