THE NEW GARDENING YEAR HAS STARTED
Now that 2019 has passed and that very wet year is behind us we now look forward to 2020 hoping that a warmer and sunnier year is ahead. Yet again we seem to be having a mild winter, and half way through January the garden has not seen one snow flake. I always draw up a rough guide at the end of the last season of where the next crops are going in the following year so I can plan a rotation which I need so I can allocate garden compost to those crops that need the most. The peas, beans, onions, leeks, sweet corn, courgettes, pumpkins get a good helping, then the potatoes and brassicas also get some, but the root crops and salads are fine on land that was composted the previous year.
|Time for a break on a sunny January|
The first snowdrops are in flower and the aconites are not far behind. The wet December put a stop to the winter digging, but there were a few frosty days when it was ok to crack on with the digging, then
|Greenhouse in January|
The short day length limits time spent outdoors, but we can always find a few indoor tasks. This is a
|Potato Casa Blanca|
In the past I had always grown some Cape Gooseberries outdoors in a sheltered spot, but after a few wet, cold and dreich summers when ripening of the fruit was a problem I gave up on them. However this year I will try them again as they are a lovely fruit when we get a decent summer.
|Cape Gooseberry painting|
Another plant from the past that will get planted is the Brugmansia, also known as Angels Trumpets as I just love the scent, and they make a great dot plant in a large tub with other summer bedding plants around it. This flower is pollinated by night flying moths so the best scent comes in the evening, so best to use it on patios where you often relax on awarm summers evening.
The greenhouse got tidied up after the tomato plants had finished and old plants removed and the grapes harvested. Once they had lost their leaves in December the vines got spur pruned back to the upright cordons. The borders then all got some compost and a light dressing of fertiliser and I planted a few plants of lettuce Lollo Rossa and some spring onions. This will give us some fresh salads over winter, but as we go into early spring the greenhouse will again be bursting at the seams as young growing plants fight for space.
Wee jobs to do this week
The Geraniums taken from autumn cuttings are now all rooted and beginning to put on growth. Tocreate short jointed plants grow them in a cool room with plenty light and remove any flowers as they appear. Also remove the tops to hold back growth and encourage a bushy plant.