The Potting Bench Diaries – 22nd March 2023

This week we can all rejoice (slightly) as the seasons have officially changed and we can now, in theory say it’s spring! 20th March, this year, is the start of spring according to the astronomical seasons and the season will end on 21st June – taking us into Summer – but lets not jump the gun just yet…let’s focus on spring first shall we!

I’m not sure exactly how the weather has been by you, but its been rather changeable here – either harsh and long lasting rain, or actually quite mild!

The greenhouse has been getting up, and past 20°C and on average it has reached 15°C on most days. While this might be exciting, its worth bearing in mind that the last of the frosts aren’t behind us just yet, least not in my neck of the woods anyway. Looking at the long range forecast tells me that ours is likely to be around the end of April, with another sub-zero spell lurking and waiting to hit at the beginning of April. Not quite time to sow those tender perennials outside just yet…

One thing I have done this week is pot on my chillies, peppers and tomatoes into their own pots.

The germination on all varieties has been strong and the seedlings are looking good. Now they’ve been potted on, I’ve put them into the greenhouse to fend for themselves, where they should be alright even in that aforementioned upcoming cold snap.

Getting these off the kitchen windowsill and out into the greenhouse, gives me much more room indoors to sow a few other things that I’ve been itching to start with.

Something else I’ve done over the last week (and once again, in the greenhouse) – is pinching out the latest batch of sweet peas. Last year I don’t think I bothered pinching out, not that I can remember anyway and it didn’t ours any harm, in fact ours were fantastic last year (in the most part anyway).

However, this year I have pinched out, but only because I wanted to try rooting those pinched tips in some water. Last week I took the snips to the best of them and popped them in a pot of water in the greenhouse, less than 7 days later and they’ve rooted well – free sweet peas for very little effort, what a win!

Another job for this week was to finally give our hydrangea its spring haircut. Sadly, we only have one hydrangea in our garden – which is something I must remedy this year – however, it is a real beauty!

This one is from the Black Steel series (I cant remember the actual name unfortunately) and is a mophead variety. This means that they only really need deadheading and trimming back to the set of buds just below the spent heads. Pruning our hydrangea was the perfect opportunity to give my new Burgon and Ball secateurs a road test, and they certainly made easy work of this job!

And finally, another podcast episode is now live and I had the immense pleasure of having a natter with designer, writer, presenter and creator of My Real Garden on Instagram, Ann-Marie Powell.

Ann-Marie is known for her incredible passion for community and the people she’s brought together through My Real Garden and we discuss it all in this episode, as well as Ann-Marie’s earlier raving days…

Click here to listen to the episode now!

Now the weather is improving and the temperatures are rising, the possibilities are growing too – won’t be long before we’re out there in just t-shirts…

See you again next week,

Disclaimer: Burgon & Ball National Trust Secateurs were kindly sent to me from Burgon & Ball. There was no payment received and no obligation to post about them, however – I have now used them and enjoyed them so I am sharing with honesty and clarity.

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