We have had our first taste of spring weather over the weekend; a welcome sign that the winter will not last forever!  It was but a brief reprieve and the grey skies and cold winds have returned.  As February approaches, it is time to start off some early crops in the greenhouse.  Impatient as ever, we sowed ours last week and now have tiny shoots of green appearing in the seeds trays in our heated propagator.  So far we have broccoli, brussels sprouts and lettuces all showing green shoots above the soil.  It is so satisfying to finally see growth after the long dark winter months.  The new growing season has officially begun in Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden.

Outside, we are still waiting for days when the soil is dry and frost free to begin digging.  During the coming weeks, we will be applying lime to the beds where our brassicas will be growing this year.  We garden on very acid soil and this can cause problems with clubroot in brassicas.  The lime will be added as a top dressing and dug in during the late winter.  Whilst we are applying top dressing in the kitchen garden, we will sprinkle some potash around our garlic plants.  This can help prevent rust hitting the crop later in the year.   

Elsewhere in the garden, we are continuing with the tidying and mulching of the perennial borders.  Grasses have been cut back before they begin to shoot again, and we are removing dead stems from flowering perennials before clearing debris from the ground, weeding and mulching.  Time spent now will be paid back later in the year when there are less weeds amongst the flowers and it’s a good opportunity to get up close with the soil and the emerging plants.