Saturday, 17 December 2011


At this time of year I have a great feeling of anticipation, not for what Santa might bring me but about the new growing season and what it might turn out like. The electric propagator is sitting patiently for the first batch of seeds to go in and by the end of January/early February things will really start to take off with lots of the early crops started under glass. Broad beans, onions and the first tubs of container peas will go in, along with winter lettuce as long as it’s not too cold.

young broad beans sown under glass early February

With a greenhouse you really can add a month or so to each end of the growing season which is a great help this far north. I was going to make a cold frame from some old glass panels, etc. that I have lying around but I really can’t find the space for it without a serious reorganization of the garden.

That's another thing I do at this time of year, reorganizing, though most of it's just in my head. I'm constantly working on how I can make best use of my available space, what can go where in order to increase yields. If I was starting again I’d probably try to make some sort of plan before lifting a single turf but I was so keen to bring this new garden into production that I just dug a rectangle out of the back lawn then added to it as the years passed. Probably not the most efficient way to do things but enthusiasm got the better of me.

We’ve had a few sharp frosts over recent nights but nothing to compare with the last two years so no damage done. Today was quite pleasant so I had a little run out and collected a couple of sacks of mole hill soil. A lot of the land close to the water has been reclaimed and the soil is very sandy...perfect for adding to the carrot/parsnip compost mix. I only collect from along the roadside verges so I suppose the soil belongs to the county council but I’m sure they won’t miss a few mole hills.

Today's landscape shows winter light on the estuary as the sun dips down. Hardly a breath of wind and the water like a mill pond.

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