The awakening

It’s just gone the month of February, maybe it’s because I’m a little bit impatient and I have a touch of the twirlies but there’s already some spuds chitting and seeds sprouting indoors. Also if I get a minute this week, I’m going to stick a double layer of fleece over a couple of patches of the garden to warm the soil up for the big kick off in the next couple of months.chitting 2016 styleeI bought two types of spuds from Shannon’s, who have loads of varieties in stock from the different cropping types (first earlies, second earlies, main crop and second/late main crop) the terms of which used to confuse the hell out of me. A simple explanation about all of that is here. The ones “chitting” in the back room (above) are Sharpe’s Express (first early) and the good old Maris Piper (main crop.) seed starting 2016 styleeAlso in the back room near the window, is a covered propagator with tomatoes (Moneymaker) and sweet peppers off to an early start, which will be no doubt be leggy as hell before they’re ready to go out.foxtail returnsAnd talking of Shannon’s, this is where I bought the Eremurus aka foxtail lilly or desert candle bulb from and it looks like the monster is ready to resurface again for it’s year long reign of terror (above.) It might be not even be an inch at the moment but before you know it, it’ll be 6 foot tall and will be sending up a lovely flower spike like last year (below.)

But be warned, don’t get on it’s wrong side as it might come into your home and take over your life! On afoxtail 2 tip

A touch of the twirlies

Year ago when I worked as a postman in Coventry, if you were ever late back to the office after the first post your workmates would jibe you with the line “did you get the bus back with the twirlies?” Back then, pensioners could ride the buses for free after 9.30am but you’d get the odd one trying their luck at twenty past using the phrase “am I too early?” (sounds like ‘twirly’ in midlands twang) if ever a jobsworth bus driver gave them the knock-back.

Talking of twirlies, a couple of weeks ago I sowed a couple of seed potatoes in the cold frame and they are now on their way. I’ll have to keep them under cover until the risk of frost has passed which might mean raising the frame up a bit as the plant grows but it’s worth the trouble for those early spuds. I do like a home-grown potato!

On the biodynamic calendar it was a “flower” day today so sowed some Borage and Foxgloves in trays on the kitchen windowsill. I transplanted some hardened off Morning Glory seedlings into the new raised bed, putting some jam jars over them just in case the weather gets cold again (which it might) and also moved some self-seeded Poppies from around the garden in there too.

This is a very busy time in the garden now, preparing for the season to come and to get a bit of a head start on yourself, so sometimes it does pay to be a bit “twirly”!