Thursday, April 28

Things are on the up!

The seeds that we sowed directly in the ground on the plot are springing up – we have watered them well every time we visited the plot otherwise I think they would still be fast asleep under the soil.

The peas (sown 21st April) are germinating well so we just have to hope nothing fancies the shoots as a tasty treat.
The carrots (sown 9th April) are also germinating well – I risked popping my camera under the ‘carrot tent’ to take a quick photo.
And the parsnips (sown 8th April) are coming up too.
The trouble is all the watering has brought up the weed seedlings too and so it’s out with the hoe! The weeds growing around the carrots will have to be left until I risk the one big weeding. To cut down on the risk of carrot fly attack we only weed the carrots once whilst they are too small to compete with the weeds and then it’s every man (or should I say carrot) for itself.

I’m also really pleased to report that the aquilegia seeds sown on 12th April have been through for a few days now and are growing well. This is particularly pleasing as on the seed packet it warned that germination could take two or three months so the sudden appearance of seedlings was a pleasant surprise.
There are no signs of the cyclamen seeds germinating but I am being a realist here and don’t expect a successful outcome. It is more a case of I wonder if I can!

Obviously lots more seeds have been sown and germinated but I won’t bore you with a long list – a full list of April sowings can be found here for anyone who is interested.

I was going to keep this post just about seed germination but as I have whinged long and hard about our lack of broccoli I will digress and report that yesterday we noticed that two plants that survived the winter have decided to sprout one or two flower heads – one white and one purple – and when I say a few I mean JUST one or two but at least we should get a taster!
I have taken loads - I mean loads - of photos at the plot this week which can be viewed here if you have some time to spare

Bird Cam update:
Everything is still going to plan – the female is busy incubating for the latest video try the link on the sidebar but it is really more of the same and likely to remain that way for about another ten days. We've just got some exciting new kit so we can keep an even better eye on nest box activities - watch this space!


  1. We don't face a problem with carrot fly but snail and slugs seems to like newly sprouted carrots. I was surprised that aquilegia takes 2or 3 months to sprout because our home-saved seeds took about 2~3 weeks to sprout. What a lovely gift from the over-wintered brassica!

  2. It could be because they are hybrids - the ones with the larger flowers Diana or it could be that fresh seed germinates better - I've found this the case with primroses etc. I had to leave the seeds in the fridge for a week before sowing too to break the dormancy. Either way it didn't take anything like as long as it said on the packet.

  3. I plant my carrots in between my rows of onions-the other half does not appreciate this- but the onions keep away the carrot fly and the carrots do something to protect the onions, either way I've never had a problem with either- gotta love a bit of polyculture!

  4. It's lovely to see the seedlings popping through. I have broad beans just through, next to the ones I grew in pots and transplanted. My direct sown peas are showing now too. Things to come!

  5. Hooray for the broccoli! Some survivors...
    As you commented on my blog, we are a fair bit ahead of you down here in the (sub-tropical) South. My parsnips are about 6" tall now.
    We could do with a bit of rain though. The soil is dry and dusty already.

  6. MLBOG - Do you grow carrot in the garden or on an allotment as often on allotments there is more problem with pests due to the amount of similar vegetables grown close together. We never had a problem with blight until all our plots were taken and don't have the same problem with blight in our garden. I've read all about growing onions to deter carrot fly and it implies that for every row of carrots you need four rows of onions and that the onion deterrent only work whilst the onion foliage iis actually growing so I'm interested to know more about what you do that makes this effective for you.

    We have just transplanted some broad beans too VH but Martyn wrote about it in his blog here - we just had to fill up the planting holes with water.

    Yes - big cheer for broccoli Mark - I can stop whinging now. Believe it or not it has been sub-tropical here too and the ground is dust dry. Wonder who will get some rain first!

  7. How lovely that you finally have some broccoli to enjoy! My peas are sprouting too, despite the ridiculously dry weather. Like you I am finding that the weeds enjoy the very necessary watering even more than the carrot seedlings. I have spotted a few parsnip seedlings, though none of the Cobham Improved batch, so am trying again. Well, its not quite May... Congrats on the Aquilegia seedlings - I find some germinate really easily and others not at all, you obviously picked a good type.

  8. So great to see the little seedlings sprouting! I am still waiting for mines, we had a couple cold nights and I think they will still take a bit.

  9. Yes it is a treat Janet albeit a very small one.

    It could still turn cold here Fer so it's fingers crossed that it doesn't get too cold.

  10. Exciting time now with everything coming up. Enjoy your PSB, it'll be on our dinner plate tonight again, love the stuff!

  11. It is exciting Damo, haven't quite enough broccoili to cut yet but we live in hope!

  12. Nice to see everything coming through...I still haven't watered my plot and things seem to be coming along nicely so for now I will leave it. There are those that are watering A LOT though and this makes me wonder how much our water bill is going to be increased next year, why does it always seem to be those with no water butts that water to the extent?!?!.. :-(

  13. The trouble with watering a lot is plants develop shallow rooting systems - it's mainly seedlings we are having to water and things newly planted - we water in the hole so that hopefully it doesn't dry out again too quickly and the roots have some moisture to search out for.


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