I spent the first half of April out of the country and so I had decided not to plant any seeds before I went away. The seed planting started in earnest on our return and as I write this in May I’m starting to see the first of my seedlings emerge. But more of that in May’s blog.
So all that was really growing out in the raised beds in April were the potatoes but they seem to have got off to a really good start, especially the first earlies, Casablanca, planted on March 20th. There was a very heavy frost at the beginning of the month but it didn’t seem to do any harm. The second earlies, Maris Peer, went in the ground on March 27th and are above ground now. I don’t bother earthing up as they grow – I just plant them very deep in the raised bed to start with. The main crop, Maris Piper, were planted on April 21st and are in bags/pots. They are already buried in soil up to the edge of the pot and also won’t get any more soil. It worked well last year so I’m happy not to change the process.
The tulips came into full flower while I was away but I still got a few weeks of their beauty. I had some new varieties this year and wow they were worth the wait. Especially the dark purple Paul Scherer. What a fantastic flower. I planted snakes-head fritillary bulbs but only one actually flowered. I covered the pot with gravel and I might have hindered the bulbs so next year I’ll remove the gravel in January and see if that helps. The tulips and daffodils didn’t seem to mind the gravel so lesson learnt there with the snakes-heads.
The hosta has re-emerged and the foxgloves I planted out in Autumn last year are flourishing. I’ve given over one of the raised beds that had vegetables in last year to have flowers for the pollinators this year. It’s right next to the strawberry bed and will be between the tomatoes and the Three Sisters bed so I’m hoping it attracts the bees and other pollinating insects right into the heart of the growing zone! There were some very early flowers on the strawberries and I’m hoping for a good crop this year – I took a few plants out of this bed earlier in the year because it became very congested last year. They seem to be appreciating the extra leg room.
I held off planting my beans and peas so in April I just prepared the beds, weeding and adding compost ready for planting in early May. I’ve mostly just been pottering around this month, tidying up the early spring plants as they go past their best and adding the odd new plant (another two senettis seemed to follow me home!).
Lots of planning has been done in April, there should be plenty of seedlings ready for planting out at the end of May and hopefully by the end of June I won’t be much further behind than this time last year. My early morning forays out into the garden with my first coffee of the day have resumed so there will be plenty of photos in the coming months.
April’s photo gallery