I know the British love to talk about the weather, but at the moment, us gardeners have been given a lot to work around: thunder, hail, torrential rain, harsh winds and surprisingly low temperatures. I mean, we’re heading towards the end of May and I haven’t even got any gardening tan lines yet… has the world gone crazy?!?
Although I joke about our freakish spring weather, it has put many of us gardeners into a lather. Should we plant out now, or wait another week? My Instagram photos from this time last year show swelling veg and blooming flowers. No such luck this year!
But it’s not all doom and gloom. I’ve been slowly filling up the kitchen garden, hardening off and planting out. And I took the plunge a few days ago and cleared out the greenhouse, re-jigged and planted up all my tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, chillies, aubergines and melon. I’m pleased to see everything is coming on a treat.
As for the kitchen garden, the usual suspects – potatoes, garlic, broad beans and peas – have carried on without hesitation. The plus side to this year’s weather is that my carrots and parsnips have germinated without a hitch. It was so dry last year, it took forever for them to take root. The strawberries, gooseberries, red and black currants are also swelling up and looking healthy.
But it’s not full steam ahead, not yet anyway. My beans, squashes and pumpkins continue to grow on, and take up valuable space in the greenhouse. I don’t quite have the courage to release them out onto the raised beds until I know summer is properly on its way.
However, I am looking forward to that brief moment when all the beds are full and brimming with veg. It’s truly rewarding to see everything you’ve sown and nurtured doing what it was grown to do. But like I said, that is a brief moment. Before I know it, we’ll be ready to harvest the broad beans and peas, whilst over on the salad bed, gaps will be appearing where fresh lettuce has been harvested for summer salads. And then in a matter of weeks, I’ll start the autumn sowing.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Whatever the weather this week, I’ll be out there savouring every moment, come rain or shine.