The Winter Garden
It’s been cold. Not much happening in the garden right now? Or is there. Spring is just around the corner and you don’t have to look far to see new growth in the garden. Spring bulbs are coming through. In some cases flowering and early blossom is also starting to show. All signs of the warmer weather to come.
If you were able to get your garlic in on the shortest day it should be showing through by now. It is still not too late to plant Garlic but it would be best to get it in within the next few weeks. It is too early for strawberries but not too early to plant them. Prepare the beds with some good compost or strawberry plant food, get them in early and cover with them frost cloth. This will give them a chance to settle in and produce a good root system before they start fruiting.
If you have fruit trees give them a spray with Copper Oxychloride. It is certified for use as an organic spray and will help protect the trees from all sorts of fungal and bacterial diseases.
August is the time to get seeds going. I start my tomato seed (collected from last season tomatos) about mid August. Any other brassica’s (green vegetables) you like to grow can be prepared in seed trays and kept in a warm sheltered area. There are a number of plants around that you can take cuttings off. I will be doing some rosemary this year.
If you like new potatoes for Christmas seed potatoes are available in the shops now and can be put into trays in an area of good light out of the weather. They can go into the ground by the end of August. If there is a possibility of frosts when the shoots come through, cover them up with some frost cloth. You can use old shop brought potato’s and let them sprout however I have had mixed results with this and you might be introducing disease from a different garden.
If you have compost or can get hold of some it is a good time to spread it on the garden and dig it in to prepare the main garden beds for planting. If you plan to grow pumpkins they do best with heaps or organic matter. Choose your spot and make sure to put plenty of compost right where you intend sowing the seeds. If you are using homemade compost you might find pumpkins will self seed directly from the compost. Usually these plants will do as well if not better than plants you have grown yourself.