There's no doubt about it - spring is definitely in the air. The birds are singing, the sun is shining, flowers are popping up all over the place and everything is starting to grow again.
It's nice to see the sorrel and chives sprouting fresh new growth.
I know some people are harvesting purple sprouting broccoli by now, but mine still isn't showing any signs. Maybe it didn't get big enough before the winter. I wait with bated breath...
The lamb's lettuce is big enough to eat now, at last. This definitely needs an earlier start next year - and more of it too!
The radishes in the greenhouse haven't done anything worthwhile and are starting to look a bit sickly, but the spring onions have put on excellent growth over winter and are about ready to eat.
The claytonia has been going steady all winter long - I've picked handfuls from time to time, but I could (should) have eaten much more of it! In fact, I think I'd better thin this lot before the kale gets swamped!
The perpetual spinach, too, has kept producing slowly all winter, and I've picked the odd handful to add to veg dishes. The normal spinach did not do so well - something killed all but two of the plants! Next winter I'll make sure I have lots more perpetual spinach and chard going, since they stand so well through cold weather.
Like most gardeners, I'm chomping at the bit to start sowing again. I've already started a few potatoes - three 'Foremost' earlies - in a planter in the shelter of the house. I wouldn't plant them in open soil this early, but in dry fresh compost in a well-drained portable container it's another matter. The right temperature for planting spuds is about 8C, and most of our nights are 7 or higher at the moment, so as long as I protect them if we have another cold snap I reckon we're in with a good chance of a few super-earlies!
I bought six of these huge fold-away planters to use this year, thinking it'd be tidier than hoardes and hoardes of pots, the soil would be deeper, and I could plant lots of things closer together, rather than all in individual containers. The huge bags don't half hold a lot of soil! I don't know how I'm going to fill them all! In the first one I have planted my nine (one went mouldy in the greenhouse during the snow) everbearing 'Albion' strawberries, plus three which were too cramped in a pot in the garden. There's another planter ready and waiting in the background for some early carrots, lettuce, radishes and things, which I'll sow soon under a protective layer or two of fleece...
Oh, and my leek seedlings are doing well. They looked a bit frazzled today because I accidentally left them out in the cold last night, which must have come as a bit of a shock, but they'll recover, and I'm glad they got this head-start.
Can't wait to get stuck into some more sowing...