Where has Spring gone? The Spring equinox has now passed and it still feels like winter here in Huddersfield. Apparently we have had a colder March than December or January with average temperatures (day and night combined) in March of around 3C. Phew thats cold, well I think its just the fact that its been so constantly cold. No wonder the plants are taking their time peaking their noses out of the soil. I've still got lots of snowdrops in flower, the hellebores are loving this weather, but I've only got a few daffs out yet and the tulips are only just now showing the tips of their leaves above the ground.
We have had the odd nice day, usually when I've been working and have had to look longingly out of the window ruing the missed gardening time. This time last year in the garden and the allotment we were having a lovely warm spell. I was sat in the garden sowing seeds and enjoying the sunshine. We must remember though that we had a very cool April with some snow.
We gardeners do like to complain about the weather but I think we have been justified this year so far. Any weather that delays us getting growing is bound to get us down. Just like the plants we are bursting to come out of hibernation and get growing. We have been dormant for too long and want to get back in the garden. I have done a bit of seed sowing mostly things that I've started on the propagator upstairs in my back bedroom (oh for a greenhouse). Then starts the daily checking for the first signs of life. The Tomatillo's won the race for first seed to germinate this year. I never get bored with seed sowing, it thrills me every year.
I've sown some chilli seeds and you need to start these early as these are so slow to get going they need a long growing season. Last year I sowed 3 varieties 'Cayenne', 'Habanero Orange' and 'Basket of Fire'. I didn't get a huge crop so I decided to try and overwinter one of each and see if I could get an earlier crop this year. They are perennial plants so you should be able to keep them growing. I kept them in a bright spot, but reduced the watering, keeping them on the dry side. They looked a bit straggly so I cut them back a bit and removed any yellowing leaves. Then I repotted them and gave them some feed and they are now sending out new fresh green leaves and there are some flowers already. Whether they will fruit I'll have to wait and see. But I thought it was worth a try.
Only time will tell whether I will have some early chillis.
I think I will wait a bit longer before I really get sowing properly. Its forecast a fair bit of snow here tonight, tomorrow and Saturday and for the cold spell to remain for at least another week. Our local weather forecaster on Look North did tantalize by saying that we could have some milder weather for Easter but that may just mean rain. You can't win with us can you!