Hooray, I can see the light. With January behind us, the spirit starts to rise, the extended days just 8 weeks away. The winter has been, well, wintry with a treacherous mix of conditions, changing by the hour. Every second person nursed a cough or a sore throat and whilst there were outdoor jobs that we could have tackled frankly it just wasn’t NICE.
But brighter days loom and we can start to get back out there, even if we do need to tiptoe across the grass. There is going to be a bit of attention needed there next month, at very least a bit of prodding with the fork to move some of the wet. It’s looking like being a great season for moss. There’s enough in my lawn to service the Municipal baskets this year. So aeration, silver sand, lawn sand or even something heavier maybe on the shopping list.
There is also a good deal of tidying up to do, so much rubbish scattered about, with plants and structures all taking a bashing in recent weeks. Whilst you’re tidying, if the mood takes, give the compost heap a turn, it too will have compacted down. It needs to breathe to be good and there will be some useful material to reward your efforts in the bottom of the bin. If you have any light ground that you turned in the autumn, then you can be setting out onion, shallots, garlic, asparagus and even rhubarb crowns. If you already have some, then rhubarb divides easily, so now is a good time to propagate or manage the size of the patch. Just set the blade of your spade on the crown and push it down, it’s very easy. Even the smallest pieces will re-establish, so spare bits can always be given away.
Seed potatoes are about everywhere now and if you have picked some up, lay them out in a frost free location to spur sprouting. Just for fun drop a couple of early tubers into a pot of compost and see if you can get some new spuds up by May. As we turn out of February we can be looking at setting out vegetable plants, so this is a lovely time to start germinating a bit of seed. In shelter or on the window sill, pinches of all leaf vegetables can be started. Cabbage, lettuce, summer broccoli will all show within a couple of weeks. Seedlings will be soon be fit to prick out.
And finally………welcome to another adventure.