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