The days are definitely getting longer and the allotment is getting that spring buzz!
I wasn’t the only one just packing up on Friday evening and admiring the lovely sunset. I bumped into Linda who wanted to let you know that there will be a working day in the Secret Garden in March – date to be confirmed. If you are interested in helping out speak to Linda or a committee member.
Have you noticed the lengthening days or bulbs appearing on your plot? I have and its a sure sign spring is nearly on the way.
If you’ve been hibernating over winter, February is the perfect month to prepare for the season ahead. Making a start now will give you a head start and make sure you are well prepared for the growing season. Tasks include:
– Cleaning and oiling your garden tools
– Spring cleaning your shed or green house
– Picking up any rubbish that has blown onto your plot
– Repairing structures that may have suffered winter damage
– Covering winter brassicas with netting to protect them from birds
– Pruning rose and berry bushes
– Planting out raspberry canes
– Covering emerging rhubarb crowns to force them for an early harvest in 6-8 weeks time.
Its also a great time to be down on your plot, so why not bring a hot flask of tea, some warm clothes and soak up the last days of winter.
At long last we are forecast to have a dry few days – a perfect opportunity to play catch-up with general maintenance before the weeds start growing! Some of the jobs to be getting on with (whilst avoiding walking on wet soggy beds):
– mulch beds
– remove grass/weeds
– repair any wind-damaged structures
– clear up rubbish and take to the Churchfields Road recycling centre (we can recycle scrap metal on site)
With the increasing light levels and mild temperatures over wintering veg will start to grow – they’d really benefit from a feed.
Covering beds now with black polythene will help warm the ground up and suppress weed growth.
You can also sow broccoli, Brussels sprouts, broad beans, onion and beetroot in modules in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse ready to plant out in spring, chit first early potatoes and plant jerusalem artichokes.
If you have a heated greenhouse or sunny window sill you can plant tomato, chilli and aubergine seeds.
And if you have rhubarb plants they have probably started to send up buds – now is the perfect time to cover a plant up with a forcing pot or large pot. Excluding all light will produce longer sweeter stems that need less sugar when cooked. Find out more here: http://www.growveg.com/growblogpost.aspx?id=284