As I write this at my kitchen table, I have my French doors open for the first time this year. Or at least, the first time for a prolonged period that isn’t a quick dash to put the bins out. Spring has certainly sprung.
And whilst most of us will be watching the beds and bushes for signs of our earlier work’s bloom, we can still find excuses to get down in the soil and get some more growth underway. Whether sowing or growing, here’s your list for the coming weeks:
Indoor & Greenhouse
If you use a heated propagator, start sowing Aster (for splashes of colour as the weather warms), Brachyscombe (to populate containers) and Celosia for some bright reds, oranges and yellows throughout the year. Anything summer bedding (like Lobelia, Petunias and Geraniums) will thank you for use of the propagator too. And of course Aubergines.
Inside the home you’ll earn some blue through Ageratum, some perfumery through Stocks, and some pink and yellow from Cleome and Coreopsis respectively. Move the recipe books from the kitchen windowsill and replace with Basil, Celery, Peppers, Perennial Herbs and Salad Leaves.
For longevity throughout summer and autumn, get Salvia under glass as soon a possible and Begonia below the compost. Give long growing seasons to Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflowers, Celeriac, Cucumbers, Gherkins and Tomato.
To attract last year’s tenants again, be liberal with your Wildflower to entice those bees and butterflies back.
Beetroots, Sweet Peas, Broad Beans, Parsnip and Chicory can go straight into workable, well-prepared soil.
To stay on the safe side, prepare containers for Chives, Coriander, Dill and Parsley. The same goes for Watercress but, unsurprisingly, make sure it’s saturated with a few inches throughout.
And this year, let’s mix flower and food by growing Swiss Chard amongst the beds. Trust us, you’ll be surprised!
Get your Strawberries in hanging baskets rather than the ground, to keep them pest-free for when the clotted cream starts appearing in supermarket displays. I wonder if there’s a Pimms plant too.
(We’re getting a little carried away now, and the sun’s just pepped out, so we’re relocating to the other side of those French doors. See you soon…!)
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