As we wave goodbye to January I’m hoping we wave goodbye to the rainy days… Not that I dislike rainy days but January just seems to have consisted of a lot of water and the poor allotment is saturated! All this rain also meant that we were unable to get up to the plot to do the jobs we intended to do and it’s pushed us back a little. I was hoping to have all the digging ticked off the list but the ground is just too wet, even when we got a few days of sunshine it rained again and again! So instead of putting our efforts into getting the beds ready for Spring we turned our attention to our sheds and also started working on our seed sowing spreadsheet.
When putting up a shed on your allotment or in your garden you need the right foundations, get it wrong and you could end up with a wonky shed or one that rots rather quickly. Luckily for me the area where my shed is going had been covered and left waiting for the greenhouse to be erected. All I had to do was dig over the area and remove some bindweed before leveling it off. Next I’ll be laying down some paving slabs (making sure they are level) and then on top of the slabs I’ll pace wooden runners to keep the shed base off the ground. This will prevent the shed from sitting in a puddle and will extend the life of the wood. But that job will have to wait for another day!
My Dad was busy tidying up his shed having recently sold the second hand greenhouse that had been sitting there for 6 years waiting to be put up… He has a very handy paved area to the side of his shed where he stores his bamboo canes, brassica cage poles and the sheeting for our cloche hoops which is now all nice and tidy.
Now onto the seed sowing and I’m so excited to get in the greenhouse! I’ll be sowing my Sweet Peas and Strawflowers tomorrow plus the potatoes will be purchased soon and left to chit before being planted out in March. Later on in the month I’ll be sowing Scabious ‘Sternkugel’, Ammi Majus, Lunaria Annua, Zinnia, Leeks, Broccoli and also planting some Onions into module trays. Now is the time to start purchasing and planting out new fruit bushes so I’ll be busy pruning and moving my Raspberries and Blackcurrant bushes over to the new plot and treating myself to two new Gooseberries to train into cordons.
Here’s a few other seeds you can be sowing indoors this month if it continues to remain mild: Tomatoes, Chillies, Cucumbers, Radish, Broad Beans, Carrots, Parsnip, Spinach, Kale, Summer Cabbages and peas can be sown inside a greenhouse in guttering.
The key here is not to get too carried away, It’s been a very mild Winter in the UK but we could still have a cold burst. Just remember it did snow in March 2 years ago now so always be prepared for the worst! That’s when our handy cloches come into play and they’ll help protect your seedlings and also give them a little warm boost to help them grow healthy. The hoops come in two sizes and fit the 95cm and 66cm wide PVC sheets which can be purchased from Wickes or B&Q. Handmade by us in Hampshire and super easy to put together, they’ll extend your growing season and most importantly protect your crops!