….sick and tired you’ve been hanging on me, with apologies to Pilot, stolen from their 70’s pop song.
The 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!
As 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.
Our 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.
Finally, I really cannot forget my dear friend ‘Robbo’ who provided the musical accompaniment during my seed sowing in the greenhouse.