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Don't knock the weather

"Don't knock the weather: nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while." - Kin Hubbard

Well it’s May, derived from Maius, the Roman goddess of fertility. It’s often seen as the month that starts summer, but with the cold weather we had last week that’s hard to believe. Thank goodness for the sun we are expecting this week. It’s a busy month, getting the garden ready for the rest of the summer. I think there’s never enough May to do everything that’s needed. Both in the yard and the garden. So we have been having extra volunteer sessions. Today we had a weeding a watering session as there is a dry spell.

Most of our tulip petals blew off in the storm at the beginning of the month. So we have been removing the containers of bulbs that have finished. These will be replaced with the summer bulbs that were planted a month ago. Some gladioli shoots are appearing already.

We had good news last month. Thanks to our neighbour we now have a closer supply of water. That will save long treks with wheelbarrows and containers. We just need to set up the tap connection and hose so volunteers can use it easily.

The Jerusalem artichoke and potatoes are growing well and more soil is being added to their containers to cover the growth so that more are produced. Veg seeds that have been grown in people’s homes are being brought in and planted now. Peas, runner beans, French style beans and sweetcorn so far. I’ve also started sowing veg seeds. And beetroot and carrot seedlings are up already. I’ve sowed leeks and pak choi today too.

Of course as soon as we start planting things the slugs come out. So I have been putting slug wool round our tender veg plants. I’ve been told that a lot of the seedlings that people are growing at home have been eaten by slugs and snails. So it’s a general problem. And so disappointing when you have been looking after them from seed.

I’ve put some of the strawberry plants in a hanging basket. Hopefully the slugs won’t be able to climb in and eat them.

I am quite upset to find the rhubarb has died off. I am asking around to see I anyone has a spare crown they can give us. So if you have one in your garden, can you just dig it up and plant it in the rhubarb container please.

We had a wet felting workshop this week. Volunteers from the local WI learnt to make seamless bags that can be used to plant alpines in and hang around the garden. We already have three in the garden from last year. They have faded a little over the winter, so I am thinking about giving them a bit of bling perhaps for the summer.

A quick update on my wormery, When I check on it I can see lots of worms of all shapes and sizes now. I gather from this that they have been reproducing. Something they can do every 3 months. And although they are hermaphroditic, they still need to mate with another worm, lying side by side. How romantic. They lay about 20 eggs at a time, making a cocoon round them for protection. Only one or two may survive though in the wild, though. Hopefully they will have a better chance of survival in my wormery.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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