Thursday, 14 January 2016

Coming out of hibernation

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
Cavolo Nero
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? 

Mammsaurus HDYGG


  1. a little hibernation never hurt anybody. sounds like you got your work cut out for you and i have no doubt you will get it done. you always do

    1. There is always plenty I don't get done but the garden still seems to survive.

  2. I haven't started properly looking at seed catalogues yet either. We need to decide what we want to eat and which flowers to grow in the cut flower area at the allotment. The weather has been very mild - crocus and bluebells are coming up; much too early for either yet.

    1. I saw orchid leaves yesterday although it had snowed overnight so I do doubt we have bid winter farewell yet. I shall hopefully be searching online for seeds this weekend and may include some more cut flower this year. I'd like to add a vase of flowers in the gite for when guests arrive.

  3. Blimey I am feeling tired just reading that list!

    But then I am a lightweight as you well know ;)

    Who HAS been eating your chard?!

    Thanks for joining in again lovely x

    1. And I am feeling tired working my way through it ... but that is what is good about putting my list in the public domain as now I am much more likely to get things done! As for chard eating, still no idea but we tucked into Cavolo Nero last night before any pest could get at it!

  4. I keep thinking of the amazing bounty you grow in this polytunnel but this reminds me it does involve major work on your part.

    1. But if I don't get those beds cleared and manured there will be no amazing bounty this year!

  5. Your polytunnel still looks bountiful, I think there's less weeds than you're letting on! And yes, seems like the French gardens are as confused as the English ones !

    1. No, there really are a lot of weeds but even they aren't wasted - the piglets got the weeds I pulled out yesterday and loved them! I must check to see if they ate the peppery nasturtium leaves.

  6. We've found potato plants growing on our allotment this week. They're not protected in any way and the warnings for freezing weather have been issued! I must look at buying onion sets as we do get through a lot of onions.

    1. Yes, I've found a few potatoes popping up outside too but we had snow yesterday so I suspect that will be the end for them.

  7. you have a lot of work ahead of you, did you find out what was eating the chard?


All comments are moderated before being published so don't panic if your comment does not appear straight away.