A murky morning turned into a sunny and almost warm afternoon today, so my plans for a day doing indoor jobs were abandoned. Returning from a lunchtime Pilates class, I saw my chickens making the most of the sun in a warm spot by the garden wall and decided to head quickly to the greenhouse. Although I am primarily concentrating on growing cut flowers this year, I love growing and eating vegetables (although I think my children would prefer me to stick to baked beans), so I decided to raid the cold frames and see what plugs I could plant out.Two hours later I had prepared a bed and planted spinach, red, yellow & white chard and kale. These were all plugs that I set off from seed in October and overwintered in the cold frame, so they should be hardy enough to cope with the garden conditions. I have covered them with fleece tunnels to keep them warm whilst they settle in. As these are vegetables that I intend to eat very young in salads and stir fries I am hoping to be picking leaves within a few weeks. I have also left space in the tunnels to sow a few short rows of carrots and beetroot in a week or so, when the fleece has allowed the soil to warm up a bit.
Whilst out shopping this morning I picked up a magazine ’60 Recipes From The English Garden”. For anyone growing vegetables this year there are hints and inspiring photos for a variety of veg and lots of recipes to cook with the veg you grow. Leafing through the pages has got me really excited to get on with the growing season and I am particularly looking forward to my first crops of this year: rhubarb, asparagus and broad beans. The early rhubarb is a couple of inches high now, quite a few of the broad bean seeds planted last October have made it through the winter and the asparagus started coming in early April last year, so along with the greens I planted today and the salad growing in boxes in the greenhouse, my days of buying vegetables at the supermarket look set to end soon.