March in our courtyard garden
During March our courtyard garden started to come alive again with new growth and pops of colour once again. I really take great pleasure from being in our courtyard garden. Being outside in the fresh air does something really great for me and makes me feel so alive. The moment I slip my feet into my wellies and I step outside with a steaming cup of tea, I get a rush of real enthusiasm for gardening. I love having a plan for my few hours of escape. I spend the week thinking about what I want to do and then get outside at the weekend. Over the past few months I haven't managed to get in the garden after work as the evenings are dark, but that changes from this weekend, the clocks went forward! We can now start enjoying longer days and more daylight. I like to have something to focus on in the evenings and having something rewarding to put my energies into. When I step out into our garden any thing I have on my mind seems to disappear and my mind focuses on looking after the garden, it's a real escape.
I've spent the month tidying up our space, sorting out containers and planting seeds and getting stuck into gardening again!
I started chitting my potatoes at the end of February and this month I've planted them in new vegetable compost. I'm growing two varieties of potato this year, Charlotte and Maris Peer. I am experimenting with growing them on a larger scale this year and have four containers. I am using a large vegetable planter with two sections and two potato growing bags to grow the potatoes. I'm looking forward to seeing how they grow and trying to find the bet place in our courtyard to grow them.
To cut down on the cost of gardening I'm trying to grow some plants from seed this year. I've had mixed results over the years but I'm determined to try again. If they don't grow I'll give in and get a few plug plants.
Last weekend I planted a few seeds outside including carrots, mixed lettuce leaves and radishes outside in fresh compost. We've had mixed weather all week with some really cold days and a sunny weekend. I hope that the seeds are surviving and will start germinating soon.
I'm starting off some of the seeds in propagators inside on a windowsil. I've planted chilli, basil, dahlias and marigolds seeds. It has taken a while for the basil and chilli seeds to start growing but in only one week the dahlia and marigold seeds have germinated.
My window boxes are looking bright and happy. I tried a few different types of daffodils this year.
The hyacinths cheer up the space next to our back door and smell gorgeous. They look really lovely in their blue glazed pot and make me smile each morning.
I have a few strawberry plants that I planted a few years ago. I added some new compost to the container a few weeks ago and I repotted the strawberries. I spotted new leaves growing this weekend, I really hope we get a good crop of strawberries this year.
The garden is slowly waking up and becoming a great place to spend time in. I seem to picked up the gardening bug again! This year I was going to keep the gardening simple but over the past few weeks I've decided that I will grow some more plants this year. I'm planning on also growing tomatoes, courgettes, spring onions, garlic, beetroot and rocket. I've been doing a little more research on suitable containers and caring for them and I think I may have a little more success this year. I'm just hoping for great weather!
I've been reading The Edible Balcony by Alex Mitchell over the past few weeks. The book is really inspiring and has made me want to try growing more plants year than initially planned. I've been thinking about getting a wormery too and want to find a way to store rainwater so I can water and feed the plants myself. I'm also going to plant some more flowers to encourage more bees to visit our garden.
Have you been out in your garden, balcony or courtyard this month? What are you hoping to grow this year? Let me know as I'd love to know what you are planting.