Thursday, 20 January 2011

And so it begins ... ... gardening that is

Well it's more or less the end of January, so it's time to get ready for the years gardening and other garden related jobs.
I find this time of year a sort of limbo, there's loads to do, but the weather isn't yet right for a lot of things, mainly planting related.
Although it's been sunny here for the last few days it's by no means spring like, I'm willing to be that if I plant a load of things outside then the frost will come, and no doubt snow and everything in between.

The garden looks a bit sad at the moment -

poor garden looking a little sorry for itself.
So there it is, our back garden, well some of it anyway, I had the macro lens on the camera and didn't get most of the garden in, but you can see that it all looks a little sad, all our trees and fruit bushes are bare, the flower beds and vegetable beds are bare, I have been feeding the soil and digging it over in preparation for spring, or at least warmer weather and then I can get the cloches out and start planting.

There are still plenty of jobs to be done, pruning of things, tidying up of leaves, we end up with loads of sycamore leaves all over the place, you can't see the tree, but it's just behind the shed, and about 50 feet high, the leave make a nice feed for the soil, if you don't mind black bags of leaves hanging around while you wait for them to rot down, any branches and twigs we can't use for making things get shredded and used as mulch.

I do have a green house and a cold frame, but it's still a little cold to be risking plants outside, so I've decided to start some things off in the house, the back room (utility room) to be precise it's not very warm in there, but it's warmer than outside.

I've been putting my pot maker to good use - 

This is the second tray of seeds.
I've started potting up various seeds, things like herbs which we don't have due to loosing some plants, and other stuff like tomatoes, yes I know it's early for tomatoes but I think I'll get away with it. Having the pot maker is quite handy as it happens, it's easy enough to make the pots, and it recycles some of the news papers we have, I've managed to get about 24 pots to a tray, which is good, and all I need to do once they are ready for planting into the ground is dig a small hole and put them in, no need to disturb roots and such like, and no piles of small empty pots all over the place.

I even made a pot filling device, less messy than trying to fill the pots with a trowel or by hand, I give you the " Pot filler 500 " by techno-mole industries.

Okay so it's a milk carton with a hole in it ;-)
It's much easier using this, and less messy it works well with our home made compost, yes even our compost will be our own this year, no shop bought stuff, and by the looks of the compost bins we will have more next year, so I can really give the soil a good feed, not that it's bad, we seem to have pretty good soil here.

I will have to update you on the progress of the seeds, hopefully by the time they get their second leaves the weather will allow me to use the cold frame, we shall see.
Not much else going on as yet, most of it's planning on what's going to go where as we have moved the beds about.

 There are still some jobs to be done, the biggest of which is the pond, you can't really see it in the picture, but it's there, and it's about 6 feet square and 4 feet deep at the deepest point, we intend to get rid of our fish (no we aren't going to eat them, what does koi taste like anyway ?) once we have re-homed the fish the pond will be made smaller, with no fish so some of the wildlife has a better chance, our fish really love eating frog spawn, once we have done that we will hopefully be investing in some chickens, not many, but enough to get a good supply of eggs from (providing we do well looking after them) the kids are looking forward to having chickens, and it's an opportunity for them to learn as well, can't be bad.

Thanks for reading.


  1. This is about where we are at, atm.
    Our pond is a puzzle to be solved, its Koi are long gone and I don't really know what best to do with it.

    Am seriously considering an incubator of some type to get seeds going this year.

  2. I know exactly what to do with our pond, it's the fish I'm a little perplexed about, I need to do some research into how to sell them privately or to a shop or something.
    Incubators are good, but I decided not to go down the route of electric ones, I use this kind of thing --->

    Not from this site though, I got mine from qd for 1.99 for the tray and lid.

  3. Funny you should say that, I just put aside a plastic lid for this.

    I'm afraid to trash our pond and turn it into a veg patch, previous house owner put a lot of effort into it, and its all built up.
    If only I could grow haddock or something in it.

    (oops wrong account!)

  4. I guess we are lucky in that respect, the garden was over grown when we got the house, and it's take 4 years of hard work to get it to this state, and it still needs work.

    I have to balance the veggy patches with the kids need of some where to play, but I think I've got it about right, will be better if and when we get an allotment.

    With the pond I don't really want to get rid of it, but chickens would be handy, and although I'm turning part of the pond into a bog type thing to attract more wildlife and make space for the chickens I'd quite happily keep it if we could produce something from it, like edible fish, saying that I've been reading about crayfish and such like, don't know if I'd need to create running fresh water, but it might be possible to farm them on a small scale ? still researching.