Preparing the potager for spring

labelsWhat? Doesn’t every gardener start their day the same way?

You tidy your potting shed, find the jar of old labels, and the spend a few mornings erasing the old seed descriptions, ready for the new.

Most of these labels seem to have been put to work in the kale and cabbage sowing department. But it is fun to spot a few plant labels with more exotic names.

I woke too early, I have had a long day outdoors and now I can’t for the life of me remember any.  But there were some Hellenium Moorheim Beauty in there. I do remember those. Particularly as I know they didn’t germinate and it was a complete bust.  So too the geum seeds that I collected from my sister in law Jane’s garden.  I think I collected them when they were just not quite ripe.

But I did succeed with other geums and I have high hopes those plants will produce tall flowers in spring.  Especially as they have come through the winter in the back of the herb garden quite well.  Snow and all.

My main work in the garden today was the potager.  Getting the beds thoroughly weeded for spring.  And there wasn’t that much to do. But it still took a day.1swiss chard

I don’t dig my beds, and just cover the soil with a thick mulch of compost later this month.   And for the cabbage beds I have already covered them with my home made compost. Which is gorgeous rich stuff. But full of weed seeds. And peanut shells which defy composting, no matter how many years they lurk in the compost heap.

I buy in the sacks of compost from a supermarket down in the valley. And you never know when the shipment will come in, so you have to haunt the rather grotty supermarket for a few weeks around Easter time.

It’s worth it though; the compost is inexpensive and it will suppress the majority of the weeds.

Today I managed to clear the beds on the top left quadrant where the brassicas will go. And the long far left bed where I grow my flowers.  The top right quadrant is already done – the broad beans and peas are in those.  And I have just the rather messy current brassica beds to sort. And a few more in the bottom right section.

euphorbtransplantThe mole rat has been helping me there. It has eaten through all the swiss chard roots. Grrr. So they went straight onto the compost heap.

I would normally hoe the area for speed.  But I know there are quite a few euphorbia and verbena bonariensis plants in here. They self seed well in the soft soil.  So I have been racing about transplanting the euphorbias into the small patch at the top of the walnut bank.  And starting to dot the verbenas among the cut down grasses on the steep pool bank.

That will add a bit of variety to the wall of eragrostis.