366 Days of Gardening!
Episode 2 – Week 4
As a toddler of around the 3 – 4 year old mark and living in Australia, l used to love watching this television show with Bill and Ben and good ol’ Weeed!’
This has been one of the wettest winters l have known for a good many years not just here in Kent where l live now, but also the year in the Isle of Wight where l was in 2015 and even in the fens of Lincolnshire where l lived from 1994 – 2015 – it is an unavoidable fact that our British winters are indeed getting wetter!
I had plans of getting out into the garden this morning and start to tackle some of the pre-season tasks that need doing – here l sit typing now, togged up to the nines for gardening. Just as l was about to go outside to start the shift, the heavens opened up. So from 8.45am to now it’s still hammering it down. The weather centre tells me l have a window of opportunity between 1pm – 2pm.
So, l hope that is true as there are things l need to be doing….
Ideally for me, January and February are the months when l can get the quirksome irksome as l call them, jobs started – the tasks that set you up ready for the year ahead. It is to be a busier rota this year for starters. I will be planting my first waves of seeds into modules in about two weeks from today and will continue to plant seedling waves for a good month.
All going well and to plan l should therefore be transplanting first wave seedlings some where towards mid to end March if not into the beds then most assuredly they will be in the new upright coldframes aclimatising to the weather. “Should be….”
So by April, ‘all going well’, l should be at the start of a good vegetable, herb and fruit growing period. However between then and now, l have a lot of jobs that need doing .. prepatory jobs to make the season flow smoothly…
I started cleaning the outside of greenhouse last week – l still have the inside algae to take care of. I can’t get it spotless, it’s an extremely old glasshouse that is held together by rain and spit and dare l say it, but probably algae! I want to get a new one, but we rent here, and it would mean leaving it – l could get a polytunnel and site it on the same location … but it would still mean putting the old greenhouse back in situ and l don’t think it has the ability to be deconstructed and reconstructed in one piece so to speak – it would probably die!
This was how it looked last episode: 366 Days of Gardening! [E1-W3]
This is how it looked after the first phase of cleaning last week – slowly getting there!
But l did manage to clean the back of the garden behind the sheds pretty well, so l am pleased at that! This now makes it easier to break these pallets down and take them to the tip and really reclaim this space.
I have found over the years to break all the main jobs into bite size pieces and that way, they get done quicker which results in way less procrastination.
Of the jobs l have planned in for this week including this weekend, providing it stops raining long enough are all fairly sizable – the weed mat needs to be sited for the ornamental garden beds. You will recall perhaps, l wrote about buying in a ton of organic wood chips – l have opted against that and instead am trialing out a new product by the name of Strulch – which is a mineralised straw mulch. That is being delivered tomorrow.
It has a lot going for it, a bit more expensive that the wood chips, but way less than a ton. But this should do the job marvelously and leave enough to be able to use some on the containers. But to have a firmer grip on the weeds this year would be a blessing.
I have to clean out the old shredder and make it ready for sale, so that l use the big one l have bought as replacement for tougher work as l really need to tackle this lot…ready for garden use. The old shredder just wasn’t able to cope with branches above 25mm in diametre so a bigger model had to be purchased.
The shed, loft and greenhouse not in that order all need sorting out. Rubbish or recycle identified and dealt with accordingly. But l have ordered 24 recycled plastic storage boxes so that we can pack items especially in places that are subjected to the elements into safer locations. These three jobs need to be done. I would love for the greenhouse to be done this weekend, as l need to empty the contents out in order to get clear access to the glass panels. We already have a dozen or so of these boxes, just knew we needed more. It also makes it much easier to move house if needs be over cardboard boxes which can break easily and rot away.
I have to sort out the water butt situation – all this rain does now is remind me how very little water we are capturing for later use. I have three in the garden already and l need to increase it to six. But trying to find a suitable set up is proving very difficult, typically!
Who knows when l am ever likely to get the horseradish done? Certainly not this fella!
I need to get Turn 7 carried out of the compost, but that’s only an hours worth of work, so that is easy to complete. But more importantly, l must try and get ‘Raised Beds 3 and 4’ emptied out and made into Bed 3 only and then resited to the season’s position for ideal sunlight.
Where the two beds are currently is not a great area for beds of this nature due to the neighbour’s tree blocking out most of our afternoon sun. We are a south facing garden and should enjoy maximum sun each day during summer – but the 60 foot brute next door, takes away around six hours of afternoon sun from us! I think l am going to have to speak to them this year.
The ideal location for them this year is to the left of the tree in this image.
But l do need the rains to stop! It’s now 1.15pm, and the so called window of opportunity has not presented itself. Bugger! How about you, how are your preparations for the gardening season coming along? What jobs do you have to start and finish before you commence seed sowing? Let me know below, and if l don’t hear from you l’ll catch you next episode.