Midge Attack, Seedlings and Killer Green Fingers

Between family walks and fairy hunting, I’ve also managed to get my hands dirty in the garden this bank holiday weekend.  I’ve not spent a huge amount of time on the veg patch, following an attack of midges on Saturday whilst digging, my itchy, bitten scalp is driving me insane and has made me a bit more reticent about heading back out.  Midges seem to find me delicious, and I hadn’t realised that moving west would make me so much more in demand.  On top of that, my pickaxing technique received some criticism, however I prefer to think I have my own style, rather than it being wrong.

Taking cover from the midges though allowed me to get a bit done with the seedlings, I’ve potted on some of the fennel and the cabbage, and I’ll pot on the rest over the next couple of days.

I’ve still kept a few in each pot (mainly because I have a lot of seedlings and not enough pots for them all), but they should have plenty of room to grow on enough to be ready to plant out, once the plot is finished.  I’ve also started hardening off the broad beans, leeks and kalettes (as a kick up the bum for me to get on and finish the plot, midges or no midges).

I’ve also sowed sweetcorn, this is the first time for me growing sweetcorn and so I’m not sure how it’ll turn out, but I’ve taken advice and planted them into halved toilet roll centres, so when the time comes to plant them out, the roots shouldn’t be too disturbed, as the whole thing can just be planted.  I’ve also dusted off the propagator for these, as the weather, and the workshop, still isn’t warm enough for them to germinate on their own.

April May 17 019

Sharing the propagator with the sweetcorn are some courgettes, I’ve planted these straight into small pots so I won’t have to worry about potting them up.  As the pots wouldn’t fit neatly under the propagator covers, I’ve used a squash bottle cut in half and fruit trays as little green house covers for them.

April May 17 026

Courgettes are something I’ve always had lots of success with in the past, however I don’t think that stands for anything, as there are other plants I’ve never struggled with, that don’t seem to be doing as well this year.  My runner beans haven’t even sprouted yet.  Whether this is the colder weather, though it was pretty cold where we were in the North East, or trying to juggle digging the plot, looking after the seedlings, and everything else, I’m not sure.  The courgettes will be my test.

The peas have finally started to sprout, as have the carrots which I’ve planted into a large tub straight outside.  Now these peas have made an appearance, I’ll do a second sowing to try and ensure we get a decent crop for as long as possible.

April May 17 023
The joy of a pea sprout

My tomatoes are still teeny tiny, and so I’ve bitten the bullet and bought some plants.  Two lots in fact, as I bought some on our way back from Manchester last weekend and almost all of these are already looking like ex-tomato plants, and so whilst in Grasmere as the weekend, I treated myself to six new, beautifully healthy looking plants.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed I manage not to kill these off too.


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