End of April update

sawfly larvae
On the 26th April, spotted the first wave of the gooseberry sawfly larvae. One stem had been almost stripped. There were a few critters on the currants too. Had a good squishing session and became green-fingered. The picture below I think is a sawfly.
Is this a sawfly?

Slugs/snails and poor seed germination have led to the failure of several things sown in the vegetable box – Carrots Early Scarlet Horn, Paris Market, Onion Purplette and Chicory Grumolo Rossa which were sown on 12th March. The carrots and chicory have been resown on 28th April. Onion Purplette resown yesterday. The spring onion Toga was doing so well until the slugs/snails munched the tops off. No more seed for that variety. Parsnip Turga sown in the other veg box last month haven’t germinated yet, but have sown another square foot of them on the 28th April. To keep these company, I sowed some Amsterdam Forcing carrots yesterday.
tomato flower
Saturday 28th was such a beautiful day. Decided to move the tomatoes from the windowsill to the greenhouse via repotting. So many tomatoes. One was even in flower! Planted out the heritage Prince of Prussia peas that were started in paper pots. Found some slugs hiding between paper pots at the bottom, cheeky sods.
Incy wincy little spiders
A chervil plant I put on the vegetable box to keep out of the way ended up being planted in that spot because a group of “baby” spiders had formed a ball between the chervil and box edge.
spiders
Sunday was another beautiful day. Early morning, started some more seeds off – Cavalier peas and Bunyards Exhibition broad beans in guttering. I noticed on a visit to a garden centre on Saturday for lunch that the people behind rootrainers have another system that resembles short pieces of guttering to sow things in then slide out for planting. A load of Horsehead French Beans were started out in paper pots, 15 Strawberry Popcorn sweetcorn in modules, 3 seeds each of Uchiki Kuri squash, Crystal Lemon cucumber and Albarrellodi Sarzana courgette, and one pot each of the kale Ragged Jack and sorrel Shchavel from the HSL.

Flowers sown: Tagetes lucida, French Marigold Instant Mixed, Tagetes Lemon Gem,  French Marigold Kobold Mix F1, and African Marigold Sunspot mixed. Echium Little Bells Mix, Aqualegia McKana’s Giant, Busy Lizzie (from Lidl), Cleome  Colour Fountains and Balsam Tom Thumb Mixed.  

OH planted some of the flowers sown earlier into the front garden – Love in  a Mist, mystery flowers (he sowed but didn’t label), his shop-bought lobelia plugs & verbenas. Earlier this month, gladioli were planted and most have come through.

Allotment-wise, the overwintered broad beans have started to set pod. The spring sown peas and beans there seem to be surviving the munching of those weevils. Damage looks significant when the plants are just mere seedlings, but they seem to have come through the worst.

First earlies were earthed up. In the process, 3 spuds were uncovered from Duke of York. We were tempted to dig one of the plants up, but will leave a few days/maybe a week for first harvest?

The allotment is looking good. Raised beds practically all finished, woodchip shavings path, no more stepping into beds (mainly me) and a sandpit to keep small person occupied. Only thing that doesn’t look that great is the overwintered red onions, they look a bit small and feeble. The garlic looks strong though, though there is some rust on the leaves. The rhubarb growing again nicely after being forced, the leaves green now. The lettuces look fabulous. Will be going to the allotment later, so pictures to follow in next post.

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