Sunday, April 2, 2023
HomeGardeningThe City Veg Patch: Gardenwatch: January in my backyard

The City Veg Patch: Gardenwatch: January in my backyard

Potatoes being chatted on windowsill

There’s a pair of very muddy boots in my hallway, proof of my gardening efforts over the previous week. Helped by a few afternoons of heat winter sunshine, I’ve had a productive week which has been principally about getting ready. What have I been as much as? Even  in January there are  loads of backyard duties to tick off the checklist.


For me that meant emptying the soil from final yr’s 4 giant tomato growbags onto the veg beds. I’ve extra correct mulch so as to add however these wanted to cleared away. A superb couple of inches unfold across the quince tree border will give the soil a lift prepared for the rhubarb vegetation that might be transplanted into that mattress. The soil wanted it and I might virtually see worms racing over to benefit from the meal. 


Yep, that one. My imaginative and prescient of getting wildflowers among the many veg to ask pollinators in leads to an annual decluttering of the self seeded wildlings. Final yr it was overlook me nots and calendula, this yr the dominant vegetation are ox-eye daisies and feverfew. The patch would look superbly frothy if left alone however I’ve to be sensible and make room for the veg. A few small clumps below the quince tree have survived the cull after the seedlings had been uprooted and earlier than mulching the mattress.  

The Salad Backyard

Classes discovered from final yr are that pests (aphids, and so on) will discover my salad leaves and birds (or presumably mice or squirrels) do like to rummage and dig within the Veg Trug soil. I’ve tidied the world up, topped up the soil within the raised beds and pots then lined the soil for defense with wire rolls, netting or black material – actually, something I needed to hand. As soon as I’ve connected hoops to the beds for mesh netting afterward, I’ll cowl all of the soil with black cloth to heat it up prepared for first sowings of hardy leaves below fleece in a few weeks.

Lemon tree with fruit

Lemon Tree

I really like this little tree, an impulse purchase from Aldi final February, and it’s thrived within the sunny shelter of the salad backyard wall.  I’m completely not going to collapse and convey it indoors so I’ve moved it nearer to the lee of the wall and wrapped the pot/roots in a beneficiant size of horticultural fleece for defense in opposition to the winter climate. And now have my fingers crossed for its survival and the dearth of any extra snow.


I have to head out to purchase just a few spuds to develop this yr. I’m hoping that I can discover small packets of just some seed potatoes as I develop them only for the fun of digging them up and seeing what number of new potatoes I’ve obtained! I miss the annual Potato Days that was once held on the RHS horticultural halls as I’d purchase a decide and blend from an enormous number of spuds. It was the proper resolution for me as I don’t have lots of house for rising the massive luggage of seed potatoes. For now although, I’m chitting (with greater than a contact of optimism) a few final yr’s saved potatoes and a random spud discovered on the backside of my fridge. Please attempt to not snort. 


Mine are autumn fruiting raspberries so the canes get reduce every year, which I did final week. I’ve put apart the sturdiest lower canes as they’ll be helpful as pea helps. Prior to now, I’ve left just a few of the canes at a top of 12” as this offers a barely earlier harvest; this yr I’ve taken them again to only above the bottom as it will promote new robust canes and higher fruiting. Raspberries thrive in a barely acid soil; the veg patch soil is in the course of the pH scale (excellent for many vegetation) so I’ll be mulching across the raspberry canes with a mixture of dwelling compost and ericaceous wool compost. It’s an experiment however I can’t see why it gained’t work to quickly alter the pH of the soil in that space. 

Packets of veg seeds


A bumper supply arrived in the course of the previous week so now I’ve all of the seeds I want. Seed corporations appear higher ready this yr to deal with the upsurge in gardening curiosity however a pair are closing their on-line retailers till orders are despatched after which reopening for the following spherical. I’m glad I obtained on with ordering relatively than leaving it as I did final yr! 

So what’s left to do?

Pruning, emptying the Hotbin compost, planting out edible shrubs from their pots, planning what to develop the place and making a seed sowing plan. Oh sure, and making newspaper pots for seeds … should begin saving the Sunday papers! The gardening yr has begun.

What’s everybody else as much as? Are you prepared for the gardening yr? Let me know!  



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