January…….

.sick and tired you’ve been hanging on me, with apologies to Pilot, stolen from their 70’s pop song.
winter-potThe month was a good old fashioned English winter, cold, wet, overcast skies and low pressure for most of the time and of course the odd fall of snow. Our total rainfall amounted to 12.3 centimetres, high for this part of the country.

February is now with us, the last month of winter, gardening wise. We have managed to start tidying up the borders and rid them of the skeletal fragments that were perennials last year, the birds making sure that all the seeds have been devoured. The fallen azara has been placed back into the vertical position and several of our pittosporums have had to be repaired following snow damage.

Our sowing and planting year began with a visit to the hydroponics store, where 200 litres of Perlite were acquired (much cheaper than garden centre prices), this quantity should last us two to three years. My peat free compost does need a lot of drainage added to it but I think I am getting there. So, the soil is prepared the pots and seed trays are thoroughly scrubbed and we are off!

seed packetsAs can be seen, some sowing has already been completed. My greenhouse is heated by means of a heated cable within a four inch bed of sand which makes up my sowing bench. I also have some heated propagators and a small tubular heater so the seeds should all be comfy in their new quarters.  You will also note that I have a thing about growing tomatoes ten varieties this year I think.

A new mirabelle plum tree has been purchased. I was lucky to be able to buy a whip so I can now train this as a pyramid form which is ideal in our small garden
My shallot sets ‘Longor’ and ‘Red Sun’ have all been potted on so they have a bit of a start when planting out next month, must make sure we earmark some for pickles.
The sweet peas that were sown in January, Manucata and Unwins Special Mix are all coming along nicely but the germination rate from my Unwins seed are not as good as my own saved seed from last year.

fuchsiasOur fuchsias have not really died back fully this year and are springing back into life as the heating is now on in the greenhouse  (see photo). These plants are half standards that we grew from cuttings last year, they are foliar fed on a regular basis with Maxicrop seaweed based plant food.

Robin

Finally, I really cannot forget my dear friend ‘Robbo’ who provided the musical accompaniment during my seed sowing in the greenhouse.

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5 Responses to January…….

  1. graypayne says:

    Hi Bill,

    Have to say mate that those Fuchsias look in good shape for the time of the year. I can see a bag of Lilies that I too got from Wilko’s yesterday……lol.

    Not long to go now mate just need a little help from the weather.

    Gray

  2. Holleygarden says:

    I am a bit jealous of your greenhouse. My seeds are ready to go, but I am waiting to sow them outdoors. Interesting, too, that your own saved seed has a better germination rate then the bought.

  3. Bill S says:

    Hi, thanks for reading my blog, very new to blogging so I am still trying to do all of the right things. I have to say that a heated greenhouse does give you an edge at the start of the season. I have just had a quick scan of your blog and I have to say you are growing two of my favourite shrubs, Roses and Camellias, I have around 25 roses and about 5 Camellias so I will be posting up some photographs later in the season.

  4. That is a lot of seed for a small garden. I bet it is not real small having a greenhouse. My garden is tiny, but packs in the plants. Is yours as such? What kind of bird is Robbo? Very pretty and looks like such a little darling. Most of the plants that come from seed in my garden are reseeding, so I don’t plant seeds anymore. But it is a joy to see the small shoots in Spring.

  5. Bill S says:

    Our garden is around 150×60 feet, large when considered on modern housing in the UK but average for most post war suburban housing. I do have two greenhouses, one for seed raising and propagation and a larger greenhouse for growing our salad crops. Our vegetable patch is about 20×20 feet but I don’t grow potatoes or onions, only those vegetables that are better eaten fresh. Most of our soft fruit is grown amongst the herbaceous borders.
    Apologies for not naming Robbo, I forget that other people in different countries read my ramblings. Robbo is a Robin a common bird in most parts of northern Europe (Erithacus rubecula). They are people lovers and will quite happily come and sit on the handle of your spade or fork whist you are working, their song is quite beautiful.

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