Gardening

Gardening update: April

Spring has well and truly sprung and I’m starting to see progress with almost everything I’ve planted. I’m starting wonder if I might have got a little carried away, but I’m already thinking about next year. For example, while I considered things like raised beds, mini greenhouses and compost bins this year, I didn’t want to invest time and money into things like that if it turned out I didn’t really enjoy gardening, or that I was rubbish at it. So all of those might happen in the future. Maybe.

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Cucumber seedlings

In the present though, things are going pretty well. My aubergine seedlings are looking great and I re-potted about half of them out of their seed trays this weekend before I ran out of compost. The rest will have to wait until next weekend. However, I’m a bit concerned that I’m also running out of space. I’m going to end up with about 80 aubergine plants if I’m not careful, I’d never imagined that the seeds would take so well. Oh well, more aubergines for me.

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Re-potted aubergine plants

The strawberry seedlings remain slow. I’m a bit disappointed in the strawberry bucket, which I got from Asda for about £5. Maybe they’ll do better next year, but I think I’ll be lucky to get any fruit from them this year. Oh, and I’ve totally abandoned any hope of cucumbers from the Hendricks gin set. after two months of sitting on the kitchen windowsill, they haven’t done a thing. Since I planted some separate cucumber seeds that have started sprouting, I’ve given up on the first lot.

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Sweet peppers just starting to appear

The celeriac is doing well though, lots of little green seedlings there and if the plants are looking strong enough I think I’m supposed to plant them outside next month. I might play that one by ear. It would be a shame to lose them to a late frost.

I’m starting to get a bit of luck with the sweet peppers, which I was worried might be another no-grow for a while. A few of them have started sprouting now and I suspect they were just a bit late. With any luck, I’ll end up with as many pepper plants as I have aubergines and I can live on ratatouille all summer. The herbs I’m growing aren’t doing too badly either. The chives appeared first, then the parsley and finally the basil. The parsley is doing by far the best, and judging by how the basil is growing, I have a sneaking suspicion that someone might have knocked over the pot at some point and not mentioned it. I’m sure it’ll survive.

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Looks like the parsley will thrive

Finally, I have a very small bed in the garden in which I’m attempting carrots, although having heard how difficult they are to get going, not with much hope. Who knows? It’ll be nice if they ever do appear. I also have a couple of pots for spring onions and peas – I think I saw the first spring onion starting to peek above the surface this morning, but I do expect everything outside to appear much more slowly than everything on windowsills. Oh, and although I’m clearly all about the fruit and vegetables, I recently picked up a small lavender pot to attract bees and planted some wildflower seeds too.

See? I said I might have gone overboard. But I’m having fun so far. Seeing the things you plant starting to sprout is very rewarding. I kind of want to pick up a couple of extra pots for lettuce and cabbages, and I’m tempted to get another set of herbs so I can keep some indoors for immediate kitchen use while trying to get a second set properly established outside. I’ve abandoned beetroot, though. I have seeds and could plant them, but the seeds came with a magazine, I hate beetroot. So why grow it? If I had more space I might try, just to see if I could, but since I’m a bit space limited there doesn’t seem much point.

Are you gardening? What are you growing? Have you got any tips to help me get my strawberry plants going? Let me know in the comments!

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