Hello April!

April is here and with it comes one of the busiest months for seeds and franticly preparing the ground for crops and flowers! I have quite a few seedlings on the go already, but there are still plenty more to sow and an ever growing list of jobs to complete.

Allotment jobs for the week

  • Tidy the flower bed
  • Sow peas in guttering
  • Clear weeds and prepare the beds
  • Lay down woodchip on the new fruitbed footpath
  • Take down last year’s pea canes

Allotment jobs for April

  • Sow pumpkins and squashes undercover
  • Sow flowers
  • Plant gladioli bulbs
  • Divide and move snowdrops
  • Plant the seed potatoes
  • Sow peas successionally
  • Directly sow salad crops
  • Pot-up seedlings
  • Clear out the shed (!)
  • Watch out for baby frogs

Coming next

Flower update! 🌼 🌷

Vermiculite Experiment 

I hastily planted some courgette seeds a couple of weeks ago, not realised just how early it was and forgetting how rapidly they grow. In just a few days they germinated and shot up as very tall and leggy seedlings. 

There was a long and interesting discussion on my Instagram post on what to do with my leggy seedlings and also I’m the benefits of using vermiculite. I realised that like tomatoes, courgettes actually produce roots from the main stem. This means my seedlings (if I plant them deep enough) could put out enough re-growth to create a strong and healthy plants.

I had a few options on what I could do next. Either continue to grow them regardless of their weak appearance, sow some more a few weeks later, or use the opportunity to experiment.

I picked up Aldi’s vermiculite (10lr for £3.49) and potted up two seedlings in a compost and vermiculite mix and the other two just compost. I predict that the two with vermiculite will retain more water and hopefully produce a stronger root system! I’ve never used vermiculite before, so this will be a useful experiment to see how the seedlings will benefit. 


It’s World Earth Day today which makes me stop and appreciate the things even more than usual. Especially at this time of year when everything is coming to life I’m reminded of how beautiful this place really is. The greens are suddenly so vibrant and the cherry blossom just punches through it. The narcissi have also been in flower for the past few weeks and the tulips are ready to bloom any day now. I remember planting these bulbs on one of the coldest and windiest November days, which makes their blooms that little bit more rewarding and so welcoming as I step into the plot.
Continue reading “Appreciation”

Chitting the Gladiators

It’s a bit of an experiment but I started to chit my parsnip seeds last week since they take a long time to germinate. It’s been almost a week now and they’re no signs of them showing any signs of life yet!

I have two large half drums from a water butt to use for growing my carrot and parsnips this year so we’ll see how that goes! I had limited success with them last year as I started too late and didn’t prepare the soil well enough. By growing in big containers I plan to sieve all the compost and add a load of sand to give it the right conditions it needs to hopefully give me some Gladiator parsnips!

Busy Bee

IMG_3865Weekend Jobs Completed

  • Tidied the shed.
  • Burnt some of the excess wood.
  • Made pea canes and edging from excess wood.
  • Planted autumn fruiting raspberry canes (Joan J variety).
  • Erected additional shelving inside the greenhouse.
  • Broke up the ground around the many plum suckers for the rain to help loosen.
  • Broke up the ground to extend the main bed an additional 1-2 feet.
  • Made a make-shift cloche to warm the soil.
  • Fertilised the potato bed.

Continue reading “Busy Bee”

Potato Plans

The potatoes are chitting away nicely and while they develop knobbly, vivid shoots I’m frantically clearing and digging what will be their enormous bed to grow in. The bed is about 6m x 3.5m which is at least four times the size of what I grew my spuds in last year. The lack of space was probably the reason my Maris Pipers weren’t very big, but the Charlottes were brilliant and so delicious that I’m definitely growing these again.
Continue reading “Potato Plans”