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Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Beat Goes On.

The sun has been attempting to break through all day but has only managed a hazy appearance as you can see.

Nature though sure appreciated the slightly brighter and warmer day and after days of keeping their buds shut the crocuses were blooming again. The yellow native primroses on the left has also burst into flower for the first time this year and a dwarf iris on the right decided to show off its blooms.

A sure sign that spring is on its way for me was my first sighting of bumble bees I saw three in total two queens and a worker. They were working the crocuses in my garden and a flowering shrub in my neighbour's garden.

I also took advantage of the milder brighter day and got some seeds sown, tidied up the broad bean bed and harvested some fresh herbs for this evening dinner.

The seeds Riesenbutter (a giant radish) were sown directly into the vege bed. I prepared the area by raking in a little blood, fish and bone fertiliser into the amazingly crumbly soil, sowed the the seeds and watered them in. I then covered the area with some corrugated plastic to help the area retain heat and moisture which should help the seeds to germinated successfully.

The broad bean area was planted up mid autumn with 18 plants, which were all doing well till the snowfall early January. I think because the snow stayed on the ground for such a long time the plants got bent under the weight which caused their stems to become too damaged to continue growing (see the picture on the left). I was left with one plant that was healthy and upright (see the pic in the middle) and there were a few plants which appeared to be shooting up fresh shoots (see the picture on the right).

After removing all the dead plants and mounding the soil around the surviving plants (a measly four in total), I resowed eighteen seeds in cells in a seed tray which have been placed in my permanently open mini greenhouse. they can be sown directly into the soil at this time but it increases the risk of mice talking the seeds and or the seeds rotting in the ground due to cold and damp. As soon as they are all germinated and develop a decent root system I'll pop them into the ground, that way hopefully they will grow up tough which in theory is suppose to make them more resistant against blackfly, this is the reason for autumn sowing over spring sowing.

The seedling update is as follows; non of this week's sowings have yet germinated but at this time I have;

  • 100% germination of my melongene seeds.
  • 90% germination of the annual salvia.
  • 75% germination of the celeriac.
  • 25% germination of the torsha.
  • 75% germination of the hot pepper.
  • 25% germination of the sweetpeppers.
  • 66% germination of the rudbeckia.
  • 22% germination of the echinacia.

So once I don't kill these seedlings I should have something to plant out early July.

And to end my day in the garden the local Robin decided to give a song and oblige me the opportunity to take a picture of him doing so.

The day ended with the collection of two benches from a freecycle member for our dining table. Although I told the lady the size bench I was interested in they still turned out to be too small for the space. Never mind the would work in the interim and when we get or build the size bench we need I'll pass them on via freecycle too.

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