After the chill of December snow and frost on the ground and the busy bustle of the Christmas period, getting through the January blues and starting to see evenings grow longer with more daylight hours to enjoy, I’m beginning to look to making plans for the year ahead.
This weekend is looking to be the ideal time to do some spring cleaning in the garden; emptying out plant pots from failed sown seeds still sitting on the wooden shelving in the mini greenhouse, finding the seed archive and drawing up some planting schemes for the beds in the garden this year.
Last year saw the hard decision being taken to let the allotments go so other local residents could enjoy benefiting from their own freshly grown fruit and vegetables in favour of growing among plants in the flower beds. This year will see us maximising the growing potential even more, beginning with clearing the second bed to double available space and setting up multi-layered pots for herbs and smaller vegetable plants.
As well as sowing seeds of the familiar vegetables we’ve had success with over the last few years, this year I’m hoping to try some new crops. The kiwi plant we purchased last year is still looking good so to have our first home grown fruit would be fantastic. In addition to this, I would like to see success where seed failure prevented vegetable yields and where crops were not as successful as they could have been. One fruit I’m hoping to see this with is watermelons, but I’m also hoping that being in place for 12 months will give the fruit bushes what they need to produce bumper fruit crops, perhaps giving me enough berries for some blackcurrant jam or some pots of redcurrant jelly or sauce.
Whatever crops we produce will certainly be celebrated with some great home cooking this year – sadly some last year were wasted either due to not harvesting as frequently as we could or from failing to plant out succession crops to give a constant supply of veg through the season. This year, however, we’re turning over a new leaf to grow to maximum capacity, enjoy as many hours of daylight out in the garden and make the most of the harvest.