Things are definitely on the move in the garden. The bulbs are poking up their first leaves and here in London some of the perennials are beginning to stir. Storm Eric poured in yesterday and is blowing itself out today. The sun is shining and optimism is rising.
There was a brief lull in the weather this week. The snow disappeared and the ground wasn’t too wet so the opportunity was taken to plant out the asparagus crowns. I dug out the trench, created the ‘w’ shaped profile and elegantly draped the crowns across the top. The trench was then back-filled to just cover the crowns and over the coming weeks as the crowns send out shoots there will be more back filling to ensure the crowns are well buried. A scattering of fish bone and blood also went into the mix. I opted for one long trench and I think I have space for a border of companion plants. Recommendations are to plant tomatoes and basil in an attempt to fend off asparagus beetle. I am growing tomatoes from seed this year and I’m sure I will have some spare plants. The extras can go by the side of the asparagus as a first barrier. I’m happy to sow a few basil seeds as well. That’s the first plan. We’ll see if it works.
The potatoes have been bought and chitting is underway. The second plan is where to put the potatoes this year. My veg plot has a three year rotation plot. (I don’t grow brassicas). Potatoes are followed by onions followed by root crops. The lay out of the veg plot gives me two larger beds and then three thinner strips. There is also one medium sized raised bed. I have to decide if I use the raised bed for half the potatoes and one of the larger smaller strips for the remainder. You may be a little confused by now – as I am. I have a few weeks to sort this all out.
Beans will also have to fit into the plan and this year I am forgoing the climbing bean ‘Blue Lake’ in favour of a dwarf french bean. The simple reason is I don’t enjoy untangling the beans and twine from the wig wam at the end of the season. I also reasoned that the dwarf beans would fit very nicely into one of the thin strips. A long term plan is to combine two of the thin strips, but that’s on the wish list.
My final purchase of sweet peas seeds has been made. Let’s see how ‘Iris’ and ‘Gwendoline’ get on with ‘April in Paris’. The first batch of sweet peas was sown last weekend. These will be sown in a week or two.
Onion choices have also been made. Sturon, Red Baron and Longor shallots. I am going to start off the onions in modules this year ready to transplant as the weather becomes warmer. A first time of trying this for me so fingers crossed here too.
The first flower on the Bergenia cordifolia ‘Purpurea’ has appeared. It is nestled under a Mahonia in the front garden. Yes, Spring is on its way.