It seems that here in the Belgian Ardennes over the last few days, every minute of the day the weather changes. Sunshine is followed by a hailstones as big as grapes, followed by black clouds and angry howling winds …to have the sun return once again.
As usual we are a bit behind when it comes to plant progress in the garden. My tulips consist of just a few leaves and a tiny flower head that is just edging above the soil. Luckily the apple trees are not showing any signs of life yet because I would hate to lose my blossoms to the inevitable night frosts that follow days like this.
There is still so much that needs to be done in the garden, but now it all comes down to timing. Planting out my tubers too soon can result in frostbite. A little frost wouldn’t be too bad but we wouldn’t want the young growth to turn to mush… Same for my outdoor beans. So I am consulting the weather reports daily and mulling it over in my head. Glancing outside for a moment while writing this I can actually see snow falling with the sun shining at the same time. That is the conflict I have to face whilst gardening at this time of year.
The only thing we can do right now is prepare for the season by starting to re-do some of the raised beds.
Inside the polytunnel it is a different story all together. We seem to have won the battle against mice for the time being. Unfortunately it meant we had to use traps but all but one of my plants have survived.
The Chinese cabbage sown and planted out last autumn is thriving and is providing us with loads of stir fry meals. Luckily we do not seem to have a lot of slugs yet, so for now at least they are all ours for the picking.
The second sowing of peas have also survived now that the brutal mouse onslaught has ceased.
Inside the poly the plants are protected from this constant changing weather and are happily soaking up all the sunshine they can get.
I found a second blueberry plant for only 5 euros which I have re-potted and covered the soil with pine needles to give it a bit of mulch and as blue berries love acidic soil the pine needles will take care of that as well. They say that a blueberry will produce more fruit if there are more than two bushes and I am hoping this is correct because next to strawberries they are a massive favourite of mine and I am so looking forward to making blueberry muffins!
The surviving broad beans and the beans I planted out again a few weeks ago are not as strong as the ones I planted out two autumns years ago (just at the right time), but they are already showing some flowers. I will keep an eye on them and might have to be brutal, cut my losses and take them out as starting all over again is not an option at this stage because the plants will take up valuable space for tomatoes, peppers and other indoor plants.
Now if only the weather would calm down a bit and I could shake off this pesky cold I have been having then I would be able to get out and get on with some work the garden!!