Thursday, 19 February 2015

From one February to the next in the garden

Posted by Rosie

I had hoped that with Simon and the boys away this week I would get absolutely loads done in the garden in their absence. Not so and house cleaning, gite preparation, rain and friends have all rather got in the way!  It's not all been a disaster though and I have managed a few things:

  • Potatoes planted in polytunnel
  • Other potatoes set to chit
  • Mangetout and broad beans sown and the seed trays put up in our airy loft room where hopefully they will be free from the ravages of thieving mice.
  • Fruit bushes pruned
  • Cuttings taken off blackcurrants and jostaberries ... only about 4 months later than I should have done this but they may take (fingers crossed).

I was having a look through my photos for something and stumbled across a picture of what the polytunnel looked like last February. The word productive springs to mind.  I had mangetout over a foot high, flowers on broad beans and I was harvesting turnips.

Feb 2104

In comparison there is much less going on in there this February.  


Feb 2105

So why is that?  In short - the weather which in turn has affected mice numbers.  Last winter was very windy, wet and mild so plants in the polytunnel were totally protected from the worst of the wind and the rain and with relatively warm temperatures could steadily grow through all through the year.  This autumn that followed was long and warm which meant I was still harvesting summer veg such as peppers and tomatoes into November when in most years they are finished and the ground is free to get the beans etc sown.  When I did have spare soil it was late in the season so germination was slow.  Enter hungry mice, whose population has risen dramatically after the mild winter and they saw a buffet service of bean and pea seeds. Yum, yum, they scoffed or hived away the lot!!

Hence there is very little going on this February.  Am I worried?  Well no, not really.  With the early and late crops I got last year I still have plenty of vegetables in the freezer and in store, so don't worry, we won't starve.  I have also had the time to add extra manure into the soil and as I am still waiting for the farmer to deliver a load of well rotted manure I have had to use fresh stuff from chickens and ducks, which needs time to rot down in the soil before you plant anything.  Now though, I really must get my gardening backside into gear.  Expect great things over the coming weeks!


How is your garden doing this February?  Have you lots happening or are you like me expecting great things over the next few weeks?  If you head over to Annie's How Does Your garden Grow linky you'll be able to see what some other gardeners have been up to. 

Simple Wanderlust

20 comments :

  1. As I sit here I can spy our chitting potatoes in egg boxes occupying a corner of the kitchen! Always fun to watch them change before planting them. The garden here is bare and miserable and ravaged from the chooks. *shakes head* Enjoy your visitor :)

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    1. Ah but ravaged chooks means they will have added their poop for manure ;)

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  2. How do you control mice in there. Just let them eat your crops? I am just doing a check of my potted plants and is buying seeds! I cant wait to get eggplants again and our strawberry is still growing albeit slow this winter. #hdygg

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    1. You need to read my HDYGG blogpost this week, Merlinda :)
      War has been waged!

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  3. I think your week of gardening sounds pretty productive! We've achieved very little this week, like you I think I need to step it up a bit, if only the weather would make it a more appealing task! I'm waiting for my seed potatoes to arrive at the allotment hut, I have lots of egg boxes waiting patiently for their occupants.

    I do enjoy hearing about your plans for outwitting the mice ;)

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    1. Ha ha - then you will enjoy this week's HDYGG post! happy gardening :)

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  4. I'f be thrilled with what you achieved last week to be honest!I really have been severely lacking in the gardening task department so far-the weather totally uninspires me. Good luck with those pesky mice :)

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  5. It's strange isn't it how one year differs to another and yet somehow Mother Nature seems to even it all out so we get the crops roughly when we expect them #hdygg

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    1. I hope so - things are definitely later this year than last but thinking about it the year before we had temperatures of -8ºC and 30cm of snow in early March so anything tender died and the start to my gardening year was delayed.

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  6. It sounds as if you might have a few extra hands on the way to help! Have fun!

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    1. The weather rather put paid to that - it was snowing when we were in the polytunnel!

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  7. The sun is shining and every day I think about getting out into the garden to plan and start sowing. Our veg patch was a bit of a fail last year so I'm hoping to be a bit more productive this year. I'm hoping a trip to the local garden centre might get us going over the weekend.

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    1. Bon courage - I look forward to hearing how you get on.

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  8. I have high hopes for your mice proof growing plans Rosie - and it feels so odd seeing these photos of the polytunnel the day after being in it myself! I have even more respect for your skills now I know just how many other jobs you have to do - keeping up with Boris for one!
    Thanks for joining in again and it was lovely to finally meet you! xx

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    1. It was lovely to meet you too :)
      Ah ha - Boris. He is a handsome chap isn't he?
      As for mouse-proofing - war has been waged and plans are in place to beat these pesky thieves ....

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  9. It's amazing to see the difference between the two February photos. Your little list is like a month or two of what I get done in the garden, I'm in awe!

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  10. your weeks of gardening are always the most productive! you are so dedicated. x

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    1. Thank you Claudia - or maybe I am just mad.

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