Unwins Seeds

January 2013

21 January 2013 | Posted in Gardening by The Unwins Family

The big freeze in my garden continues so thank goodness for the trusty snow shovel, at least I can clear a path to the greenhouse and the bird table.

I say it’s a bird table but really it’s my patio table cleared of snow, it’s the ideal spot to sprinkle bird food and help the birds survive this cold snap. I saw on the TV yesterday that all birds, and especially small birds such as wrens and robins, need a massive amount of food to get through a bad winter.

As well as the snow shovel another boon in the garden are my cloches. They’re protecting the winter salads in my tiny veg plot. The garlic and shallots however have to fend for themselves. The good weather up until last week had given both crops a head start, now with just the green tops poking through, I hope they’ll be fine.

The greenhouse looks pretty dismal too, why is it that cold but pristine snow makes everything else look drab? I’m torn between watering some of the dry-looking plants in there or leaving them alone. Cold and wet is always a lethal combination so I’m leaving well alone with the pelargoniums and cuttings, I’ve given a drop of water to the fuchsias to stop them dying of thirst.  The chrysanthemum stools are ok and dahlias are snug.So I’m clearing up dropped leaves and debris from around the pots to prevent fungal infections such as botrytis and keeping an eye on the drumstick primula seedlings. They seem to be tough as nails so far.

The bags of multi-purpose compost are also inside the greenhouse. This keeps them warm so that I can get a head start with sowing annuals and potting up plug plants when temperatures rise a bit.

Last night the maximum-minimum thermometer registered -1c as a minimum while during the day it was a heady 4c!

If you haven’t got a max-min thermometer I recommend getting one, they are so handy, taking all the guesswork out of greenhouse management. My greenhouse isn’t heated so it’s really important to see just how cold it gets and what steps I need to take to protect the plants inside.

Indoors I’m dusting off the propagator, just in case it stays cold for weeks not days. And I’m spending time planning this spring and summer’s flower display ;there are lots of seeds and young plants I want to try, better get ordering, snug indoors there’s no better job for a cold day than a bit of ‘virtual gardening’.

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