January bluesJanuary 16th, 2012 by Jackie
Well, not that bad really but it hasn’t been a great start to the new year. Along with the disappearing bees our washing machine still isn’t mended and the car won’t start very well. Plus I caught Richard’s cold and have been feeling rather sorry for myself, I haven’t felt this bad for years. At least the rain came while I was in bed all day Sunday, we haven’t had any for weeks and weeks so very welcome it was too especially as new plants and trees have been put in the garden.
Most days have been cloudless though so the frosts keep coming, not as bad as previous winters (no frozen pond) but certainly more frequent. Most of the veg patch seem oblivious to this but the cauliflowers, just getting bigger now, have brown patches although I have pegged down the leaves over the heads to protect them. The calabrese seems totally unaffected.
I’ve decided to grow more potatoes this year. There is already a bed of ‘Jersey Royals’ and now there are 64 Stemster tatties out for chitting which will be put in come March. They’re new for us, red skins and yellow flesh, and are meant to be drought resistant and heat tolerant – let’s see! The only other thing on the go are a load of turnips. I don’t grow them directly in the ground now. Last time, after so many not making it past the slugs and birds, I decided to grow them in individual modules and them pot them on and, when big enough, to transplant in the bed. It’s certainly more of an effort but on a small scale it’s definitely worth it – every turnip came through, so we’re hoping for the same success this time.
The sunny days have fooled the asparagus, quite a few shoots are popping through the straw only to be zapped by the frost. I need to put some more straw down. Today we had the first of the rocket, growing through the spring and summer has never worked, they always bolted. This winter, both in the polytunnel or in the bed outside, they’ve done fine. So of the crops I’ve tried to grow throughout the winter the swede, turnips, kale, chard, calabrese, cabbage, rocket, beetroot (and leeks of course) have all been a success. I hope I can add cauliflower to the list. The peas and broad beans are just growing but I’m really hoping for a good early spring crop.
Otherwise the hens are the happiest here. They’re on green pastures today (having escaped from their last field which they scratched to bare earth) so plenty of chuckles, and eggs, from them. I’m off now to work out which seeds I need to get for the year ahead…