Greenfingers - May 2021

When I look at the Greenfingers of a year ago, the plants were much further on than today, giving a good indication of how cold this spring has been. The sound of someone mowing the snow last Wednesday morning was novel.

Greenfingers0521I’ve been busy with the compost heap, sieving some pampered compost for the tomatoes and using the remainder for mulching. It’s pampered because it has a piece of carpet to keep it warm, and a sheet of plastic to keep it dryish, which makes the sieving easier.

So several varieties of tomato seed have been sown and, in a month or so, they will be big enough to transfer into pots of a mixture of peat-free and sieved garden compost to grow on in the greenhouse. Sweet peas have been planted out, but with a bit of protection, and other seeds which were sown under cover and are germinating now are broad bean, squash, courgette, lettuce, and zinnias and cosmos. The more tender plants will be sown later in April for planting out during May.

In the garden, I took a root cutting from a salvia and moved and divided a large Alstroemeria, but little other outdoor activity until the weather warms up. Some beds saw weeding and mulching but there’s more to do. Supports for the plants will be a priority as they will grow quickly once they get going.

Most activity has been in the greenhouse, where dahlias, cannas and zantedeschia have been potted up, and seeds sown. Strawberry plants from last year’s runners Greenfingers0521Bhave also been re-potted, and potted fuchsias cut back to encourage bushy growth.

On 23rd May, Saturn will enter retrograde motion, when its usual eastward movement is reversed. This motion was known to ancient observers, and it troubled them as they could not reconcile it with models in which the planets moved in uniform circular orbits around the Earth, as they believed. It is caused by the Earth’s movement around the Sun, causing the apparent position of the outer planets to reverse, (with respect to the more distant stars).

Pete Smith