Spring officially starts today so I thought it time to start documenting my garden for another exciting year of self-sufficiency and wildlife gardening.
I’ll try and update once a month at the very least from now until the end of October.
I haven’t got much major re-organisation to do in the gardens this year although their are a couple of areas that are unfinished. Well not just finished – drive me nuts is more like it, because I can’t get the design of them just right 😉
March is the month for sowing seeds and getting final preparations made for raised growing areas
So far the weather has been kind in NE Lincs. Mostly sunny, cold evenings with no heavy frosts and mostly light winds have brought Spring a little closer every day.
The birds are much noisier now as they start to getting ready to hook up and start building nests. We have a robin who make a regular appearance at the bird table and great/blue tits can also be seen on a frequent basis.
Keeping three wandering cats out of the garden is proving slightly harder but as they do me a favour by keeping any mice population down to the bare minimum I’m not too worried.
When the composter was moved to a new setting a couple of weeks ago there had been both mice and rat activity to be seen which can’t be helped. As long as I don’t see any rats then all is good.
No other wildlife to be seen in the garden apart from Mr Fox who spends time in our front garden ever so often.
There is certainly no more burrows or holes appearing near to the raised beds which is a blessing as I was worried we might have rat issues but fortunately not.
The best activity has been seen on the flowering crocuses which have brought solitary bees buzzing frequently to the garden which I’m really pleased about.
- Quick tips: Back in January I sat down and made a few lists and ideas on what I wanted to grow in our gardens this year, taking into account space, time spent and food that I love to eat. Having that list has proved to be really useful because I was able to buy all the necessary seeds required without over doing it (a gardeners obsession), know exactly what I need to sow/plant when and be able to plan time to do it rather than rushing everything as and when I suddenly remembered. Or worse still start sowing everything too early!
So far all but two of the six raised beds are bare and have had compost and other good nutrients added to them in preparation for the growing season.
The two beds that are occupied; one has had garlic planted since last October which is growing well. I’ve spaced the garlic out more this year in the hopes I get bigger bulbs. Last weekend I planted onion sets in the same bed. I managed to get in 40, which again is less than last yr, in the hopes of growing slightly larger onions.
The other bed has strawberry plants in that are currently covered over in fleece until the frosts have finished. They are just starting to sprout and grow now the days are getting longer. I’m not sure how many plants I now have after planting 24 last summer because I allowed some of them to shoot off and start new plants.
The potatoes, that have been patiently chitting in the barn, will be planted this weekend. I’m growing Maris Peer because I was rather impressed with the bounty I had last season.
February and March Sowings:
At the end of February I decided to sow the veggies that needed a head start in the season – so the aubergines and cucumbers were sown and have been kept on a sunny windowsill. Both are doing well and will be ready for potting up next month. I will keep them indoors until May because they need as much warmth as possible.
Outside the broad beans were sown into pots and left in the grow-house. They have taken ages to germinate but are cracking on now. They will be planted straight into the raised bed later on this month.
This month I’ve sown my chilli seeds. This is the latest I’ve ever sown chilli seeds but as I’m not getting ‘serious’ with chillies this year and am only sowing for the purposes of cooking and storing, the varieties I’ve chosen don’t need to be started all that early. Both Cayenne and Naga Jolokia have just been sown in pots and kept in a very warm room. I’ll be able to see if sowing this late makes a difference to the growth and harvest of the eventual plants.
Seeds still to sow for March:
This weekend will be busy – a big sowing fest of the following:
- Sugar-snap peas
- Cucumbers (as back up)
I’m going to have a go growing endive for the first ever time this yr. I don’t have much luck growing salad but I’ve been told endive is pretty easy and even more nutritious than leaf salad so watch this space!
That’s not all, this yr I’m also going to attempt to sow and grow more wildlife flowers, so this weekend I’ll be sowing:
- Sunflower Earthwalker
- Mimulus. Maximus (Monkey Flowers)
- Thunbergia (black eyed Susan)
- Verbena. Bonariensis
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Here’s to another growing year. 🙂
What are you hoping to get up to in your garden this month? Are there any particular crops you can’t wait to start growing?