It’s all about plant­ing

Prize-win­ning veg from the al­lot­ment and a smaller gar­den in greater Manch­ester with im­pres­sive sum­mer bed­ding.

Garden News (UK) - - Over The Fence - Derek Brooks

We’re in the middle of a spell of warm, dry weather and I’m wa­ter­ing all my plants in the green­houses, and the ones still in boxes out­side, at least twice a day. I’ve painted CoolGlass on the green­houses, which will help to re­duce tem­per­a­tures in­side.

Af­ter a slow start, most things are grow­ing well now, in­clud­ing the weeds! Apart from wa­ter­ing, this month is all about plant­ing, both at home and on the al­lot­ment. On the plot, though, when I’ve things ready for plant­ing I have to weed the beds first, which is very time con­sum­ing. I’ve al­ways said that I spend more time weed­ing than all the other jobs put to­gether.

How­ever, I’ve man­aged to plant sweet peas, glad­i­oli, dahlias, all the ten­der veg, and the first batch of bras­si­cas. I grow these in small batches to avoid a glut. I also grow a lot of an­nu­als for cut­ting and show­ing. I’ve planted many of these, but it’s usu­ally into July be­fore I man­age to get them all in.

I’ve sown broad beans and dwarf French beans di­rect in the beds. I’m grow­ing some in pots to cover any fail­ures. I’ve also sown swedes and turnips di­rect but I start beet­root and kohlrabi off in small peat pots and all these are ready for plant­ing. Lettuce have been sown in cell trays at home and have now been planted out. The rhubarb’s still crop­ping and I’ve har­vested the win­ter onions. The shal­lots have been re­duced to three per clump and we use the thin­nings in sal­ads.

At home, I’ve planted bed­ding plants round the front lawn but still have the bor­ders at the back to do.

I’ve also been busy plant­ing hang­ing bas­kets. I’ve got 12 of my own, but do a lot for friends and neigh­bours. I’ve also planted up sev­eral pots for friends as well as my own, too.

Any plants I’ve left will be sold at a plant stall at church in late June.

The blackbird’s nest is now empty. The chicks hatched and all fledged suc­cess­fully.

My first batch of bras­si­cas have been planted af­ter a good spell of weed­ing

All this bed­ding is ready to go in!

I’ve got 12 bas­kets of my own, and I plant up some for neigh­bours, too

Sweet peas are added to the plot

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