Happy New Year to you all.
A new season has started, the days are getting longer and the seeds are beginning to germinate. This is the ideal time to start sowing some varieties of seed under protection so that you can get a head start on the year.
The seeds which benefit from an early start include many of the annual herbs which will mean that you can have them flowering as early as possible. Calendula, Borage, Nasturtiums are the prime ones and also the salad herbs such as Wild Rocket, Parsley and especially Purple Shiso. Not only does the Shiso look great in the garden, it, like the other two salad herbs mentioned, is ideal to whet the appetite after the glut of winter root vegetables.
There are two watch points at this time of year, first is watering. Be very careful not to over water, but also do not stress the young plants by letting them dry out. Check the weight of the container before watering as the surface of the compost can look dry when the root ball is actually wet .
The second major watch point is ventilation. Open up the poly tunnel, glasshouse or window, when ever possible and certainly if the temperature rises to double figures in the day. Only cover tender young or newly potted plants with horticultural fleece when the night temperature drops below 5C.
Just recently I have been enchanted each morning by the most delightful Song Thrush, it has the most uplifting song. I checked, via the RSPB, that my identification was correct and discovered with great sadness that this
wonderful bird is on the red endangered list.
So please could you add to your new years resolution to be to be more sustainable and organic in the garden, for the Thrush is a good friend to the gardener eating snails. Then our grandchildren , in years to come, will also be able to be enchanted by the Song Thrush.
© Jekka McVicar , Jekka’s Herb Farm, January 2012.