Gillie Wilkinson gives an update on the spring planting in her her Newark garden

The days are now much longer and, bar the odd frost, are getting much warmer.

In my little propagators the seeds are germinating at a tremendous rate.

The aubergines are doing nicely but the chillies haven’t come up at all.

Gillie Wilkinson of Eaton Growers Associaton. (5160178)

Most of my tomato seed is out of date so I sowed four times the amount I wanted.

There are 16 varieties and I think every single seed came up!

They won’t go to waste — my family and friends will take their pick and the rest will go to a very worthy cause.

Odds and ends of bulbs planted in a trough and out in time for Mother's Day (55870134)
Odds and ends of bulbs planted in a trough and out in time for Mother’s Day (55870134)

I still have celery and celeriac to prick out. Again, old seed, and every one has come up.

This time I will only prick out the number I want.

The plum and pear blossom has come out and hopefully I will get a reasonable crop this year.

The nectarine only had two blooms on it but as a very young tree I wasn’t expecting any.

The broad beans are growing slowly outside but in the tunnel the overwintered spinach, chard and cabbage have just decided to start growing again.

I’ve sown some more chard as my chickens like it.

They have been enjoying the lower, large leaves of the perennial kale while we have been picking smaller ones, shredding them and cooking them quickly in boiling water.

The nine-star perennial cauliflowers that I bought last year are now sending up several baby cauliflowers each. We have been eating the leaves, the same as kale.

The strawberries have mostly been eaten by vine weevils so the girls have had some tasty treats and the plants have been thrown away.

Once the tubs have been cleaned out I will get some new ones.

April is the time to start sowing cucumbers, marrows, courgettes, winter squash and all varieties of beans and peas plus any annual flowers not already sown in March.

My garden arch tunnel that is over the garden path in my back garden needs a bit of TLC.

A couple of legs need reinforcing and then it is going to be covered with wire netting. I can’t pull the plastic net taunt enough so it has to be something sturdier.

I am trying to get away from using plastic.

I use and reuse any I already have but don’t buy any new.

I’ve made lots of small paper pots out of newspaper folded round a small pill pot for the sweet peas, peas and squash — they can just be planted complete with the paper pot.

Chickens are still not allowed out to roam in the garden but mine are luckier than most free range because their run is two meters by three meters, which is a good size for the four of them.

The whole thing is covered with wire netting and a tarpaulin and green scaffold netting thrown over that and roped down.

British Hens Welfare Trust are able to re-home again with strict guidelines in place.

If you fancy some look up their website for when they are next rehoming in Newark.


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