I love every season, but I think Spring has to be my favourite. There’s just so much anticipation in the air, from the first bulbs of early-Spring to the luscious blossoms of mid-Spring and the definite ‘no-turning back’ growth of late-Spring. Everyone and everything has an extra spring in their step….
This is the first of three posts about the joys of springtime gardening on our allotment. It started out as one post, but was just getting crazily long, so I decided to split it – early, mid and late spring. Happy days and happy gardening everyone….
Sowing: This month brings fresh new growth from our late winter sowings and lots to leap around and get excited about, but the real excitement comes when sowing kicks off with a vengeance in early spring – leeks, leaf beet, radish, beetroot, celeriac, courgettes, pumpkins, squash, broccoli, cosmos, calendula, sunflowers and nasturtiums, they all go in now. Modules, root trainers and seed trays are beginning to take over our windowsills, the greenhouse is filling up….
Potting on: I love everything about gardening (especially eating our homegrown fruit and veg!), but I’m not a huge fan of potting on seedlings – I think it’s a bit of a waste of time, pots and compost and an unnecessary disturbance to the roots.
I know some plants don’t like hanging around in their seed trays and that others are hungry feeders, using up the nutrients in their pots, but if you use nutrient-dense compost in the first place (this is where I sing the praises of biodynamic compost) and keep on top of thinning out, then in our experience, all is well.
Thinning out: This is another job I’m not very keen on, but unlike potting on, this one has to be done – it’s just so hard to choose who stays and who goes! RIP little seedlings…
I always sow more seeds than I need incase they don’t all germinate and we invariably end up with too many plants, but friends and family seem happy to rehome them….that or my children set up shop out the front of our house and do a roaring trade in organic seedlings! Extra thinning’s are never wasted – all the animals enjoy them and I love to use them in the kitchen (here’s a recipe for our ‘roots and shoots’ soup). Yay…
Other jobs this month include dividing some geraniums and alchemilla that have got too big for their boots, taking penstemon cuttings and potting up our dahlia bulbs – so much potential beauty in such a shrivelled up old tuber!
Nature is awesome…. roll on mid-spring.