Gardening Magazine

We Have Lift-off!

By Mwillis
After more than a week of mostly sunny and warm weather, stuff is coming up!
We have lift-off!
Those are "Chantenay" Carrots, in one of the black plastic crates in the wooden planter outside our kitchen window.  I sowed them several weeks ago, hoping for an early spell of warm weather to get them off to a good start, but it never happened. However, last week we had several days of decent weather, and the Carrots just shot up.
In the other plastic crate I have Carrots of two different types. The "Paris Market" ones are on a par with the "Chantenay" ones, but the "Amsterdam Forcing" ones are a fair way behind.

We have lift-off!

Paris Market ones at top of photo


The Radishes came up very rapidly too - just seven days after sowing.
We have lift-off!

I sowed 3 x 1.2 meter rows. One type ("Cherry Belle") is considerably behind the other two ("Saxa" and "Sparkler"), though of course probably only a day or so.
We have lift-off!

In good conditions Radishes mature very quickly, so I'm hoping these ones will be ready by about mid-May.
One of the two rows of Parsnips has come up too - though not so quickly! This is "Hollow Crown" (new seeds), so I'm hoping it doesn't mean that the "Duchess" ones from last year's seeds won't germinate. I know that you are supposed to use fresh seeds every year, but in the past I have managed OK with ones that are 2 or even 3 years old.
We have lift-off!

Not wishing to be left out of the fun, a couple of Chicories have re-appeared in amongst my Broad Beans.
We have lift-off!

This happens if you cut the Chicory at ground level and don't pull up the root. Normally I remove the roots, but I must have overlooked a couple. Still, having a few tender young leaves for a salad in a week or two is no bad thing.
We have lift-off!

In the shrub border the Hellebore plants are also putting up lots of new growth, so hopefully they will be "putting on some weight" and storing up energy for next year's flowers.
We have lift-off!

There are some new shoots on the Pineapple Mint too. The leaves are mostly white, with a bit of green, but at the moment the stems are bright purple!
We have lift-off!

The only thing I am really concerned about is whether my Cotinus tree is still alive. You may recall that last year the tree suddenly fell sick, and some people suggested it might have been struck by Verticillium Wilt. Usually by this time it has sprung into growth, but there is no sign of any swelling buds just yet.
We have lift-off!

I haven't given up hope yet, because lots of things are late appearing this year, but I'm certainly considering my options...

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