Goodbye 2016… hello 2017.
It’s good to be back in the swing of sowing. One of the best things about growing vegetables is that the majority are, to all intents, annuals, which means the current year is always, potentially, the best growing year yet!
Having the polytunnel means I can start on sowing peas, broad beans, (Sutton and crimson flowered)…
leeks, cauliflower (All The Year Round), lettuce, (also named All The Year Round), and red onion, (Brunswick). So, half tray of each except the peas which I’ll plant up in guttering.
A little late, but I’ve sown sweet peas in root trainers. Ideally, these would have been sorted around mid-December but I’m hopeful that I’ll still get good strong plants.
The trays have gone into the polytunnel, joining the onions and shallots which were planted in modules last autumn.
The beans and sweet peas are currently in the utility room until germination as they are mouse candy. I need to dust off one of the propagators and sow the chillies and then get the decks cleared for the tomatoes and aubergines. Coming on the horizon are the local potato days so in preparation I’ve, (more or less), finalised the long list to:
- First earlies: Belle de Fontenay (for salad and boiling); Red Duke of York (for mash and roast);
- Second earlies: Anya; International Kidney; Charlotte for salad; Nicola for boiling; Kestrel a good all rounder
- Main crop: Ratte, Pink Fir for salad; Maris Piper and Arran Victory for mash and roast.
We’ve grown most of these varieties before, indeed some appear on our list every year, flavour is everything! This year we’ll ring the changes and try one or more of Nicola, Kestrel, Maris Piper and Arran Victory.
Work on the ornamental garden bounds forward. The lovely OH is hard at work constructing a metal arbour from rebar…
Once this has been set along the paths and the angle iron/wire fencing has been cemented in then the box hedges will be planted. We’re heading for a cold snap later this week so I’ll look at finishing the pruning the gooseberries and orchard fruit the other side of the weather front. If the ground dries out a bit I can also set in the hornbeam whips. Plenty to do.
No sign of snowdrops yet but my Helleborus niger is a lovely substitute.
Reading this week: Hops and Glory by Pete Brown