The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

April's End

Drip, drip, drop
Little April shower
Beating a tune
As you fall all around

I can't believe how fast April seems to have passed. It only seems like yesterday since the first seeds were sown in the greenhouse, and now I can barely move for all the plants. It's like a scene out of Day of the Triffids!

The month has been extremely kind to us gardeners, by being warmer and sunnier than the average in our part of the world, allowing our plants to catch up after the late start to Spring. However, the last days of the month brought weather more typical of an average April, with sunshine and sharp showers.

My first lot of salad should be ready to begin harvesting in a matter of days. The first sowings are that of Webbs Wonderful and Little Gem.

The sweetcorn has gone mad, and the sweetpeas need to be planted out very soon.

One of my fuschia's has recovered, and just needs to be top-dressed. All the young shrubs I overwintered have begun to spring into life again. With a bit of luck, they will be planted out this year.

Potting up was the order of the day, and I have been pleasantly surprised how many Dahlias have made it to this point. I finally got around to planting my Charlotte potatoes today too. I've planted them in potato sacks, covered them with compost and for the time being they're safe in the greenhouse, away from Mrs Nutkin and any late frosts. The temperature has dropped dramatically over the last day or two, so I'm hoping by being in the greenhouse, it'll help them to catch up, as I'm a little late.

Minibell tomatoes, Razzmatazz peppers and a couple of fuschia's were potted up, and I finished by planting up two of my hanging baskets. The recipe for these is:

1x Fuschia
3x Petunias
1x Bidens
1x Lobelia
Plastic lined basket
Mulit-purpose compost

I tend to use a plastic-lined basket these days as there are green-issues around using sphagnum moss, and the coir liners tend to be attacked borrowed by the birds around here. The plastic also helps to retain water, but do remember to cut some drainage slits.
Water each of the plants well and allow to drain. Sit the basket on top of a plant pot to keep stable.
Half fill the basket with compost, and place the fuschia towards the rear of the basket. Next place the bidens, and lobelia, with a petunia between each. Fill in all the gaps with compost, and water well to settle.

These hanging baskets will remain in the greenhouse for the moment while it is still very cool. Once the weather begins to pick up again, I shall begin the simple process of 'hardening off' whereby the plants are left outside during the warmer daylight hours, and brought back into the protection of the greenhouse over night. Once they have become accustomed to the outside world, they will be hung in place either side of the front door.

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