WELCOME BACK – 16 February 2018
Welcome back to the Gardeners’ Page!
In January both the garden and the gardeners were in hibernation. Seed catalogues, bird box making, and warm fires for the gardeners; biting winds and sleet for the garden.
However, the large poly-tunnel, amazingly, carried on quietly, and we harvested a reasonable crop of radish, spinach, mustard greens, and chervil, on February 3rd! The three types of kale are looking good in there too.
A new greenhouse heater for February, and a complete restyling of the hotbox using an old steel shelving unit, meant we could start sowing some salads and broad beans. We’ve now got about 200 Sutton’s “The Dwarf” broad beans sown, a couple of trays of mixed lettuce, and some Banjo spinach. We’re trying Arran Pilot first early potatoes this year. A change from Charlotte, which although a really delicious salad potato was taking a bit too long to mature. This tended to hold up our planting out plans in the raised beds in late spring. The Arran Pilot are chitting really well with super sturdy purple shoots. Half of them will be planted in the small poly-tunnel and the rest outdoors.
Today we are receiving a hive of bees! They are from an apiary in Whitbourne, and we hope they will increase pollination in the garden and produce enough honey from nectar around the area for us to be able take a small amount at the end of the season. Although us gardeners have been interested in top bar hives, and “hands off” style of beekeeping, our new bees are already living in a National hive and will arrive in this type of hive. Very exciting!
Before Christmas, we made and filled a new raised bed with leaf mould and home grown compost, and planted out six blueberry bushes. These are looking happy and producing plenty of new buds already.
We’ve also planted out twenty Autumn raspberry plants and fifteen new redcurrant bushes. Also in the pipeline will be a collection of old barrel halves planted up with nectar plants for pollinators.
It’s been quite a busy month so far…..