Rooting away nicely
A warm dry spell has helped me get on top of my vegetable plots and fruit cage, mostly by hoeing. I even got my shirt off for a couple of minutes, mere tokenism but still nice to feel the sun again.
Thirty of my forty beds are under control in some way, either weeded and waiting or with a semi-permanent crop filling them such as raspberries, herbs or cuttings. That leaves ten covered with a thick mat of weeds; these will be skimmed off into the trenches with the potatoes next month. Several of those beds had a borage green manure but this was killed by the cold. I've not re-sown as I'm going to have a huge borage patch alongside the apricot and peach trees I recently put in.
I saved up a load of seed last autumn and the ground is bare and ready as it had ground cover fabric since last year. I've put out the first new crop; the garlic which has been showing it's roots, then it's tips, in wee pots, has been popped out into holes in a beautifully clean, warm bed. A second batch will soon follow, then shallots and onion sets. All are rooting away nicely into cells.
The onions from seed have just appeared in their trays and pak choi and the salad mixes are showing nicely in others. The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in the propagator are not moving as fast as I'd like but I'm sure they'll be fine. And the ginger and sweet potato in there with them haven't sprouted yet. However down on the floor the potatoes in pots are growing nicely now and strawberry plants I brought in for super early fruits are leafing well. I've also finished bringing in grape vines in tubs, figs and the last of the gooseberry plants I'm forcing.
While I was shifting their tubs on my sack barrow I was listening to the GQT from Alnwick, I wish I'd been there. One of the panel was claiming to have defeated bindweed with a weedkiller - now that gives me doubts - so many report how bindweed just returns after each application. Then it was remarked how it can be brought in with manure (though in this case it came in with topsoil). Case solved.
There are several common bindweeds - the big white bloomed thug we all rightly fear is actually two - hedge and greater bindweed, both live in woods, hedges and gardens not fields or stockyards. The one arriving with manure is much more likely to be field bindweed which has smaller pinkish flowers, is much less invasive and more easily killed. Oh well I'll be back on again soon and maybe will bring this point to attention.
And spring continues - buds on shrubs are swelling discernibly and the tips of flower - buds of some creamy white hyacinth have just pushed through under my bedroom window - will it be warm enough to let their scent in when they come to flower I ponder.