March brings the garden back to life and suddenly it’s time to finish jobs that I could have done all winter. The new bed is more or less done, although the last part may have to wait till next year. After all, I do have to plant them up.
The main idea was to reduce the circular area of grass and at the same time provide the strawberries with a dedicated place of their own. Its in shade part of the time, but in full sun for most of the growing season i.e. now till late August. I’ve moved 24 plantlets from one of the veg beds to the new area, planting them round the edge. I also plan to move the rhubarb there and add two gooseberry bushes – but I am having difficulty choosing them. I liked the sound of half-standards but they are very pricey and as the bed will have to be netted against the birds if I want any fruit, maybe I’ll just have to stick to ordinary bushes. Then I’d like mildew resistant and thornless varieties, which cuts the choice down further. I only hope the ones left on my list: Pax (small red fruits), Captivator (green fruits) and Xenia I can find somewhere at a reasonable price. Pax is in stock at both my local garden centres for around £7. The best online price I can find for any of them is £10 from Deacons, but there’s £8 delivery to add. Although they do Captivator and Pax for £8 delivery the pair. We’re still talking £28 though. Maybe I’ll look at a couple more garden centres including the majors, but time is running out for planting them if I want a crop this year.
I’ve started seed sowing; scarlet kale, kohl rabi, 2 types of lettuce, beetroot, rocket, basil, carrots, coriander are sown already. Two varieties of broad beans have been in for a while, a crimson flowered one since February and the aquadulce claudia variety sown in November has been showing for some time even through the snow. It kept the top of the leaflet curled over to protect itself. I must pop a couple more seeds in where they seem to have failed. The garlic crop is also shooting nicely.
Peppers and tomatoes need to be sown soon.