Thursday, 28 April 2022

Garlic and 'snips

Just a quick update on a couple of bits 'n' pieces.

Garlic and Parsnips
Firstly, as you can see. my garlic is doing pretty well this year. It will be out of the ground in early summer though, so in between I've sown rows of parsnip seed. I don't find a need to do this as early as some advise. Mid to late April is fine and I've always had sizeable parsnip tubers by the winter.

Until recently I allowed plenty of parsnip plants to go into a second year and flower. They are wonderfully statuesque plants and beneficial insects make a beeline for their flowers. The seed I collect from them produces next year's plants.

I will confess to having parsnips springing up everywhere! But I am having to put a curb on my parsnips. They are high up the suspect list for causing some rather nasty blisters which react badly for several years when exposed to sunlight. 

I can still grow them, but will only allow one or two plants, away from paths, to flower.

Adapting to a changing climate
We've had our third very dry April in a row. I'm beginning to adapt to this clear pattern of climate change by raising my seedlings slightly later as it's difficult to get them planted and established in dry conditions. Frosts have been few and far between this winter too and none have been harsh. My Chilean Glory Vine bears witness to this. It's not supposed to be hardy in this region, but mine has happily survived the winter.

As we head towards frost-freedom, the garden is springing to life. Below is my Snowy Mespilus hedge which always looks beautiful for a few short weeks in the springtime. 

And can you spot who photobombed this photo of red dead-nettle. One of my favourite wild plants alongside one of my favourite insects, the bee-fly.

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