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Spring 2021 Your Experience

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by NigelJ, May 6, 2021.

  1. NigelJ

    NigelJ Total Gardener

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    Even down here in "balmy" South Devon it has been a difficult spring. This has been the first week when the minimum temperature in my greenhouse has not been 5°C or less. Mainly down to lengthening sunny days warming things up rather than warmer evening temperatures and today is cool and cloudy so low temperatures overnight. I'm still covering most things every night in the greenhouse. Most things tomatoes, courgettes, squashes etc are just growing slowly others like peppers, cucumbers and melons are really struggling.
    Tomatoes would usually be in their final pots by now. A few spring flowering things in the greenhouse have either not formed flowers or have aborted them.
    Outside the garden has had cold winds from the East and dry weather little rain since end of February to cope with. Overall most hardy plants are about a month behind Aquilegia, roses (no flower buds yet), other plants that disappear below ground have shown no signs of emerging yet. Some shrubs growing well before Christmas got caught in the cold snap then and then they began to grow again in February and that new growth has been crisped. A couple of early flowering Buddlejas have had their flowers scorched. Arum maculatum in drier parts of the garden has given up for the year. Watering plants in pots outside has been more of a balancing act than usual.
    The cold winds have deterred pollinators as well. Good news no lily beetles have been spotted and the slugs aren't so much of a problem until it turns wet again.
    I've lost a couple of shrubs that I moved during the early mild spell, anticipating a typical spring and they have been reduced to crispy twigs by the wind.
    Overall it has been a depressing spring in my garden, most things will survive, flowers will be late, some won't flower, shrubs will need the crispy bits removing when they start into growth and look tatty until then.
    Hopefully this weekend will see a return to more typical temperatures and rainfall.
    Would be interested to hear how others have been finding this spring.
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener Staff Member

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      Very much the same experience here basically marking time until the weather gets back to normal. Last night looks to have been the last frost, so I have uncovered the early potatoes for hopefully the last time and will be preparing for planting brassicas, lettuce, etc this weekend. My greenhouse is chocked full, spare room overflowing with tomatoes and chillies and our sun-room has about a dozen trays of seedlings that I have been hardening off for too long.
       
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      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        I think you have summed it up about right Nigel.
        I've still got plants that are yet to break buds and normal late flowering shrubs such as Lagerstoemia will probably flower far too late to be of any use this year.
        Grapes have just broken the buds, which is worrying as they are then likely to get frosted and written off for this year fruit wise, again any fruit will probably come too late to ripen properly.
        Can't remember a spring that has been this cold, apart from a few warmer one off days most days since February started have had temperatures below normal and some well below average.
        Doesn't look good for the summer I'm thinking as lots of other countries are also having similar experiences.
         
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        • Alisa

          Alisa Gardener

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          Pretty much the same :( It was +2.4C in the gh during the night. Spring frost killed leaves of calla Hercules, it still can't recover. Completely killed pelargonium. Winter was sooo wet - chrysanthemums rotted. No sigh of fern leaves yet.
           
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          • Sienna's Blossom

            Sienna's Blossom Super Gardener

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            I agree it's been a strange Spring, but one advantage I've found in my own garden is that all the blossom trees have been better than ever this year, the Apple, pear, crab apple all were covered in blossom and it remained on the trees for weeks longer than usual, it's been beautiful and thankfully still had lots of pollinators around. My roses are definitely later than usual though, a few small buds now whereas previous years they've been blooming by now.

            Also, have had to water the garden much earlier than usual due to the dry weather we had through April, don't usually start watering until late May/June.
             
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            • CarolineL

              CarolineL Total Gardener

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              I have found a number of plants have not yet returned after winter - maybe never. My large and reliable Anisodontea 'El Royo' found the winter too much (probably the wet) and so, I suspect, have others - and the dryness this Spring with a few late frosts have probably been the final straw. Unlike @NigelJ , I have found it hasn't deterred the lily beetle - I was already having to do regular inspections a month or two ago. Strangely, some accidental annuals such as linaria and I think cleome have been germinating in the borders - and the linaria are already flowering.
               
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              • pete

                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                My apple trees are only just opening the blossom, which is pretty late, next week they are saying it will be slightly warmer, but nothing to get excited about.
                Nights with out the risk of frost would be a bonus the way things are at the moment.
                 
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                • wiseowl

                  wiseowl Friendly Owl ADMIN Staff Member

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                  Good afternoon well here its been pretty normal looking at the garden but I must say (or should I);) not a sign of a single slug or snail the James Grieve apple tree,flowering cherry and the Stella cherry tree are all in full blossom perennials growth is as normal I remember snow in 1979 at the beginning of May and in 1997 :old: so no complaints here as yet,enjoy your day my friends:smile:
                   
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                  • noisette47

                    noisette47 Total Gardener

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                    Much the same here. Apart from the veggies protected in the polytunnel, eveything is at least a month late, some things two months late. But at least the spring-flowering bulbs lasted for ages as it's been so cool. The slugs, snails and wasps have only just woken up (I'm ready for them :paladin:). If I didn't have the use of the irrigation reservoir, which is spring-fed and apparently inexhaustable, I'd be extremely concerned about water table levels. Despite the flooding in January, the levels are now way down for this time of year, which doesn't auger well for the summer!
                     
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                    • HarryS

                      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                      Due to the dry and cold weather we have had everything seems a bit slow. The Cannas I grow from rhizomes have taken forever to show and are extremely sluggish growing leaves. Let's hope they catch up as it's getting a tad warmer.
                       
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                      • intel

                        intel Gardener

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                        Lily beetle, I cant believe who many we have found, we have a tree lily and a few smaller lily's, been searching for them in the last 3 - 4 days and I guess we have found in excess of 15, is that a lot?
                         
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                        • NigelJ

                          NigelJ Total Gardener

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                          Since it warmed up things have shot forward and a number of plants are trying to make up for lost time. The Dahlia imperalis has shot through the mulch it was under as have most of the impatiens I overwinter in the ground.
                          @intel
                          Tree lilies are quite big so probably not. I am into double figures on one of my lilies, the lily next to it and behind it are unbothered at the moment. The red monsters have had a go at the seed pods on the snakes head fritillarys.
                           
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                          • pete

                            pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                            I have one grape vine that has just broken buds, that must be some kind of a record, beginning of June before starting growing, can't imagine I will be getting any ripe fruit on that one this year.
                            Got a few shrubs and trees that are still only just showing green, and the albizzias are still not showing any movement at all.
                             
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                            • wiseowl

                              wiseowl Friendly Owl ADMIN Staff Member

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                              Good morning Roses are about 3 weeks behind 3 large water buts full to the brim with Mays rain apart from that everything is hunky dory;):smile:
                               
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                              • pete

                                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                                I've already used half of my stored rain water.
                                7 butts dotted around.
                                 
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