Advertising Agents Art Artists Bees Cartoonists Catalogues Christmas Community CMS Design East Anglia Family Exhibitions Gardening Honey Illustrators Interior designers Links Locations Motocross Music Norfolk Norwich Optimisation Photography Photographers Photo libraries Photo galleries Pixels Postcards Restaurants Publishing SEO Squatting Training Weddings Web sites Web designers Whatson Writers Zippies Last home page

Week sixteen

Things you can do this week
Sow any remaining main crop seed potatoes before the end of the month (you can still sow some earlies in May but main crop varieties need plenty of time to grow). Sow peas and beans in single drill to enable close hoeing. Sow Early White Vienna Kohlrhabi and use when young. Plant water lilies and other hardy aquatic plants. Hoe strawberries. Seeds sown earlier in the year will need pricking out into individual pots. Sow runner beans.

Links to weeks throughout the year
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52

Gardening diary week 16 beekeeping blog

Diary week sixteen April 16th - April 22nd

Hardening off is the process of slowly acclimatizing soft tender plants that have been kept under some protection, or inside, to the harsher conditions outside. Standing the plants outside during the day and returning to the inside at night, gradually leaving them out longer each day until after 4 or 5 days they are left outside permanently. Keeping a close eye on the weather and avoiding strong winds in the day and hard frost at night by bringing them inside again if frosts are forecast.


Sunday 16th April We ate the last of this year's purple sprouting for supper and the first of this year's spring cabbage.


I have been really lazy with my runner beans in the last few years both in the preparation of the site and the sowing and saving of seed. I am trying to make amends this year.

Tuesday April 17th 2007 Digging the soil can be both a pleasure and a chore because it has to be done if you leave your plot like I do to get overgrown with grass and weeds. At this time of the year I like to dig in overgrown plants ie the brassicas, like purple sprouting, sprouts and cauliflowers. These I chop up until I get within a few inches of the roots and put them into the trench as I dig. I do the same with the everlasting spinach as it begins grow up go to seed. I takes a while for the plants to rot down but I believe it helps my light sandy soil hold moisture.


Tulips - that survived their journey to London

2006 Monday 17th April Moved the asparagus plants that Geoff gave me last year into a new well manured position.

Sunday 16th April Although I was digging in muck to plant potatoes the head gardener had other ideas and planted another row of broad beans and a row of peas instead.

2005 Saturday 16th April I was up at my allotment by 8am waiting for the muck man to arrive and on the button at 8.30 he did and dumped a load of well rotted manure on the corner of my plot. As the day progressed it got warmer and by early afternoon I hand burned off and scrapped all the remaining beehive bases except the cottager.

2004 17/18 April 2004 Saturday was sunshine and light breezes and the whole allotment community was out and about busily working on their plots. In contrast Sunday gave us a steady, slow, cold rain and most of my allotment neighbours elected to stay home, or at least stay away from their plots. But there's no rest for the wicked and as I haven't finished planting potatoes I was out in the rain. I did take the opportunity of the wet conditions to move a few more flowers around both my plot and Geoff's plot that forms the second allotment apiary.

Friday April 16th. I removed the chemical strips from the remaining three hives on the allotment sites and put on frames for the bees to make honey in. Spotted the queen in the cottager hive - she's is dark and on the small side. This hive has not started the year in the strongest condition but it came through the winter with plenty of stored honey and has a laying queen - so we shall see

2002 Monday 22nd Still no rain. Another sunny day. I have now given every beehive some extra space.
Started using the watering can.

20/21 April With the wind from the South we have had a warm and sunny weekend - just like summer - the watering cans are out in full force - in the third week of April! (we still have had no real rain for weeks now). The early sown runner beans are up and any chance of keeping the potatoes earthed up is just about past - maybe we will be lucky and not have more frost this year - unlikely. The apple blossom is not yet all out, and yet and spring is turning into summer. It can't last.

The bees are enjoying this weather and I had to put a new supper each on the three beehives in the apiary as this has become an early year for them. I also replaced all of the brood comb in the split half of the hive that still has the queen in the allotment. The other hive in the allotment may also need another supper putting on if this weather continues even though they are queenless at the moment. The aconites have now set seed and I was able to pick a few seed heads to the bring back and sow in a pot. Not that I need to, as they are very successfully seeding where they are. I have grown aconites from seed before and it is a long process as they won't flower until the fourth year.

18th April 2002 The evening was sunny after a bright sunny day except that the wind had changed direction and we had a brief shower of rain. We haven't had any real rain for several weeks now. The nights have been cold and nipping any potatoes left unearthed (except the volunteers why don't they seem to get the frost?) Other parts of the country have been having massive amounts of rain but we will probably end up with very little. Although the wind, often just a breeze, has been in the east or north we have had a lot of warm sunny days while the plums have been in bloom and the bees have been busy on many occasions. We need the rain now.

17th April 2002 Opened up the beehive in the allotment and removed all the queen cells except one. I had to put an entrance block into the other hive that still has the Queen in it as the hive was having to be protected against robber bees. I probably shouldn't has split the hive so early and it was almost certainly my error in allowing the queen to get into the suppers in the first place. I won't open the hive without the queen again now for a month. The hive with the queen in has a very uninviting brood chamber deficient by a couple frames or foundation, so I must sort that out quickly.

16th April 2002 Sowed first French beans

2000 15/16 April the wind seems to be stuck in the North or east and the week has been generally cold and gray with only the occasional sunny day. Saturday was dominated by rain. Sunday the digging, planting, sowing of seed (carrots, radishes potatoes) and now hand weeding continues. I have uncovered the Asparagus bed but don't expect to see any spears yet unless the weather warms up.

1999 April 18th The warm weather was not to last and freezing cold nights have been the new norm in the last week. Early sown potatoes will have had their tops frazzled if not covered before the night time temperatures drop.

I planted out some of the Coz lettuce seedlings that were sown under glass a few weeks ago, hoping that the worst of the cold nights are over. Started hand weeding shallots and onions and continued to plant potatoes.

Urban Jungle Sell exotic and jungle plants including cannas, gingers, bananas, tree ferns, palms, bamboos and aroids by mail order and from their nursery in Norfolk.

J&S Email Patrick for further information or telephone 01603 617632