New Gardening Season.

Over the last few weeks, we have been doing some preparation for the new gardening season. The allotment has been tidied and dug. Just the fruit cage left to be weeded and the Brassica cage to be emptied. A few plants of purple sprouting left – although whether they come to anything remains to be seen. The Apple trees have been pruned. It’s great to be outside again after a long winter. The soil is a bit wet although we did manage to dig it. Just need some sunshine to warm the soil up and it will be good to go.

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Im planning on sowing some parsnips this coming weekend in the raised bed which was used for carrots last year. The variety I have picked is Unwins – White Gem.It is a short rooted variety. I always buy fresh Parsnip seed each year, as it doesn’t store well.

I have also prepared a two short rows for peas. I have found that if I soak the peas the night before sowing, I have better success and it appears to deter  mice from digging them up. I pop the seeds into a jam jar – soak in warm water overnight and sow them the next day, I have had good germination rates with this method on the allotment. My first sowing will be – Alderman – Sow March to May.

Today, I brightened up the trough outside the front door with some polyanthus  (primrose) for an immediate splash of colour. The tulip and crocus bulbs are coming up in the garden so that’s a sure sign that Spring will be here soon.

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So far I have potatoes (Nicola) chitting.

Broad Beans – Aquaduce

Spring Onions – White Lisbon

Celeriac – Monarch – Sat on kitchen window sills

Celery – Tango – Sat on kitchen window sills

Lettuce – Crisp Mint

Lettuce – Rosedale

Cabbage – Greyhound

Kale – Curly Scarlet

Herbs: Marjoram Sweet, Winter Savory, Thyme Creeping, Anise Hyssop, Hyssop. All from Jekka’s Herbs.

Hopefully, today (between the showers) – I will be sowing some Sweet Pea’s in the greenhouse. I have soaked the seed overnight and have picked two varieties to try. Normally, I would stick with the Old Fashioned variety as they have always stood me in good stead, beautiful perfume, quite a heady scent, but this year I will settle for Sweet Pea – Ocean Foam – A special blend of Heirloom, Old Spice Sweet Pea’s that are highly scented and heat resistant. They are blue, purple and white in colour.

And my second choice Mr Fothergill’s – Sweet Pea – Counterpoint. This variety is an “Extra frilly ‘Spencer’ type in cool colours – white, lilac and pink.  Love the scent of Sweet Pea’s in the Summer.