Saturday, 14 January 2012


A beautiful winter’s day with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze so I had every incentive to do some serious pottering. I like to think that if pottering were an olympic sport I’d be a member of the England team, although how the judges would measure a successful potter I can’t imagine.

winter beeches

Although the weather is too cold for any planting and sowing it's perfect for all those 'housekeeping' jobs that need doing before the new season really gets under way. I've cleaned the inside of the greenhouse glass and sorted out my pots which were just piled up or thrown into bin bags. It's amazing how much less space they take up when they're stacked!!

The blueberries have spent their early life in large pots so I made a start on preparing a permanent bed for them. The hardest part is digging out my heavy clay in order to replace it with something more to their liking. I need to take out about a spade depth and then the blueberries will go into a raised area on top of that which should give them a decent root run and hopefully, bumper crops. In the bottom of the bed I’ve put a mix of well-rotted compost and coarse grit to improve drainage. The compost also includes a sack of pine needle debris I collected last year which will help to acidify the soil.

Next I worked in some moss peat, leaf mould and shop-bought ericaceous compost with a sprinkle of iron sulphate to further help the acidity. I can't find my soil testing kit so I'm just guessing the end result will suit the blueberries. Whatever, it should be better than having their roots in a cold, wet pot.

Regular readers will know that I collect mole-hill soil when I'm out and about and the latest lot was very sandy, almost to the point of being more sand than soil. I sieved it but found not a single stone and only a few grass roots in a fifty litre sack full. Mixed with home-made compost it should make the perfect growing medium for my carrots and parsnips.

Like most gardeners I'm itching to get started with sowing new crops but it's still a bit risky, even with the heated propagator. The problem is not getting them to germinate but keeping them indoors until the weather is warm enough to plant out. I will have a go at some onions in the next few days as I've never grown them from seed before and would like to compare size and quality with onions grown from sets.


  1. Your last paragraph is me...I'm so itching to get started but with limited indoor space I'm going to have to plan carefully.

    Onions for me as well, I did plan on sowing them next weekend but now I'm away so it may have to wait until the week after unless I find some spare time on evening.

    I just need to start something ;)

  2. I second that! i am iching to get cracking this is my first Full year with the Allotment and cant wait. I sowed my onion seeds today and have never grown from seed before maybe we could copare results at the end?
    I think, I would give you a run for your money at the being a member of the olympic pottering team! maybe they should hold trials? haha.