Jennifer’s Garden Diary (30th April 2011)

Week ending 30th April 2011

I have always been proud of the fact that there is something to eat in my garden all through the year. I hope I am going to manage this year but it will be a near run thing. I am pulling out last of sprouting broccoli to prepare for runner beans but am harvesting both Swiss and rainbow Chard which are flourishing, and to follow? There are six Spring cabbages and I see small pods forming on autumn sown broad beans. Hoping for the best but fear the “hungry gap”.

Hoping that I will be gardening next spring I am busy with seedlings of late and early sprouting broccoli late brussel sprouts and kale. I grow them in seed trays and prick out, or in modules, safe from slugs and where I can keep an eye on them. Perhaps not plants for small gardens as they take up a lot of space and for a long time but it is a delight to pick something fresh and green in the winter and early spring. The early sprouts and cabbages are planted out and growing well. My friend Sally gave me the great idea of spraying the base of brassicas with a strong smelling essential oil to confuse the cabbage root fly— if it doesn’t smell like cabbage perhaps it isn’t!  I am trying some perfume. Am also trying to confuse carrot root fly by sowing flower seeds mixed up with carrots, they will be a pretty addition to my garden.

Two of my tomato plants have grown too big for their bell cloches and seem to be doing fine, smaller tomatoes and courgettes are still covered by night. April has been a wonderful month for weather but a bit dry for vegetables, writing this at beginning of May it is cool and raining. “Storms of rain in May fill the haggard with straw and hay” so no complaining.