Garden update Monday 4th February

Here on the border of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire we avoided the worst of the weather last week. This was to the delight of some and disappointment of others.

It did, however, allow me some bonus time in the garden. I was very happy about this as I was expecting to get very little done due to the impending weather crisis. I needed inspiration this week. Spending a couple of hours in the winter sun does give me a real lift.

A little disappointment

Firstly, I had to plant some spring bulbs. I had forgotten about a bag of mixed bulbs. I discarded some of the bulbs. sadly. They had gone mouldy. This was my fault as I left them in a padded envelope with no ventilation.

Fortunately, I salvaged most of the bulbs, and I have a few more pots which will hopefully bring some glorious spring colour.

There are Puschkinia (Russian snowdrops), Daffodils (Tete a Tete), Ipheion (mixed), and Fritillaria (Uva-Vulpa) in various combinations.

Pots with spring bulbs
Pots with spring bulbs

Then, off to the local garden centre I went, as I felt an urge for instant gratification. The garden seemed drab. I needed colour, and I needed it now. As I had a voucher for £4 off a £20 spend, what more justification did I need?

So, voucher in hand, I added these beautiful primroses to my basket. In addition followed some daffodils, irises, tulips and snowdrops in the green. This means that they have already started to grow.

Primroses
Primroses

Admittedly, I felt a little naughty for buying them. However should the worst happen and my own bulbs fail to grow, I will have some colour in the garden this spring.

One thing I do like is to have choices and back up plans. Putting all your eggs in one basket runs the risk of disappointment.

Getting on with it

I have a lot of seeds. These are just the vegetable seeds. I need to trim this down a bit!

Many seeds
Many seeds

I simply don’t have the physical space to grow everything here, so I will narrow this down to maybe one third. There are a few duplicates in there and some I may will never grow. These are often freebies bundled with other things that I did want to keep. There are a handful of vegetables that I
really dislike. For example squash, celery and aubergine will never feature on my plot.

Once I have decided what to grow, the seeds need to be sorted into sowing months. I sort my seeds by the first month given to sow. The beauty of nature is that if you forget, have a failed batch or simply don’t have time or space, another later sowing will catch up.

Fortunately, many seeds can be sown over a period of months. This is great for things like peas and carrots where you want to stagger your harvests. There are only so many peas you can eat at once. And they don’t usually feature for breakfast!

Don’t panic!

There is still plenty of time to buy seeds and decide what to sow. Many garden centres are having a clear out and you can pick up packets of seed for 50p or less. Often they will have a year or more left to sow them. I would advise to buy only the freshest seeds for parsnips however. They are notoriously bad for germination and old seeds are almost certainly going to fail.

Nonetheless, I find it exciting to make plans for the year ahead and think about the delicious results to come.

What are your seed plans?

Garden update Monday 28 January

The weather has been a bit tempestuous over the last week. We have had sun, howling winds, snow, rain, and lots of dull, dull cloud. It’s enough to make anyone want to hibernate!

The garden, however, does want to get going. I can see there are small signs of life out there. A single aubretia flower, a couple of windswept crocus, small buds forming on the currant bushes for example.

I am so desperate for spring arrive, but I must remind myself that I have made progress. I have planted spring bulbs, well, some of them! Onions and garlic are quietly green, broad beans are snug in the raised beds.

The greenhouse has other ideas, it is tropical in there! Of course, as soon as the sun sinks it will be cold. I wonder if the strawberries I have in there will mind?

Greenhouse heatwave
Greenhouse heatwave

You little chits

Chitting potatoes
Small sprouts

I am happy! I have sprouts (chits) on my seed potatoes, tiny little ones, but they will grow. They arrived just a few days ago, see my post here.

In all honesty, I need to get organised. Spring isn’t really that far away, a little more than a month. The days are noticeably longer now, and soon we will be able to sow seeds in the greenhouse, and direct sow. But first some planning. I have four raised beds and lots of pots. And a very small fruit garden.

With snow forecast this week I may not get many opportunities to get in the garden. What I can do, however, sort out my seeds into order of month to be sown. Planning what to put in my remaining two empty beds for an early crop, and planning what to put in all four as a later crop are also a must.

What plans have you made?