Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sweet brown crumbly soil...

After the snow, then the rain and mist - at last a dry day, tempting me out into the garden. With a real chance for some hands on digging!

I am blessed with a light free draining soil ( better not brag too much!) which means that even after the wettest conditions I can get on the soil without doing too much damage. As we are off to New Zealand in two weeks I am keen to get in as much time as possible this month. Mad March will be upon us with all its joys and endless 'to do lists' so I have learnt to get ahead where I can.

Alternating between cutting back top growth or frost damaged leaves with some serious weeding in the vege patch is a good way of protecting aches and strains on the back. Having had two 'frozen shoulders' I now make sure I never over-fill my wheelbarrow and make small and often trips to the compost heap. This is very good advice and I recommend it to anyone, particularly if you are suffering from postural problems.

I am a bit concerned that my municipal compost may also be harbouring a new aggressive annual weed that I have to wage war on. Make a mental note, to identify and track the source of it. Everything else is relatively easy, particularly the self sown marigolds with which I feed my compost heap, knowing more will germinate in time for spring companion planting. I would not be without calendula officinalis in the garden. I love sprinkling its bright orange petals amongst salads which adds a real zing to the presentation.

Cleared a decent amount, whilst zoning in to the other chores that must be done before I leave. Chief among them, getting the last of the bulbs potted up, then getting the new potatoes in egg boxes ready to be chitted while we are away. This year I am going to grow them in large black pots as I have used all my space in the garden.

All I need is 2 hours a day, and I'll be sorted .....

© Chris Barnes

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