Sunday, 6 April 2008

April Showers and April Planting

It was a day of two halves. Thank goodness. My Dad reckons extreme weather in April is not a portent of environmental doom and is not unusual (and he knows A Lot) but it was fun to wake to two inches of snow this morning. Either way, I have to say, it was the most perfect snow. Just right for snowman-making and gone by the afternoon. Just in time to go up the allotment! Yay snow!

The bad bit of the day was discovering my tin of seeds was not watertight and although stored in my "greenhouse" (plastic covered frame thingy) they were ruined. And smelly. But every cloud and all that so me and today's Under Gardener, seven-year-old Marigold, nipped to our local garden centre to stock up.

Today's haul included a special bag of seed, soil-based compost, spring onions White Lisbon, carrots Amsterdam Forcing 3 and Early Nantes 5, squash Butternut Hunter, mixed lettuce, broad beans Red Epicure and mangetout Oregon Sugar Pod. Phew.

I have to remember that taking any of the older three Under Gardeners slows things down considerably. Taking the youngest two practically brings everything to a standstill. But even the eldest three need help (Is this a weed Mummy? I can't pull it out! Is that OK for the seeds.....). Then there are the loo breaks (can you come and stand guard?), stops for hot chocolate (could you just hold the cups for me), and the seemingly endless but very important debates about watching the Dr Who repeat or the I'd Do Anything sing-off (Dr Who won).

So what did I do? A spot of weeding, four rows of spring onions, one and half of red onions (finishing the bag off), four rows of carrots and the four pots of peas (bit worried about the last ones. I'm sure they'll die). I also covered the peas with hazel sticks, covered a row of the children's broccoli with fleece to deter the pest chomping it and covered the carrots with fleece. I am never very successful with carrots so I'm hoping the fleece will keep them warm and protected. Ah!

My mantra is Be Patient, which is pretty handy for gardening generally, and that anything I get done is better than nothing, and heaps better to do it with a child in tow.

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