It’s hard to believe that one week ago was just above zero and there was still snow on the ground, with the weather this weekend it seems a million miles away.
So not wanting to waste this glorious weather I was out in the garden today doing all sorts of bits and pieces.
It was my husband Mark’s birthday today, I’m not going to tell you how old he now is but for the next 4 weeks he’s 2 years older than me. So while he was busy building his LEGO Star Wars ATAT that we all chipped in and got him for his birthday, I was out in the garden having some fun of my own.
Before I started on the beds I opened up the greenhouse doors to let some fresh air in and also check on the plants and seedlings. The greenhouse is only heated by the sun, and even at this time of year can get up to 20 degrees, although on Saturday it got up to 28 degrees, lovely and toasty. I checked all the seedlings to see if anything was happening, the seeds I’d sown a couple of days before I wasn’t expecting them to be up yes, but to my absolute joy the seeds I’d sown on the 31st January have started to show their little faces. The ones that have germinated so far and the Sweet Peas, Dill and Leeks. Hopefully the others in the tray won’t be far off.
Once I’d given the larger plants a little water I then moved outside to start on the beds. The brassica bed was the first area that needed to be sorted. I pulled up any of the spent plants, cleared away any dead leaves, cut off the tops of the Brussels sprouts and gave some to the chickens who were playing in one of the brassica cages on a cleared raised bed. Harvested some sprouts for dinner tomorrow, did a little bit of light weeding, and then staked some of the sprouting broccoli that is falling over a little bit.
To my utter delight I noticed that the sprouting broccoli is coming along very nicely and should be ready once we’ve finished all the Brussels.
Then it was time to sow a few February seeds that need to be sown directly outside. Broad beans “Aquadulce” are the variety I’m growing this year, but there are many other different varieties out there. You can either be started off undercover, I’m not talking about disguising them as other seeds and putting a fake beard on them so they can spy on other seeds. I’m talking about undercover in a greenhouse. When I had my allotment in Surrey I had to start my Broad beans off in the greenhouse because the squirrels on the allotment site would dig up the seeds and run off with them. But since we’ve moved and I’ve had the raised beds in the back garden then I’m able to plant them straight out in the ground.
Although the very first year, our night time visitors used to come and steal them. But now I think I’ve got that under control, fingers crossed it’s not a problem anymore. We don’t tend to get many squirrels here, why not I don’t know. To be honest they prefer the neighbours bird feeders as it’s an easy meal.
I also sowed a couple of rows of Parsnips “Gladiator”. I’ve just harvested the rest of last years ones, so out with the old and in with the new.
A couple of varieties of Radish “Pink Beauty” and “Pearl”, which I’ve scattered in a big butler sink that I have near the greenhouses. I tend to find that radish do better when the temperature is cooler, they don’t like the really hot weather so the beginning and end of the season are usually the best. You can grow them in a straight line if you wish, but as long as the seeds are about half an inch down then however you sow them is fine.
I have lots of bags of garden waste patiently waiting for the collections to start again. They only collect garden waste from March to the middle of December where I live. The reason for this is according to them, no one gardens in January and February? Clearly they don’t know us hardy gardeners and don’t realise that’s the perfect time to have a good tidy up. Still not long to wait. Believe me I get my money out of this service, bin goes out ever fortnight full or not.
Don’t forget my Claire’s Allotment Essentials Book Part 1. If you want easy and straightforward gardening advice this is the book for you.
Time to go in and have a celebratory dinner for Mark’s birthday with a special pudding and a song and a candle. Doesn’t matter how old you are, you still want people to sing to you on your birthday.
If you’re wondering what this pudding is, it’s a mixture of raspberries and blueberries, topped with creme fraiche, then topped it crushed meringues. Then repeat again.
Take care and stay safe and well. Happy Gardening xxxx