January: a new year and a new growing season. Can’t get too carried away just yet – I know the coldest weather is yet to come – but there are signs of spring in the garden that make my fingers itch to get planting.
We spent a lot of time working in the garden over Christmas. The biggest job was digging the third veg patch from scratch. It was really hard going, full of tree roots and buttercups, but the soil is deep and rich and teeming with worms (minus a few as the hens were supervising). We’re planning to plant next winter’s veg in here as it’s close to the house and probably the pea and bean crops.
Job done . . . and then it snowed.
Time to sit by the fire with a steaming mug and sort through the seed box, a job I love. We’re pretty well supplied with everything we need but I used my Vegblogs voucher to top up on a few basics plus some flower seeds and wooden plant labels. Thanks to all at vegseeds.net for the extra little surprises that came in the box! We haven’t grown the ‘Annabel’ variety of French bean before so it will be interesting to see how they go.
It’s amazing what we can scratch together from the garden even at this time of year; it might not be huge amounts of everything but just a small tatse of something fresh makes all the difference to a meal. The ‘Winter density’ lettuce, rocket and chervil haven’t been at all bothered by the weather.
The herbs I raised from seed last year are all thriving in their pots; it’s the first time I’ve had much success with rosemary so I’m really chuffed.
It’s good to see those fresh shoots on the chives, too: the hens are laying some fantastic eggs so I feel a few herby omelettes might be in the pipeline.
I’ve been incorporating piles of muck into the kitchen garden patch to give the soil a boost; this will be mostly salad crops, courgettes, climbing beans and squashes so the more I can feed the ground, the better. We’ve been piling stuff into the rescued compost bin since last July and I was delighted to see what has started to escape out of the bottom. Rich, dark and crumbly, compost is surely one of nature’s great miracles?
The next job is to move the autumn raspberries now they have finally finished fruiting and lost their leaves. They are overrun with weeds and in an awkward spot by the washing line so we need to cut them right back and relocate them in a more sensible spot. Just need to get out and dig their patch now and as the sun is shining, I think it’s time to make a start.
Happy New Year to everyone: let’s hope 2015 is one of kind weather, bountiful harvests and a shortage of slugs (and snails and caterpillars and carrot rootfly and blight and… well, you know what I mean!). Happy gardening! 🙂