March has arrived, waving its flag to signal the start of spring. And we haven’t wasted any time! We’ve been sowing, pruning, weeding and mulching to get the garden spring ready. (You can take a look at what we’ve been up to in our recent video for Hello! magazine.)
My to-do list is sky high at the moment, but I’m slowly managing to tick everything off. It’s a bit like Groundhog Day: weekdays are spent getting my clients’ gardens ready for the season ahead, and at the weekend, I repeat all the same jobs in my own garden.
I don’t how it is for other professional gardeners, but for me, this is a busy and tiring time of year. Not that I’m complaining, but weeks of continuous hedge-strimming will have you dragging your arms like King Kong!
The kitchen garden is currently undergoing a few new improvements: I’ve just added three new beds. Why? To grow more veg of course! I’ve never grown sweet potatoes before, but Soph was eager for me to try them out so I thought I’d give them a go this year, and to welcome their arrival, they get a brand new raised bed all to themselves! As well as the raised beds, I grow veg in containers and pots. But our kitchen garden can be a real sun-trap in the height of summer, and our pot-grown veg can dry out within hours. So, with the extra beds I’m hoping to use less pots this year. (Famous last words!)
Like everything in this kitchen garden, my new beds are filled with Dalefoot Composts. This wool compost is peat-free, and I’m determined to keep my garden free of peat and chemicals.
But it’s also life on the other side of the kitchen fence I’m turning my attention to. I’m planning more flowers and shrubs, moving a few current ones, and all being well, there may even be a new pond later this year. So, watch this space.
Having been in this garden for a couple of years now, I think I have a good understanding of it and its micro-climate. My sowing regime is steadily increasing. Already, the greenhouse is filling up with seedlings. The spare bedroom has been handed over to heating matts and grow lights, as seedlings sit contentedly, steadily springing into life. With the grow lights on up there all day, Soph’s convinced the neighbours will think we’ve turned the bedroom into a cannabis factory!
But I do love this time of year. A morning pottering about in the greenhouse to the sound of spring birdsong is the energy boost I need. And when the sun shines, it’s a sign that good times are ahead.