Saturday, 5 January 2013

January in the garden (part 1): Tidy up time!

'Tidy up time!' - My daughter is fond of saying this once she's spread as many of her toys across the living room as is physically possible, then stands by to supervise as Mummy picks them all up and puts them away.

40 clean pots and 7 soapy propagator units
Sadly for me, there is no one to tidy up the mess I made in the garden and greenhouse last growing season (well, except WH, and he'd only put things away where I couldn't find them!), so this January is going to be all about the cleaning and the clearing, ready for the spring sowing marathon.

Hmm, now what exactly needs doing again?

  1. Wash all the plastic sowing and potting-on paraphernalia, including pots, seed trays and modules, and electric propagator units
  2. Tidy out the greenhouse, including throwing away old plant labels and bits of rubbish, and group items together (watering-related items, nuts and screws, pegs, plant food, tools, etc)
  3. Scrub down the potting table and the greenhouse staging and shelving
  4. Clean the greenhouse, inside and out
  5. Replant some of the overwintering garlic which has 'popped' out of the bed 
  6. Weed and cover last year's beans and peas bed with frame and micromesh
  7. Dig through last year's roots bed - there may well be some beetroot and parsnips to harvest
  8. Dig through the brassica bed - this has been terribly unsuccessful this year as we had a bit of an infestation of caterpillars, which didn't leave us much apart from stalks!
  9. Thin out the teeny tiny leeks (I planted them too late in the season) and hope they grow a bit for spring cooking.
  10. Various other tidying jobs, including raking up leaves, replanting bulbs, etc, and that's without going anywhere near 'the heap' between the greenhouse and the shed where we 'store' (dump) used compost, compost bags, bits of trellis, broken tools, larger containers, etc, etc..
There is really so much to do, that I've had to break it up into lots of little parcels of tasks to stand any chance of not just putting it all off (probably forever - some of these tasks I've never actually gotten around to in the 3.5 years we've lived here!) So this morning I spent a good two hours cleaning the units for the electric propagator and about 1/3rd of the plastic pots, with the rationale that these will be used first for February sowing, so even if I do prevaricate on further cleaning, I'll at least be able to start the 2013 growing season! I also achieved items 2 and 3 on the list, and washed half of the inside of the greenhouse - once I got started, I was actually very productive!

As a reward for today's hard work I'm planning to start looking through my piles of seed and plant catalogues tomorrow to prepare my order for our new season.

(to the tune of Bing Crosby's White Christmas)
I'm... dreaming of a .... full harvest,
not like the one the year before.
Where no snail trails glisten,
or garden birds listen,
for the sound of unprotected berries ripen-ing.

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