January has turned good and cold and also very wet! This has mainly meant that I haven’t been able to get much digging done as the soil is sodden and I don’t want to ruin the soil structure!
However, that doesn’t mean we have been idle. Here are a few things we got up to around the plots this month!
1. Fruit brushes
We have expanded the gooseberry bed to twice it’s size and also put a blueberry bed next to it specially filled with a mixture of mulitpurpose and ericaceous soil. We transplanted the blueberry from the large fruit cage into the bed and have to now move the second blueberry from home into this bed. All, the gooseberries are also now located in the gooseberry bed and when spring arrives we will put the small fruit cage up to protect the fruit. All the bushes in the plot have been given a good prune!
2. Putting the beds to bed!
All but one bed on the small plot are now dug over, raked and covered with polythene ready for the plants to go in around about early April to May (if you have read my previous post on my allotment plans you will know these beds are for brassicas and squashes). The last remaining bed has some spring cauliflowers in and will be left until they are ready to harvest!
3. Tidy up around the shed and parsnip bed.
The area in front of the shed is now nice and tidy and the assortment of wood, pipe, doors and pots have been tidied/thrown away. It is much neater now and it means we have now cleared the space where the new carrot bed is going to go! I had some helpful hands last weekend from my friend Jenny who came up and gave me a hand with clearing and tidying. She remove all the nettles from around the bed, pulled up the last of the parsnips and weeded the bed as well as giving my rosemary and lavender a long overdue haircut!
4. Put down new bark chip
Sam and I have spent most of January and the back end of December pulling up tufts of grass and weeds from our pathways and putting down as much bark chip as we can to stop those weeds coming back (they always find a way!)
5. Sown chillies, peppers and tomatoes
At home, I have been busy sowing all our greenhouse plants in the new propagator I got for Christmas. I am now seeing a few seedlings popping their heads up! I have sown a number of varieties and used up the last of some packets from a few years ago! I have sown 8 different varieties of tomato!
I would have liked to have gotten much more done, and haven’t crossed off all the jobs on the January list but I was hoping for a few more dry and cold weekends as opposed to wet and cold weekends!
Also, we attended the 18th Hampshire Potato Day on Saturday and had a lot of fun picking out our potato varieties this year as well as picking up onions, some organic seeds and some new veg we are going to try this year.
We bought our Sarpo Mira maincrop potatoes and also picked up a few tubers of two second early varieties; Charlotte and Yukon Gold and a couple of some first earlies; Annabelle and international kidney which are all now sitting on our table ready to chit!
The onion varieties are Stuttgart giant, Centurion and Red baron and we also picked up some oca tubers, jerusalem artichoke tubers and wild garlic.
Now bring on February!