The Gardening Year 2017

by Ailbhe on January 19, 2017

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Well the garden is looking pret-ttty frosty this morning, the leaves of the brave Cavelo Nero seem crunchy crisp at the moment (they’ll survive, hardy plant that kale is) and everything has a fine dusting of sparkling ice. This morning we had the added spectacle of a couple of rusty red foxes, obviously shagged out (their mating calls at this time of year are scary), resting on the roof of the neighbours sheds. I’m not surprised, yesterday afternoon, when the winter sun was warming the shed roofs, a fox lay content up there, blinking at the sun until it began to dip and the fox’s passion began to rise.

The good news is that it’s time to start to plan this year’s garden. There may not be lots to physically do although if you follow the no-dig gardening method which I mostly do you’ll have topped your soil with organic compost to allow the frost to break it down and the worms to slowly drag it under and nourish your soil. However January is the time to gather your seed catalogues, sort through the seeds you have, start a gardening notebook( if you haven’t already started one), rummage through any notes you made last year about what worked / didn’t work and begin to plan out this year’s crop. All fun stuff and better still, all stuff that can be done indoors with a pot of tea by your side. Don’t forget to swap seeds with friends and neighbours, seeds are expensive so offset that by sharing and swapping.

There’s not a huge need to rush as you have a fair few weeks in London before you can start sowing seeds (you can start sowing some hardy greens in trays indoors / greenhouse from end of January if you have protection to grow them on to but in my experience mid-Feb is when sowing begins). And of course you could sow indoors in trays if you just want some salad seedlings to sprinkle on your culinary works of art.

Me, I’m just thinking back to our last year’s summer garden when it was lush and green and giving. I eventually finished a sketch I had made, sitting in the garden looking back at our little house. Now to decide where this year’s potato crop goes in.

Enjoy planning!

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