Saturday, April 25, 2009

Summer's false dawn?

Visiting Ginkgo on Saturday, April 25, it was hard to believe there is still three weeks until we are free of the threat of frost. Temperatures rose into the upper 70s and a strong wind blew across occasional thunder showers, flinging down large warm raindrops. The only direct sown crop to have germinated so far is the radishes, but we removed all the row cover from the bed to allow it to benefit from the next few days of forecast rain and warmth.

After last season's loss of the tomato and pepper seedlings, however, we know better than to assume summer has arrived, which explains why one of today's tasks was to build a cold frame out of three reused windowpanes, three disassembled straw bales and an ingenious arrangement of bricks and twine. This will provide a staging area for us to use as we bring seedlings from the Kilbourn Park greenhouse to Ginkgo over the next few weeks, and let them get used to the cooler, drier environment outdoors.

Other preparatory work included setting up guide wires for the raspberries; adding a downspout to direct water from the new gutter into the rain barrel; clearing the compost pile from the back gate; levelling the planned patio area; and rabbit-proofing the front gate.

If any blog readers are looking for organic vegetable or fruit plants for their gardens, or for straw bales or manageable quantities of Organimix compost, then Ginkgo highly recommends Kilbourn Park's annual organic plant sale on May 17-18, 10am-2pm.