The whole Easter weekend is forecast to be sunny and warm – yay! Four days of uninterrupted gardening 🙂 I spent the morning sowing what I think is the final instalment of seeds, which included ripping up a bunch of leggy sweet peas, cucurbits and nasturtium and starting again:

  • sweet peas (in both shallow trays and root trainers)
  • nasturtium
  • canary creeper
  • hyssop
  • gaillardia
  • marigold
  • zinnia
  • gourds
  • Jack be little
  • Marina di chioggia
  • turks turban
  • yin yang beans
  • runner beans
  • french beans (just 4, the rest can be direct sown from May)

I’ve also put some godetia seeds in a terracotta pot and chosen a small set of dahlia tubers from my box and potted them too as an experiment. The tubers are starting to wake up and I can see a few eyes here and there. Everything is now watered and basking in the sun.

Indoors the plants under the grow lights are doing ok, but not gangbusters. Now we have a stretch of good weather coming up, I’ll probably give them some time on the south side of the house too.

The two in pots above are bitter melons, which I germinated on the warm hall floor. Another popped its head up this morning and there are a good handful of pots still in the hall. They need at least 20ÂșC to germinate, so this was clearly the only way I was going to get a result.

In the conservatory are a number of pretty good sunflowers (though they’re only 4′ ones), some fiesta sweetcorn and Red alert tomatoes. One of the sweetcorn seeds rotted, but that leaves me with 9, which is actually what I need.

The big bitter melon in the sunflower tray is in danger of wrapping its two long tendrils around the sunflowers, so I need to move it away a little.

In the afternoon I went down to the plot to look at beds 3 and 5 with regards to sowing beetroot and carrots. Bed 3 in elder corner was piled high with manure, leaves and coffee over the winter in order to give it some bulk. It’s still very high and so I’ve tweaked my plan for now and put two rows of beetroot and two rows of carrot in the little bed 5.

I tickled over the bed and then covered it in compost and put the seeds into that. I’m having a go at a no-dig approach this year – and the beds always look so gorgeous when they’re topped with compost and not clay.

I uncovered bed 3 and dug it over with the hand fork, breaking up clumps of leaves and removing woody detritus. Bits of wood and twig get left behind by the manure and so I’m wondering whether this autumn I might simply mulch with compost, as in the boundaries. I don’t want my carrots forking every two seconds when they hit a lump of wood.

I’ve ended up with a lot of soil in this bed, enough that there would be a good 2 or 3 buckets that could be used elsewhere. I’ve covered the bed again for now, but I think there are some holes in the lawn and perhaps in the boundaries that could benefit from a transfusion.

This was a wonderfully long, sunny and productive day. Mr B is retired now and thinks it’s unfair that we workers get this long weekend – we should be at work!