Digging in the Kitchen Garden
Weather permitting, it is time to start digging in the Kitchen Garden this week. As a rule of thumb, we usually pay attention to the activities of the local farmers as an indication of when it is time to begin turning over the soil and in our area, the tractors have begun to appear in the fields surrounding the garden. If the soil remains frozen from the severe cold weather, we will leave the digging for a while longer, but on milder dry days we will grab a spade and start to dig in the manure mulch that we applied a few weeks ago. There is a lot of digging to be done so we will spread it over the coming weeks to avoid too much exertion and backache!
On colder days when the soil is unworkable, we will retreat into the heated greenhouse and begin sowing some early seeds in the heated propagator. Now is a good time to start sowing aubergines, chillies, celery and celeriac; all of which benefit from an early start in a heated environment.
Elsewhere in the garden we will continue to tidy up after last week’s storm. High winds brought down a big tree and lots of branches as well as littering the garden with pine cones and needles. We are still tidying some of our herbaceous areas and this week we will be cutting back ornamental grasses to ground level. We like to get this done by the end of January as the grasses are already beginning to show green shoots at the base and leaving them until later in the winter may mean removing new growth along with the old. This will be followed by a mulch of leaf mould which will leave the borders ready for the new season ahead.