We did not get the unusually heavy snow that fell both north and south of us the past few weeks, but we had one of the wettest starts to the year; over 200mm end of January to mid February. Whilst we were glad to live on the top of the hill ( low lying areas were flooded) everything was waterlogged and it was impossible to do any gardening. But with St Valentine’s Day came a change – the weather warmed and the rain stopped. Hooray! Perfect timing as my gardening guru , Charles Dowding, always says to wait for St Valentine’s before starting any sowing.
I cheated a little and on 2nd February sowed shallots, onions and leeks inside by the wood stove (18-20°C). At the same time put potatoes out to chit. On February 15th, dill, coriander and parsley, calabrese, early cauliflower and fennel, also by the wood stove.
On 15th February, chillies, peppers and aubergines sown with a heating pad at 30°C inside (the guest room becomes a nursery this time of year!)
Once the seeds germinate in the small polystyrene seeds trays I move them into bigger pots, and into the laundry which is both warm and sunny
The onions and leeks are now in the little hothouses
The milder weather has continued so the soil has warmed up enough for me to risk planting spring onions, white – Tosca and red – Rouge de Florence, and carrots, Amsterdam, today (21st February) It’s a risk because we are likely to get frost again, but if I can get them to germinate now, I hope to be able to fleece them and protect them from the cold. Worth the try!
The dry stone wall between the potager and the pumpkin patch is finally at the correct height and the lasagne filling is almost level. I lifted the demi-vats and refilled them with soil and manure ready for planting.
We are still eating Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, leeks and mizuna from the garden. Stored potatoes and onions are still good, but the butternut did not like the damp weather and are starting to deteriorate. The purple sprouting broccoli is finally big enough to pick.