In The Bleak Mid Winter

And it has been pretty bleak of late on the plot. The ground is so wet that’s it’s hopeless to attempt going anywhere near it & there seems to be a permanent grey cloud covering us all the time.

But I’m sure better times are ahead. Sowing has gone ahead at home. So far I’ve sown onions, celery, aubergine, basil (sweet & Thai), and coriander, plus some AYR cauliflower for later planting in the polytunnel. I sow my seeds in small pots filled with a mixture of sieved compost and fine vermiculite. I wet the mixture a day or two before sowing and after sowing cover the seeds with the same mix. I put the pots in a heated propagator propped up in a spare bedroom. The propagator I use is a Vitopod which is a bit costly but very good. I set the thermostat at 18 degrees which should see germination on most seeds within a week.

I’ve potted up my dahlia tubers, watered them well in and placed them in the propagator. Cuttings should be able to take in about four weeks time.

I’ve also taken advantage of the 20 percent discount on composts available in the shop in January. The Clover 75 litre bags are normally £5.50 each but with the 20 percent discount are £4.40 – very good value. So go along and fill your boots.

I’ve got into the habit of sieving my compost, certainly for sowing, but also for some potting. This mainly was because I was finding some big chunks of bark within the compost. Last years Clover I found particularly bad, but the bags I have tried so far are much better. I guess its just the luck of the draw.

Starting to come into the shop are the seed orders, plus some potato varieties. The potato prices in the shop are very good compared with outside. If you didn’t order any there are some extras available – these should be available in a couple of weeks time.

Also due in are the onion sets. These can then be planted within the next couple of months. At present the ground is too wet and cold for plating them outside now, but they can be planted in modules filled with compost and placed in a greenhouse or polytunnel, or indeed indoors somewhere. This has the added advantage of avoiding the bulbs being picked out of the ground by birds.

In the next couple of weeks I’ll be sowing more seeds at home and hoping the ground can dry out to enable preparation to get going for this years harvest.

In the meantime visit the shop and stock up.

Hopefully this blog will be circulated to all subscribers. After six months I've found the right box to tick - wellll I had to be told how to do it. Thanks Steve. I feel so stupid as to why I didn't look before. Onwards and upwards.

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