At last we have had a taste of spring in the Kitchen Garden, with a few days of warm sunny weather arriving in East Anglia.  It has been warm enough to leave the greenhouse door open allowing vital ventilation around the plants. The autovents on the greenhouse windows have even nudged the windows open in the warmth of the winter sunshine.  It is important not to get too carried away though, as frosts are still forecast overnight and temperatures are set to drop again this week.  But we will enjoy it while it lasts, taking care to replace cloches and close doors and windows before the sun goes down.

Inside the greenhouse our seedlings are flourishing in the heated propagator and some, such as broccoli and brussel sprouts, have been moved onto the greenhouse staging to slowly acclimatise them to lower temperatures.  This week they will be potted into individual pots where they will grow on for a couple of weeks before being transferred to the cold frame.  Our salad sowings are also growing rapidly and are now in the greenhouse raised bed.  It won’t be many weeks before we are enjoying them for lunch.  Slower growing crops such as aubgerines, chillies, celery and celeriac will remain the in propagator for some weeks to come.

Now is the time for us to make our first sowing of tomato seeds.  In the past we have started them off at the beginning of February but found that they had grown too large too early when we hadn’t got the space for them.  So, despite being keen for an early crop, we now sow them at the end of February and the timing of their growth suits us better.  Oh! for a bigger greenhouse where we could house them along with our other greenhouse crops.  I have yet to meet a gardener who is happy with the size of their greenhouse!

Outside, having drawn up our plan for the spring/summer Kitchen Garden, we are placing the growing structures such as runner bean frame and obelisks where we will need them for support.  Now is an ideal time to give them a good clean with hot soapy water to wash away the algae and grime of winter.  A good wipe with a cloth and they look brand new.  Slowly the garden is getting ready for Spring.  Not long now!