17 APRIL 2020
After a better night, Jean’s good mood is continuing, I am able to get outside. Rain is forecasted for today but this morning there is no sign of it. I get distracted by some amaranthus seedlings that have come up in little clumps in each module of their tray. This is the problem of dropping several seeds that look like dust into the planting module. This year I’m determined not to waste anything so I’m prepared to take the time to separate them and pot them individually. I then spend some time tying in branches of the climbing roses on the arches… it would be lovely to have a full arch of rose blooms later in the year. I then have a look at the sweet peas growing round the fruit cage. This was a lovely idea from last year to encase the fruit cage in sweet pea flowers, and it worked pretty well although it did involve a massive amount of dead heading – not popular with the girls! This year I followed advice from Sarah Raven (not in person) to plant out sweet peas in November rather than spring to get them better established, well I’m sorry to say that I am quite disappointed with the results. The sweet peas looked small and miserable and quite a few disappeared altogether. Luckily I planted a second batch and my plan was to interplant the new sweet peas in any gaps or where plants looked weak. When I started on the job I realised that some of the surviving sweet peas were beginning to grow quite well so I started by tying them to their supports and then added the new plants and took out any weeds. I managed to complete a short side and half a long side before it started to rain.
After lunch I returned to the polytunnel where I had a very pleasant afternoon sowing seeds, which included a tray of broccoli/calabrese, a tray of cauliflower and coriander, a tray of decorative chard and trays of chicory and endive, a tray of quinoa and another of samphire and saltwort, a tray of turnips plus caraway and chervil and finally a tray of 4 varieties of nasturtium. The rain continued during this time giving everything a much needed soaking.