Sunday, 29 April 2012


I last posted just as April was arriving, but here we are just about to bid her farewell .. what's been happening in between? A lot of rain, and some very high winds (but then you knew that, right, if you're in the UK?!!) and a lot of growing!

All the wet has really exacerbated my problems with the little munchers who have been wreaking havoc in my growhouse .. this week I finally decided to bring in the peas, beans, sunflowers and courgette plants that had been seriously gnawed and were more hole than leaf :-( They are all perking up considerably back behind glass on the sunny recovery windowsill.

To make room on said sunny windowsills for the beleagured ones, I've put out my unexpectedly enormous quantity of baby tomato plants, as the slugs and snails don't seem as interested in tomatoes. This was a little experiment of mine, because I'd (inadvertantly) left out the last of my Ildi tomatoes on their plants in the growbags on the flat roof outside bedroom window last season - and there they hung all winter come wind, snow, storm or whatever. And there they were still in March, and several people told me to squish the dried out fruits onto kitchen roll and see if I could grow them. So I did! I put differing amounts of compost beneath and above (not really knowing what I was doing) inside eggbox lids not really expecting much .. and you've never seen anything like it. Germinated all over the place and what's more, every single one I transplanted (into its own little loo roll holder of compost) has taken. I have about 60 babies in trays of 5 or 6, all over the house!

Here are some in the coldframe, which seems to have fared better in terms of the illicit munchers. Also baby dill and marigold plants. And the start of a box of salad (against all the odds!)

They are a wonderful tomato, pretty little yellow plum-shaped cherry size fruits and really heavily laden plants. You can put them in hanging baskets or grow them up canes. I hope I will be able to find them all good homes to go to. Meanwhile, my 'proper' tomatoes, which I sowed in February, are busy flowering, would you believe .. a bit of regular nettle infusion has done wonders!

Also flowering at the moment are the strawberry plants outside, and we'll soon have the lovely chive blossoms too.

I've done better with the sweetpeas this year, soaking them helped and getting them enough light quickly enough and pinching them out at the right time (thanks to my wonderful neighbour who is expert at these things and doesn't mind a bumbling novice's barrage of questions!) Previous years they've been really leggy, so I'm quite pleased that I'm starting to get the hang of it. Won't risk these outside till the weather sorts itself out condsiderably.

April showers are magical .. every year it amazes me just how much everything GROWS in just a few weeks! Usually in March I look at the herb garden and think there's lots of gaps and I'll need a few more plants to pop in here and there. Then by the end of April everything is burgeoning. And although I love to see the flowers, there is something super special in April about all that lush bright green growth, unsullied and full of promise and newness and freshness. Every day this month I've stood by the back door looking out at the garden in the rain and its kind of visibly grown in front of my eyes. Fantastic!


Cheryl said...

Hi Hedgewitch,

i agree, it is lovely to see everything growing well and looking healthy. I do worry for the wildlife though, they struggle so much in these conditions at this time of year. I have already lost two bee nests due to flooding.....sigh.

I use nettle feed, it is wonderful isn't it. I use comfrey as well....I have both on the go at the moment.

Well done with the tomatoes......great when your not expecting much and all those little seed germinate :)

Crystalrainbow said...

oh my the sight of your veg babies has just confirmed how far behind i am this year lol the weather has been flipping horrid, im not sure how my polytunnel has managed to stay standing. congrats on raising all those tomatoes. Now we need some maytime sunshine eh :)

Hedgewitch said...

Hi Cheryl, that's bad news losing the bee's nests, I'm so sorry to hear that! We have lots of bees about here this spring - Pete got a job lot of glorious wallflowers (a whole crate for a £1!) and they are both gorgeous, bright pink and orange, and a bee magnet. Me and little'un are also doing our daily bee rescue service again this year - we get big black bees which appear in the house (usually trying to get out the skylight) and need help making it out into the big outdoors. There must be a nest. The same thing happened last year and the year before and, on a sunny day, we can rescue 6 or 7 bees! I must look them up to see what they are and work out where they are coming from.

Hello Crystal, yes please some Maytime sunshine! Don't feel behind because of me - I put all my stuff in to early (because I just can't wait in Feb/Mar!) and then it all languishes on the windowsills because its too early to go out. I really need to learn patience, lol! Lovely to see you at Earth and Tree ... welcome :-)