Gardeners help with Climate change
We are already doing a lot for the Global Climate
how you may ask?
Everything is local, we harvest without masses of packaging ,no food miles involved, we do lots of re-cyling ie plastic pots are used numerous times buying plants in recyclable containers Cardboard cells can be composted ie egg cartons after use, paper pots planted with the grown seedling straight out into the soil or compost.
Composting and dug into ground, reducing a huge ammount of carbon we also plant lots of plants, trees and shrubs, which also helps in a big way, Plants take carbon from the atmosphere also with composting our own we reduce landfill, council collections and burning, Reduce fossil fuel in their collection.
Plant a tree the best carbon reducer going.even small trees for the garden are a bonus
By digging in compost we help the water retention in the soil , it all helps, our kitchen waste, animal manures also reduces our need to put on artificial fertilizers. Also then improving the soil, less erosion, reduce flooding.
Could take it further using a lawn mower, battery powered, charging from solar panels or the old push mower for small lawns.
Reduce the quanities of chemicals we are using helping us sustain the bee and beneficial insect population excess nitrogen gives us problems in the rivers with algal blooms forming, killing water invertabrates and then the food chain,
Metaldehyde slug pellets are now banned this had to be removed from our drinking water in the past
Use of water butts to collect rainwater far better for the plants Building a garden pond also will bring life to the garden, it does not need to be very big a sunken barrel into the ground shallow with gravel put in base is ideal and needs a board so hedgehogs can climb out if trapped, birds will use this to bath in .
Mike Ellard Aslake Community Glasshouse Growers
Garden Jobs for January
Gardening in January is getting out on those rare nice days, but the garden can still be showy with seed heads, trees with different barks and coloured stems and shapes in different foilage .
Its time for your prepared bulbs in pots to bloom bringing them into to the house to flower they will however need watering but careful water then let them dry and try to keep them in cooler rooms to last longer
Now the time to plant bare root trees Roses come to mind as well as fruit trees and bushes ideal for the small garden is blueberries, figs, Pears on dwarf rootstock like quince C, grapes, redcurrants and white currants.
For some fresh why not try microgreens on the window cill ,not just mustard or cress why not coriander, beetroot, rocket or pea shoots.
Rhubarb will probably be your first crop for the season after a good cold spell in January cover a crown over with dry straw and put a large upturned bucket over the top, weigh down with a brick this will encourage pale tender stems , check occasionally for slugs and also any rotting were ventilation will help stop this. Also an ideal time to plant new stock Fulton’s strawberry surprise RHS Award garden merit .
Start ordering your seeds and potato seed
Dig over vacant ground applying compost and manure as you go
Fruit tree pruning and cut down autumn raspberries
Apple trees and Pears as free standing are best pruned every year removing congested branches aim to create an open goblet shape, if not pruned become less productive. cut out the three D,s dead, dying and diseased wood and also crossing as they will rub against each other but onlry remove up to a third if more the tree will go into to much growth and no fruit.
Helping Queen bees you might come across a struggling bee put her in a cool, dry place to continue her hibernation you might need to give her a some sugar solution to help her boost reserves.
Don’t forget the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in ,January feed the birds and put a bell on your cat.
Around the allotment today got some sprouts and parsnips for dinner
Some celeriac and turnips awaiting the pot these will keep outside until needed and chard will grow fresh leaves in the spring before going into flower
We had some transplanting from large trays to selling pots 6plants per pot Bellis perennis good for bedding and hanging baskets
It’s the first signs of spring , we have had things flowering a lot earlier the last few months because the temperature has been rather mixed, Vegetables are the top at the moment with likely heist in prices as we meet the hungry gap in the season Parsnip sowing can start either raising the seed to pre germinate then sow in rows or individual in pots toilet roll centres are ideal for this as they have a good depth which the roots need and can be planted whole in their positions outside. Some struggle with germination as they require fresh seed and it also depends on the variety but seed over three years have found no difficulty to get them to germinate. Shallots sets can be planted this month and sowing of Broad Beans outside also under protection Lettuce, Spring Onions ,Radish, Cabbage and onions. Under Glass it’s the start of Aubergines, peppers, chillies as these need a long period of growth to come into harvest beware watering straight from the tap very often this is to cold keep some in a bottle at room temperature. Watering from the water butt, this can have pathogens and can transfer diseases to plants especially house plants, Orchids will be alright as we allow these to drain and not stand in water. How about growing some sunflowers for the garden, try to hit some dizzying heights in the garden? because they can be started this month inside and outside in late March, they are hungry plants need a lot of feeding with a good stake put in place before hand ,and will need watering during our dry spells . We would love to see some pictures of what you achieved and the seeds can be used to feed the birds or slow dried for own consumption .Start sowing half hardy annuals and perennials begonias, Pelargoniums, Osteospernums are easy from seed as these will germinate slowly and will be up in March when the light levels improve and make good size plants by June. Order seed potatoes so they can be chitted but this is only necessary on the earlies not main crop varieties. Cover peach trees with plastic cover this will stop Peach leaf curl which weakens the tree but don’t cover the tree roots as they will need water the cover helps also by raising the temperature for the blossom leave the ends open so bees can pollinate or use a paint brush to pollinate if no insect activity. Plant summer flowering bulbs in the borders Crocosmia, lilies, freesias, Zantedeschia, Gladioli and eucomis to just name a few. Prune Wisteria and clematis and other shrubs that flower on currant seasons wood also roses hard on Hybrid Tea roses almost to the ground Floribunda and Tall Hybrid Tea and shrub remove about a third, Climbing Roses leave the main frame work cutting back the short growth to two to three buds Strong young shoots can be left to replace the old branches and can be tied in as replacement branches spread them out give them room to flower in June /July. Lift and divide plants in the border, if some have become thugs and need to reduce the size of them, remember your neighbour or community garden would love your excess plants .Rhubarb can be forced, place some straw compost around plant and cover with plastic bin, check occasionally for slug as they love hiding in this environment. You should have nice pink early shoots for the table to eat. February your soil should be 6 to 8 C (42-46F) to start growing some vegetables if it’s not this, is still too cold. Mike Ellard
Wren gave my poly tunnel a visit managed to get a couple of caterpillars
Started re build of the fruit cage as falling down put new post in getting ready for the netting the top net seems ok with some holes these can be sown together with fishing twine
Tied in the Tay berry and loganberry also planted my autumn raspberries new bed variety Joan j and all gold also got a dwarf autumn raspberry which we will see the progress later next year
Planted some red gooseberries these will be trained as cordons taking up less room also because of the open nature don’t suffer to much from mildew
Started to sell onions in trays £1 each These are Senshu but somebody pinched a tray without paying that’s a good start what an idiot ,I hope their crops fail this year .