Hello! Greetings from Golightly Gardens, where the Spring is in the air on and off, and the back yard fruit and veg plot is gently stirring into life. My 2013 gardening year is starting in February, although I did pick and dig up a few veggies in January.
The ground is a bit frozen this week, but I did manage to throw some Jerusalem artichoke tubers into a patio potato bag last week before the frost set in.
They were a gift a few weeks ago and we ate two thirds of them, keeping a few back to plant. They’re supposed to be low maintenance, so fingers crossed.
I was given a cherry tree (the lovely Stella sweet cherry variety) as an early Valentine’s gift, and that was planted out at the same time. It’s been well watered, staked and firmed in, and seems to be doing okay so far. We had to put chicken wire down around the roots as a last resort, because the cat keeps digging everything up, but as a consolation prize for her I sowed the last of 2012’s packet of cat grass seeds.
The last thing I planted was some cloves split from two bulbs of spring garlic, into a couple of salad boxes. I heard somewhere that a cold, frosty February was supposed to be good for them and makes them grow better. Let’s hope so, or I might have wasted 99p. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Once the freeze came, there was no point planting out the early peas and other outdoor seeds, so I’ll have to wait a little longer to do those. I’ve invested in three Poundland cloches to help warm the soil up, so let’s hope they work their budgety magic in the big raised bed.
Watching the windowsills
Then it was back indoors to drink lots of tea, plan the rest of the gardening year, and browse through a few seed catalogues. These are known jokingly as ‘seed porn’ in this household, but so far I haven’t bought anything. Such restraint, eh? Anyway, I have enough to sow and plant this season, I hope, so I’m saving my cash for the time being. If you’d like some inspiration for things to grow this year, there’s a separate article covering that.
The windowsills are busy indoors. There are mini propagators near the radiators, filled with all kinds of sweet pepper, chilli and tomato seeds, most of which are starting to sprout. The cooler sills are home to pots sown with leeks, flat leaf and curly parsley, and mint. There’s also some baby leaf lettuce getting started outside in the mini greenhouse.
The outside windowsills have a couple of bowls of spring bulbs on them. They’ve been filled with crocus and iris blooms all month, and on sunny days they’ve been visited by lots of hungry bees looking for late winter sources of nectar and pollen. It’s a pretty reminder that warmer weather is on its way, and I’m glad to have been able to feed the local pollinators who’ve woken up early.
You can’t have a productive vegetable garden without bees, so it pays to be nice to them. I’ll have to write some more about bees another time.
Meanwhile, you might be looking for some ideas about what to eat this month, or what you can sow right now in February. Dive in.