Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Making a start on 2013

 After some very low temperatures, finally the sun has come out, the days are getting longer and warmer and the flowers are putting their heads up!  Time to get going with the vegetables.
First job is the garlic, a little late this year but it has been very cold through the whole of February, and with the soil being so wet there seemed little point putting it in and risking rot.  Round here you can't plant anything in autumn in a normal year, let alone the very wet year we had in 2012.  The soil had been prepared for this garlic already - I use Picardy Wight, which has proved to be a good garlic for our soil in recent years, doing well even in the monsoons we have had lately.  So out came my trusty dibber, and each of these cloves was popped in a hole.
 The garlic is at the front of this bed, the cloche behind is warming up the soil for the broad beans, which I really want to get in around the middle of March.  We have rain forecast from tomorrow, so now the soil has finally started to dry out and warm up, I don't want it to get soaked again.  The peas will be going in the patch behind the cloche.

Lots of composting done today, on soil which is already partly or fully prepared, including the currant and gooseberry bed.  We also did some rough digging to break up soil we didn't manage to get to in the autumn
 This is the old strawberry bed.  Yields haven't been great here in a couple of years and it has become weed-ridden, so this bed is being dug over and I intend to get new plants this year, which will go in the wooden-edged bed you can see behind this one.  It's good to move and replant strawberries every so often, and we did get about 8 years out of the old ones, so it's time to move on now.  The old bed will take a lot of work to rejuvenate and I've actually left this out of my crop plans for this year as a result.  If we get some good weather and we can clear it fully early enough, then maybe we can plant something in it for this summer or autumn.
I just love snowdrops, they are such a cheerful sight after winter.  Roll on spring!
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