Constructing the frame

April has been a busy month. Constructing our poly-tunnel has taken a lot of our time but we were lucky that the weather was mostly fine. The tunnel is now almost complete; all that remains to be done is covering and hanging the doors. The tomato, cucumber, sweet pepper, chilli and aubergine seedlings are developing well, now in the greenhouse after germinating indoors but it won't be long before we will have to move some to the tunnel.

In the vegetable garden the garlic and onions planted last autumn are looking good and the broad beans and peas sown in October and overwintered in the greenhouse are now planted out and in flower. We are expecting beans and peas by the middle of next month, slightly later than last year.

Garden April2 2020Over the last two weeks we have planted out the first of several batches of leeks and carrots which we started in the greenhouse. The next batch is ready for planting out this week.  We sowed two rows of beetroot, the first which is now just showing, at the beginning of April and the second two weeks later. Yesterday I sowed the first row of parsnips, with interspersed radishes. 

Indoor germinated celeriac and greenhouse germinated kohlrabi should be ready for planting out in a couple of weeks. After last year when caterpillars ate most of the kohlrabi, I shall make sure that this time they are protected with netting. 

We ate the last of the winter cabbages and kale last week but the purple sprouting broccoli is still producing tender shoots.

Last of winter brassicas

The spring brassicas are beginning to grow more quickly but, despite our vigilance and more regular application of deterrents (I use Grazers) some of the cabbages are suffering from slugs and snails. Interestingly the cabbage variety Spring Hero appears to be more appealing the the pests than the variety Advantage. 

I have more cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plants sown from seed in the greenhouse. With crop rotation in mind and the space taken last year and this with the winter and spring brassicas we are planning to make a few new, smaller raised beds. To save space we have planted potatoes in bags this year; then we used the saved space for asparagus, which together with the herbs means one bed is now planted with long terms crops.