I have never really been one to succeed with New Year Resolutions because I believe that the dark month of January is not a good time to achieve much except hide inside. BUT ... for me, once the winter solstice is passed and the day length slowly increases then my internal clock starts ticking away just that bit faster. I know spring is on it's way and so I know I need to get going. Some will already have sown their onion seeds and I have not even started to scour the seed catalogues. I know it is just a touch too early for me to sow much yet ... but I have a polytunnel that needs working on and my inspiration to do it has returned. I am coming out of hibernation. I am gradually waking up - such is January for a gardener!
So - that polytunnel. It's a mess and there is no denying it and I need to get on in there. Hopefully by next week I can report back that I have done all these jobs:
- Clear dead plants
- Weed through onions and other crops
- Water sparingly as necessary
- Manure cleared areas, dig in and water
- Tidy up cold frame
- Tidy work station
- Set up my new min-max thermometer
- Clear the central path
- Wash the polytunnel plastic
- If the weather permits sow mangetout, spring lettuce, broad beans.
- Keep harvesting what's in there - calvolo nero, chard, parsley, oriental greens.
|View from the main door|
|View from the far end - am lot of that green is weeds!|
With the mild autumn/early winter we have had, weeds are still growing and mould has been a bit of a problem .. as have chard eating pests. I can't see what's been eating my chard but it obviously liked it! And there are some surprises in there that I would not expect in January. In amongst my overwintering onions are baby nasturtiums and there are foot high potato plants behind my leeks. For goodness sake, it's January. I will have to weed out the nasturtiums (I'll save some to spice up a winter salad) and with frost forecast I doubt the potatoes will survive. I will see if I can rig up some sort of cold protection but I really do not hold out too much hope for them at this time of year.
|Potato plants - in JANUARY for goodness sake!|
|Nasturtium seedlings in with my onions|
|A touch of mould on my parsley|
|Who's been eating MY chard?|
|12ºC in the polytunnel in January - other days have been even warmer|
|Two forlorn tomatoes on a very dead plant.|
January can often throw its worst weather at a gardener but it is also a time on new beginnings, plans and hopes for the coming year. How is your garden doing or are you still hibernating?