Sunday, 14 February 2010

Feels almost like spring...

Yesterday I decided it was time to get the garlic in, and I also finished planting out the onions which I had grown on indoors earlier in the year. It was an easy job as the ground was already prepared.

Then I turned to rough digging of an area which will host the potatoes this year - weeds had grown in from the sides and it needed turning over. After that, I need to compost it so I can empty the heap which is currently sitting on the ground where I want to plant an apple tree. So I need to get a move on.

I forgot, however, that this was the first digging I had done since early November, after which we had torrential rain followed by torrential snow. You think your muscles will remember what digging means, and will be glad of the exercise after the winter months of inactivity. Not so. I now ache all over, can feel muscles in parts where I didn't think I had any and am looking forward to the rest of the week of no digging. Once a week is enough for now.
Still, it was nice to be out in the fresh air, with spring seemingly just around the corner - my snowdrops and daffodils are already appearing and the longer, lighter days fill me with anticipation of the season to come. If only my muscles were as keen...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

And It Begins...

This last week has seen the start of the gardening year - I got the onions and shallots in the ground undercover this week. They couldn't wait any longer, starting to germinate in the box. The potatoes are also out in the daylight, chitting in a tray until planting sometime in March. Today I finished the pruning of the fruit which I started in November - the currants and gooseberries, though not a lot of work was required following the summer pruning. After that I spread potash (home-made) on the ground under all the soft fruit, including the strawberries. You can see it in the photo above, which features the gooseberries and currants. By the way, according to the books the bushes above are planted way too close together, but they still produce tons of fruit each year anyway.

Then I manured the rhubarb - a good dollop of horse manure brings them on. You can just see the earliest sprouts in the top left corner; actually this plant had new growth in December and has survived being buried in the snow.

The purple sprouting broccoli suffered a bit in the snow, with the smallest plants being completely covered and so have lost leaves. The largest plants kept their heads just above the snow, and I expect that they will all grow on now so we can have the produce in April.

The garlic was very late in arriving from the seed company, I normally have it in by now, but it arrived last week and will be planted later this week, now the bed has been prepared for it.