January in the Garden…

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Maintenance

January is a messy month in my north-facing home garden. But, there’s no snow this year so that’s a positive.

As I’ll be growing larger quantities of my favourite vegetables- split between the raised beds and containers, I need to bring the remaining fruit bushes into their new locations.

I also need to shift a set of small Gooseberry bushes into a new spot to increase the amount of light and sunshine they get, compensating for the loss of light from a replaced fence. They’re an old, sweet variety, that sadly I don’t know the name of.

The final must-be-done job is digging up the rhubarb patch, splitting up the crowns and replanting. But first I had to pare back the Holly that was overwhelming the space.

There are two upright stems remaining, and it will regrow, though I’ll be encouraging it to grow out higher up the main stem.

I’m now working my way through the debris, trimming the stems and thicker branches so they can be left to die and dry. Eventually, I may stack them one on top of the other to make a low edging fence for the borders, or use them in hügelkultur.

Holly branches waiting for removal…
Survivors

In early December I shifted the cold frame on top of one of the small low raised beds as it needed to be used as a temporary nursery, but the soil was wet and cold, and the Robin Hood Broad Bean seeds were not doing anything.

There were also the remaining Strawberry runners, and the Parsley plants that I’d grown from seed in the summer. I’d been growing three of the small plants alongside the last of the summer lettuce, but they hadn’t thrived. They’re now happily protected from the cold nights…

Strawberries, Parsley and Broad Beans under the cold frame…

They get a quick airing on better days. Come spring the Strawberries will be moved to a new position and the Parsley into pots.

There’s been a couple of surprises in the garden too.

A tiny lone Lettuce in the raised bed liner on the patio has survived from last year.

A small late summer sowing of Riccia Rossa Da Taglio Lettuce seeds grew well in the mini greenhouse and the plants were transplanted to the liner for near the kitchen salad leaves. There was one tiny plant left, too small to eat, so I left it, expecting it to die in the winter cold. It didn’t.

(I also transplanted one or two tiny Lollo Rossa lettuce, so my stray lettuce could be of either variety…)

It’s now covered by a small plastic bell cloche, and accompanied by a similar sized wild flower plant- there’s a couple of containers of wild flower plants nearby that I move around during the summer and left to self-seed.

I know the wild flower will survive, so I’m interested to see if the lettuce will too, and if it will grow to provide early lettuce leaves- with protection from the elements.

Holding on for spring…
Not long to go

The stack of plant pots awaiting washing are now being tackled. There’s big planters to do next.

Washing the pots to #reuse

And the reminder that spring will arrive whatever is happening out in the world…

Buds appearing on the Hawthorn…

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