Preparing for Spring .


retire Although it has not been a cold winter it has been wet and windy above normal. Usually by now we would have started to prepare the ground ready for planting at the allotments , but not this year .

We are way behind and it is really disheartening ,but as you  know the growing seasons  have a way of catching up in the end . The ground is water logged and the only thing I reckon we should be growing is rice!

It is especially hard for people just starting out on the vegetable growing having not grown a lot before. The best advice I can give is to prepare your seeds ready for when you can plant , but first you need to prepare your growing space .If you have a greenhouse , make sure that it is cleaned out . If you have no greenhouse heavy duty polythene leaning against a fence like a tent  and firmly secured will do .You can add upturned boxes inside for laying trays of seeds on . You can also extend your green house like this if it is near a fence by securing the polythene to the fence and the greenhouse.

  • The windows  cleaned inside and out as the more day light you can let in the better.
  • Clean down all surfaces with bleach  to get rid of any last years bugs.
  • Make sure all plant pots are washed and dried and ready for use.
  • Keep all extras like bits of string ,elastic bands ,scissors etc .,  all in a box or tin for easy access there is nothing worse than not having things at hand.
  • If you store seeds in your greenhouse make sure the tin or box is damp free.
  • I have a box containing my seeds  not separated by type but is separated by date they should be sown .
  • Collect empty toilet roll centres and use for seeds like peas and  beans instead of pots as they can then be planted straight into the ground in the container.
  • Collect yogurt pots and food containers as well very useful for seeds growing.
  • Only plant what you like to eat yourself and try and find varieties you can’t find in super markets..like yellow courgettes ,purple cauliflowers ,purple french beans

Vegetable seeds to start growing from February

  • Aubergines – put them in a heated propagator or on a windowsill.
  •  Broad beans and peas – if you live down south, you might get away with sowing earlies now.
  • Cabbages– summer varieties can be sown now but keep them under cloches.
  • Chillies – Like tomatoes these take a while to germinate so in a frost free greenhouse
  •  Lettuce sow undercover in a greenhouse or indoors.on a cool windowsill.
  • Parsnips – you could sow these late in the month, although waiting another month might ensure you a better crop.
  • Peppers –put them in a heated propagator or on a windowsill.
  • Potatoes– you can start chitting these now in a frost-free spot.
  •  Tomatoes– These take a long time to get started so February is a good time to grow in a frost free greenhouse.
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