Tuesday, 2 May 2017

February 2017 - garden ticking over

February is generally a quiet month in the garden with most things ticking over quite nicely on their own. Adding to and turning the compost heap is just about the only regular job at this time of year and we are usually joined by some of the birds hoping to get an easy meal from the disturbed pile. This cheeky little robin was one of several regular visitors.

The winter greens are still producing but some of the cavolo nero was starting to sprout. We picked some to steam along with the leaves but we generally leave a few to flower so that we can collect seed from them in later months. As we start most crops in seed trays indoors we don't need need to free up the ground straightaway for the new seasons plants.

Indoors, one of my tasks is to test the viability of the older pea seeds in the Reading Food Growing Network's seed swap boxes. Once they have germinated I plant them in seed pans and put them on the kitchen windowsill for pea shoots. I usually get about three cuts from them before the stems start to toughen up. By that stage, the weather is often about right for planting them out into the garden to grow as normal pea plants.

I went on a willow weaving workshop run by Five a Day Market Garden in Englefield. I attended a similar event last year. The willow wigwam I made last year has lost its colours (see the photo below on the left) but is still good for another year at least. I was more adventurous with the design for this year's effort (wigwam on the right). I'm still not sure where I am going to put it but I'll have to make my mind up soon so that I can plan the plantings around it.

And meanwhile, at the the front of the house, the daffodils are about to burst into life and the crocuses are adding a welcome bit of colour as well as providing food for the insects.

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