Too many plants, not enough room!

Hooray and hooray and hooray! We’ve had pretty much every kind of weather imaginable this week but the great thing is that at long last it’s WARM. The blossom’s out, birds are singing and spring has definitely sprung. Everything in the garden has responded enthusiastically, including me: bye- bye coat and wellies, hello shorts and work boots – not a very glamorous look, but I’m warm and happy and I don’t care! The polytunnel is zinging with growth and we are picking a decent salad every couple of days.

Spring salad from the tunnel.

 I hid from torrential rain and hail in there, potting on the plants that started out in the propagator and they’re all looking pretty good.

Pumpkin ‘Big Max’

Chilli pepper ‘Bulgarian Carrot’

Cucumber ‘Crystal Lemon’

Climbing French beans ‘Yard Long’ planted in the polytunnel 10 days ago.

My potting bench (a recycled wardrobe) is heaving, there is officially NO MORE ROOM for planting. Just managed to squeeze in trays of purple sprouting broccoli, romanesco, red cabbage ‘Kalibos’ and asparagus ‘Connovers Colossal’ but I really do think I need to stop for a while now.

No more room for anything!

How on earth I’ve ended up with so many plants is beyond me; there’s only two of us here so I’m planning to share lots of things with our neighbours and hoping for plenty of summer visitors to help us eat it all. I’m fast running out of space to put things and wondering if we should have bought a bigger polytunnel? Or maybe two?

Do we need a bigger tunnel?

 By the way, I had a little friend to keep me company – hope he/she is tucking into the slugs like a good ‘un.

My polytunnel companion.

Things are looking better outside, too. The garlic, peas, broad beans and spring onions are zooming up and at last green spikes have pushed up from the onion sets. I’ve planted out a couple of rows of ‘Greyhound’ summer cabbage which were raised in the tunnel, they’d copped a bit of slug damage but have perked up well outside.

‘Greyhound’ cabbage plant.

Also in are short rows of beetroot ‘Plate d’Egypte’, rainbow chard and chervil plus a sprinkling of spinach ‘Toscane’ between the broad beans; I’m hoping the shade will slow down its bolting habit.

Broad beans – shady enough for spinach between the rows?

The wet weather hasn’t helped the digging along but Roger stepped in to do battle with the couch grass and dug a patch big enough for the ‘Giant Exhibition’  onions  I’ve grown from seed (to eat, not show).

Tray of onions grown from seed before planting…

…and in the ground (minus the lily beetle).

Unbelievably, a lily beetle appeared on one before I’d even finished planting – the cheek! We never had them in mid-Wales but they were a pest here on the leeks last summer, so I need to be vigilant. I checked the garlic and found four more; two of them were in ‘the act’ so let’s just say their moment of passion was cut a bit short! I planted 63 onions to go with the 170 sets and 40 shallots – surely that’s enough onions for two of us? I’m loving every minute of this vegetable gardening lark but seriously beginning to wonder if I’m already ever so slightly addicted to it! 🙂


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