It’s only the beginning of February but I swear there’s a feeling of spring in the air. (Well come on we haven’t really had a winter have we?) and with the approach of spring comes the hive of activity to get the garden ready for the coming year.
So anything new this year? Well yes!
We don’t have a massive garden, so we’re actually quite lucky in that the amount of work we need to do to keep on top of it is actually quite little, but it doesn’t mean we can ignore things.
So far, during the dreich winter nights we tackled one of this year’s biggest jobs, cleaning the greenhouse. It’s been up now for a couple of years and although it gets wiped down and general cleaning regularly, every couple of years it needs to have the roof panels cleaned – on the inside. The greenhouse is a poly-carbonate type and the roof panels are a bit like corrugated cardboard, all little tunnels full of air. Unfortunately this means that these tunnels get clogged up with YUK. Green, slimy algae type stuff. So the big winter job was to get these all cleaned out.
It wasn’t actually as hideous a job as we thought, with the stormy weather we’ve had, we had learned how to very efficiently attach the roof panels which had been blown off and so we were able to get these off and on again relatively easily. Dealing with the yuk actually turned out not too bad either, we soaked the panels with my acid based sanitiser I use for brewing and then put the hose on full power and blasted the yuk out of the channels and across the garden – MOST SATISFYING!
The inside and all the jointed received a similar treatment so it’s now all shiny and ready for the next stage. Which is setting it up to take the potting of seedlings and then them moving into their final pots. Mostly this will be setting up the shelving and cleaning the pots and filling them with compost to give it a chance to heat up a little before potting but we’re also going to try a new approach with the tomatoes this year. Normally we use canes to support the tomato plants but this year we are going to tie guide strings for the plants to climb. It all sounds very simple, we run a string from the bottom of the pot to a spar on the ceiling and then this gets loosely wrapped around the stem of the tomato plant as needed. We shall see how that goes.
The other big job will be the shed, we are going to replace our old run down shed so watch out for a fun filled blog post on a 5foot tall woman trying to put a shed roof on.
As always we have the three raised beds but we are going to tweak things a little this year. The bed nearest the shed is going to be halved and half will become the strawberry patch. We haven’t grown strawberries before but Alan Titchmarsh assures us that it’s very easy. (yes I’ve spent today watching youtube)
Before we go planting anything in the beds though, which probably won’t be until mid march, I need to dig some compost through them to add some nutrients for the new plants that will be living there. That’s not a job I’m looking forward to – I have to actually climb into the compost pile to shovel it. Eeeeewwwww!!
What’s on the menu?
Well as usual we will be growing a plethora of carrots and beetroot (varying colours) and the usual tomatoes and courgettes etc but this year’s new things to try will be the strawberries and we are going to try peas. Mostly I’m wanting to try growing peas because everyone talks about how amazing it is to eat peas straight from the plant. I know I’m easily influenced.
So as usual, here is our list.
- purple orange and globe shaped carrots
- red, golden and stripey beetroot
- yellow and green courgettes
- red, purple and yellow tomatoes
- purple and white tatties (potatoes)
- purple, red and white radishes
- salad leaves mostly green
- strawberries and peas as the new things to try
That’s quite a healthy plan I think 🙂
ok so check back next week as we’re going to spend next weekend getting ready.
Bring on springtime!
Just for fun
What I watched today to get me all inspired
Here’s what we were doing this time last year –
Other folk getting ready for spring