February 2018 M T W T F S S « Mar 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
Been a while…. some crops grew in the meantime! It’s been productive-
* Best crops- Kale, Beetroot, Sweetcorn
* Worst crops- Potatoes and Carrots (blasted wireworm!), Onions (sown too early methinks)
* Hopes for the future- Squash, Pumpkin (roll on October), Leeks
Out of the ground:
Due to the snow most of April has been limited to starting some seedlings off in the greenhouse.
Traditionally I get the spuds in at Easter but because of the snow we’ve had to delay it for a week, but they’re in now.
And here’s the competition from one of the old boys. Not a weed in sight already…
The first week of March was quite dry and mild, so decided to plant the first and second early potatoes that had been chitting for a month or so.
Also sowed parsnips using the ‘plank’ method to aid germination. Draw out a drill, water, sow, rake over and cover with a plank of wood for 2 weeks. Keeps the seeds moist and protected. Left a row un-planked for comparison. Also sowed rows of carrots and beetroots.
Planted the olive, rosemary and thyme bushes that had been in pots last year.
Finally, started planting the rhubarb, blackcurrant, jostaberry and gooseberry bushes in the fruit bed. The end of it still needs digging over to get it ready for the raspberries.
That’s it for a week or so. Forecast is for frost and snow again next week…
We always seem to get a ‘blocking high’ in the middle of February, a couple of weeks of very calm weather that’s either grey and foggy or bright and crisp. Whichever it is, it’s not raining! The soil starts to dry out and take up a bit of early spring warmth.
So we went down yesterday to rake over the beds to start getting a good tilth. We had dug over the plot in December, leaving large clods to be broken down by the frost. Ian got to work with his Wolf Garten propagator while I followed up with the rake.
We also planted the onion sets, giving them a good dusting of bonfire ash for the phosphorus and a layer of fleece to keep the pigeons from pulling them up.
The January frost and snow has gone, but we’re still not out of the woods yet. Forecast has it cold and cloudy for the rest of the week.
We’ve been busy putting up the greenhouse in Ian’s garden.
We’ve fired up the heated propagators to start off some tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and Kelsae onions from seed.
I’ve also sold my larger greenhouse and started to move all the pots, plants and equipment down to the plot.
Hopefully next week the soil will start drying out so we can rake it to a tilth and get the first broad beans (Aquadulce) and early peas (Feltham First) sown. Will also get the onion sets sown in modules.
Picked up 50 slabs today from a guy shifting them on Freecycle.
They were so cold they froze together in the car. Heavy snow forecast for Friday so the cold snap continues.
Being a gardener puts a different outlook on life. The cold is good for breaking up the soil and splitting the Garlic bulbs. In her new book Backyard Parables, Margaret Roach talks about the higher, ‘woo-woo’ lessons we can learn from gardening. For me the winter has meant the break up of a relationship, splitting of friendships. But all necessary steps for the rebirth coming in spring and the possibility of new blooms.