Sunday, 2 February 2020

Gardening Diary

Here is the first of my gardening diaries. All the gardening books I've read seem to say that January is a quiet time of year, when you should really just be planning, but it does seem that there has been quite a lot to do. I am not sure how many will be interested in these gardening posts, but am partly doing this for myself as a record of our first year here. 

Above is our vegetable plot as we inherited it. And at the bottom of this post I am planning to put some pictures of it at the end of the month, where hopefully there will be some nicely dug areas. Perhaps like those house makeover shows I should use filters and camera tricks to enhause the difference!

I have a few areas that I am a bit worried about. The first is the area beside the polytunnel, which I think is full herbs. I can recognise quite a few: bay, sage, some that I call curry plant, as well as some fruit bushes and some rhubarb. At the moment it is just going to be left to see what else might appear in the Spring.

Second concern is the poly-tunnel itself. It is great to have it, but I am not quite sure how to use it. On one side is a vine, which I am hoping will spring into life. The previous owner had some tomato plants, which seem like a good idea. I also thought it might be a good place to grow peppers. So any advice on good ways to use a poly-tunnel would be very welcome. Not quite sure what to do with these strawberries. Are they dead, or will they spring back to life. I may see if I can rescue some of the plants, but think I will start a strawberry bed outdoors.

As it does also contain a chair, I think perhaps the best use for the poly-tunnel might be somewhere to shelter when it is raining.

The middle bed was the hardest to dig, as one end was full of teasel plants.

Jobs we have done so far are: taking down the runner bean wigwams, pruning the raspberry canes, pruning the gooseberry bushes (bit worried I may have overdone this, but it seemed better than doing nothing). And digging, digging digging.  The soil seems quite easy to work, and is full of worms. My husband got a soil testing kit, and tells me it is 7.5, but I am not quite sure what to do with this information.

This is my very rough plan for planting. I may not stick to this, as I quite like the idea of mixing a few flowers in with the vegetable, but it is somewhere to start.

My gardening book says now is the time to start chitting your seed potatoes. So we have bought two types - maris peers and arran pilot, and here they are chitting, which means putting them somewhere cool and light, so they will start sprouting and be ready to plant.

One other thing we did was buy a rhubarb forcer. I was sure I had seen a tiny rhubarb stalk, and after a bit of searching we found it again. As you can see there is quite a bit of clearing to do.

After a bit of weeding it was a bit more obvious ...

... and now with the rhubarb forcer in place

And here as promised are some photos of the plot at the end of the month. Taken from the opposite direction, you can also see see my little helper, and behind the vegetable plot, the fruit trees. Two out of three of the main areas have been dug over, despite the cold weather.

So apologies for the length of this post, and I will keep you updated with what is going on in the garden next month. I will probably post mid-month, as doing it at the end seems a bit of a clash with my link party. I would welcome any advice in the comments column, as I am very new to this and am sure to be making some mistakes.

And to finish off some pictures of other parts of the garden. Just to show that there are a few signs that Spring is on its way. Much of it is quite wild, and I am trying hard to rethink my suburban garden ways. "No need to sweep up all the leaves, and nettles will be good for butterflies next year."

Just a reminder that there is still a little bit of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for February. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! What plans you have for this space! Can't wait to see photos once it's all started sprouting.