Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Cold weather playing havoc with transplanting out

The only growth at the moment is indoors-Fiona planting courgettes at Eileen's
It's a bit of a pain in the arse but when the temperatures are below normal, with cold, sometimes frosty nights you have to hold your horses and wait for things to improve before transplanting down the garden. Some plants are tougher than others, Rows of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and broccoli are germinating well outdoors here and the peas have just begun to pop up too. Potatoes seem to be flying it and the first lettuces, salad crops and spinach I planted out are finally taking off.

But its far too cold to think of introducing courgettes, sunflowers, climbing beans, pumpkins or outdoor tomatoes to the outdoors. Fiona told me yesterday that these plants are living INSIDE in her house with her. She sowed her sunflowers far too early and they are now practically blocking out the light in her front room. A friend came over to visit  and thought the place was a jungle and that Fiona had lost the plot!!

Eileen is much better off with her two tunnels and glasshouse to mind tender crops. As I am going away for a few days my cucumbers have gone on holiday to her. A spell under glass will help to get them past the seedling stage and into stronger plants.Eileen reserved them a "room" on the penthouse shelf with the warmest most constant temperatures-exactly what they want!

Although she has been checking the soil temperature regularly it has only just come up to about 15 degrees in the last two weeks. So the only plants really fit for transplanting out now are hardy brassicas, legumes  or alliums.
Broad beans starting to flower

As a case in point yesterday we transplanted out broad beans in Eileen's sunken garden and courgettes indoors to the second tunnel.I think everyone is frustrated waiting for the temperatures to climb. I wonder if it's making life difficult for those putting together gardens for Bloom and Chelsea? Whatever you do if you decide you can't wait a moment longer to plant out any of the tender stuff have a cloche ready to pop over them or a roll of fleece to hand in case we have to suffer a few more cold nights before"Summer" arrives.

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