Slow Start to This Year's Growing Season

The growing season is off to a slow start this year. It is May 20th and, already, we seem to be several weeks behind where I would expect to be. This is a picture (Photo 1) of our comfrey plant taken today (20th) ...

Photo 1: Comfrey (20th May 2023)

... and this is a photo (Photo 2) of the same plant taken three years ago on a slightly earlier date (16th May 2020) ...

Photo 2: Comfrey (16th May 2020)

... when the comfrey was flowering and one to two feet taller; in fact, enough growth to prepare my first batch of comfrey tea.

I am still awaiting some sign of life from the beetroot, carrots and parsnips I sowed directly in the ground on the 8th April - to be fair there is one beetroot plant that has dared to show its head. The weather has been dry but I've watered the seeds regularly using rainwater from our water butts. I have now resorted to using one of my Greenhouse Sensation Veg/Salad Planters as a seedbed (Photos 3 & 4):

Photo 3: Veg/Salad Planter Seedbed

Photo 4: Seedbed with Lid

The semi-automatic watering system of the Veg/Salad Planter should provide the right amount of water for the seeds to germinate and thrive. The mini-greenhouse will help provide extra warmth - the lid is removed during the day and replaced overnight.

I'm still waiting for my sweetcorn to germinate - in previous years I've planted out the young plants in mid to late May! The asparagus season started more or less on time.

I've spoken to a few gardeners and they also report slow germination and growth this year. Whether it is chilly nights, lack of rain or a bit of both, I'm not sure. Maybe this year's seed is a little old. Maybe I have just been unlucky. In any case, it's fine to start a little late - let's hope the growing season extends well into autumn.


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