The garden’s looking a bit tidier after spending the weekend in it as it was so lovely and sunny, and actually dry!…a few more days like that please, then I can tackle the vege patch. Not much to do there, a few old plants to remove but it’s basically a case of digging it over and incorporating my garden compost on two thirds of the patch. The third that’s not having compost added to it is for the root veg like carrots, parsnips, beetroot etc.
Garden compost adds some nutrient but is wonderful for improving the soil condition which in turn helps the soil hold on to nutrients and moisture in dry spells and drain in wet weather. It’s well worth making your own garden compost it’s not difficult, means you don’t have to pay to get rid of garden and kitchen waste and you end up with a great soil improver which is free.
Put the compost bin out of sight but not in a cold shady area as it’ll take longer for it to break down and it’s best placed on soil or gravel rather than a hard surface as liquid does come out as the materials compost down. Also have it covered; it stops the rain getting in and the heat getting out. The only other tip is to get a mix of garden / kitchen waste, you need a balance between what’s known as “the greens” (annual weeds, lawn clippings, vegetable peelings basically things that rot down quickly) and “the browns” (woody herbaceous prunings, soil, leaves, that rot slowly). So if you haven’t got a compost bin I’d suggest you get it set up now ready for the spring (you can start putting stuff in now but it won’t rot down ‘til it warms up a bit) and come the autumn you’ll have lots of lovely compost.
I also need to lime the veg patch as it’s a good four years since I last did it but that’ll be the end of Feb. You need to leave a gap between composting and liming and don’t lime where the root veg are going. My first snowdrops are in bloom – so pretty – if you want some the garden centres have them in pots now, they establish much more easily than planting the dry bulbs and it does make you feel that spring isn’t too far off!