Foliage fills gaps in borders and not all of it welcome
WARM evenings create more opportunity to contemplate what hasn't yet been done.
It seems that one task can spark a thousand others.
With nose to the soil, you spot, for example, the bindweed or a need to re-sow some lettuces that didn't make it past infancy, or some remedial staking.
Sunshine and copious rain has created growth beyond my capacity.
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Now foliage fills gaps in the borders and not all of it welcome.
I enjoy wild flowers in the borders — red valerian (Centranthus ruber) is making a home here but not at the expense of my Echinacea purpurea.
The mile-a-minute (Fallopia baldschuanica) is stretching out from the supports and through the young espalier apples, stealing their view of the sun.
And clover, transported here, I think, from the farm manure is growing away happily without proper scrutiny.
But there is only so much you can do in a few snatched hours, especially when the foul weather has scuppered endless gardening opportunities in recent weeks.
When reaching for seed packets, I am finding I am outside of the 'sowing time' perimeters.
The squash should have gone in last week at least but I guess that the seasons are a little out this year. The variety I have gone for is Uchiki kuri, a Japanese variety which grows a medium-sized orange fleshed harvest.
I have sown these two per pot in the unheated greenhouse which will be hardened off as soon as practicable.
Holding on too long has cost some vigour to the basil 'Genovese'.
These were left in their seedling modules for too long with a compost lacking in the nutrients needed to bolster strong growth.
They showed sign of deficiency in the yellowing of their first leaves and yet within days of transplanting into a rich multi-compost managed to throw off their former woes to display lovely vibrant green and bubbly leaves.
I plan to plant these out with the tomatoes in the greenhouse in the next few days.
I fear for the success of the outdoor crops this year.
If the predation of my beetroot seedlings is anything to by, I guess the slugs and snails have benefited from the mild winter.
They have survived the colder months and are hungry.
I am not a tidy gardener and inadvertently leave plenty of hiding holes for them and I don't check under pots as often as I should.
I do sprinkle 'organic' slug pellets around leafy growth like the sugar snaps and lettuces.
I don't enjoy using them, even though they are safe for wildlife.
But I reason that the birds that enjoy a mollusc meal will easily find plenty of them to eat if the rain continues.