28 APRIL 2020
It started to rain in the early hours of the morning and has continued with little break all day. This sort of gentle constant rain is exactly what we need to allow it to soak properly down into the soil. It has been an amazing April, but the detrimental effects of no rain were already becoming apparent. At this stage of the year I don’t want to be starting a very time consuming watering regime, but I had noticed that the raised beds at the top of the vegetable garden where I grow perennial herbs alongside primulas and stock were looking dry – the primulas were beginning to droop and I was on the verge of watering. The rain has come just in time. The weather indicates that today will be a polytunnel day. Job number one is sorting out the contents of an 84 cell, mixed tray. This was the original chilli and peppers seed tray, and I left some seedlings in situ that were still tiny when I planted out the rest of the peppers and chillies in the side polytunnel bed. The remaining spaces were filled with random flower seedlings.
The tiny pepper and chilli seedlings have grown well and need to be moved out of the tiny modules and into the tunnel bed… except there is no room, every spare inch is covered in a pot, a tray or a growing plant. Therefore, I will have to move things, so during a lull in the rain I endeavour to finish tidying the vacant part of the cold frames that I cleared yesterday. I then started to barrow out dozens of pots of dahlias to free up the side in order to plant the chillies and peppers. Thank God for the cold frames, they have been invaluable this year. While it is not raining I take some pulmonarias and Epimediums out to the front of the house to plant in the organ pipe bed. It is actually the perfect time to plant things, as the soil is damp and the newly planted plants will not be baked by the sun.
Sadly, there is evidence of more badger activity and I pick up 5 beautiful tall pink tulips that have been bulldozed by our stripy neighbour!
It starts to rain so I return to the tunnel and plant out 43 chilli and pepper plants.I then plant out the remaining flower seedlings into a larger 40 module tray.I finish my gardening work for the day, by weeding the bed and transplanting any self-seeding sunflowers to grow up the wall of the tunnel. Before I leave for the evening I start trying to remove some of the weeds growing all over the surface of the canna pots… the joys of home made compost!