Friday 28 April 2023

Last few days in April

Welcome to the last few days in April.  Here in the NE of England it continues to be changeable weather, raining again as I type this, and the nights are low, single digits.  I’m longing for long, warm, “lazy” days as I’m sure the plants are too and I know the animals will be just as grateful for drier ground.  I’m trying not to panic that things aren’t as far on as my mind sometimes thinks they should be.  I know that’s a common worry for gardeners when you see other people’s updates.  There’s plenty of time yet for a lot of things, some seeds shouldn’t even be sown for my climate at this point in the year. 

April showers bring May flowers though I don’t remember so much rain and cold in April recently, however I tend to forget.  Around here, the farmer next door has had his cows out to pasture for a couple of weeks now.  


We normally time the horses going out around the same time, however not this year.  Our horses haven't been in the field at all over winter as we rest the land.  They do get out as you know, only on the hard standing outside the barn otherwise they would break a leg or ruin the land.  It's too slippery for them and us, so we're monitoring it daily, fingers and toes crossed that the rain lets up after this weekend, which the forecast does imply.

We're also consistently seeing low night time temperatures which will continue in to next week, although now quite as low as the last few nights (0-2c), they'll be around 3 or 4c for a while yet.  That's not warm enough for the plants to grow strongly and I'm waiting in anticipation for those warmer days.


Having said that, we have some strong looking brassica plants that I moved to the cold frame this week, purely to make space in the greenhouse as I must get the remainder of April sowings done before we move into May.  The courgettes, summer squash and winter pumpkins along with the cucumbers can be sown in the North East now.  You can sow them earlier, but they grow rapidly and earlier sowings mean I would have to tend to them in the greenhouse for longer, potting them on until after the last frost date which is a month away yet.


I noticed on my walk this week that the elderflowers are thinking about making an appearance.  Elderflower season is May and early June here for us and a season I love, so won't be missing that.  Back from my walk, I checked on the honesty stall, to make sure the eggs that are out are ok and the tin is there for any pennies people leave.  I plan on adding rhubarb and veggie plants there from this weekend.  All proceeds go towards the animal feed, which as I keep saying, has flown up in price.  I’m making sure we have fresh eggs every day for people.

 
Plans for the weekend are vast as always and no surprise the weather isn't looking too kind, however there may be just enough sun on Saturday morning for the dandelions to make an appearance, allowing me enough time to collect them and make the dandelion honey I love to make.  If we're rained off that (they only display in the sun), then I also want to process more rhubarb and make the Wild Garlic oil paste as the wild garlic is moving in to its next stage and forming flower buds, so before it does that with vengeance, I need to make the paste then will pickle some buds.

I'll plan on planting out the brassicas that are in the cold frame, though I do need to protect them from cats as they keep using my veg beds as a toilet and I'm not impressed.  I'll double up the protection so it's a butterfly protector too, saves me having to change it when that season comes round.

Let’s see what it has in store for us!  I hope it’s a good one for you.

4 comments:

  1. We are a week or two ahead of you here along the south coast, I'm giving in and planting out.

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    Replies
    1. Ooooh best of luck! I'm trying hard to hand fire on the tomatoes but I too gave in on some things!

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  2. My country life29 April 2023 at 14:38

    I was going to plant out some of my brassica this weekend but as the weathers not good maybe I will wait another week or so.

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    Replies
    1. I managed to get a bed planted which I'm pleased about - plenty more to do so I hope the weather is kind to both of us!

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