Winter in the Kitchen Garden - Too Cold and Wet

January 2009 - The Kitchen Garden Journal - Miranda Hodgson

 

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January 2009 - Winter in the Kitchen Garden - Too cold and wet

We didnít do a lot in January. It was the coldest winter for years and the Met Office has this to say:

 

ĎThe first 10 days were mostly dry but very cold with some unusually prolonged and severe frosts. Thereafter, the weather became much more unsettled with rain at times. It remained generally cold, but with some brief milder interludes. Mean temperatures were below normal, especially across the south, and it was the coldest January since 1997 when a mean temperature of 2.0C was recorded

The ground was solid for a lot of the time and we couldnít get any digging done. We did regularly go and check the garlic and onion beds and were pleased to note a little forest of green shoots poking through the surface of the chilly soil. If there had been an especially hard freeze the soil would compact and push the bulbs out of the soil but once it thawed a bit, we pushed them back in again.

 The one thing of note that we did do was to build some new compost bays, as the other two had filled up. Mrs Mawle had a pile of old pallets that she didnít want, the thatchers had masses of wire netting that they didnít want and we had a good supply of three inch nails and a couple of hammers.   

New compost bays

New compost bays

After talking to Mrs Mawle about it, we built the new bays on a spare corner of ground near to where an area she uses burning garden debris. This suited everyone who used space at the farm. It was handy for Mrs Mawle to put her grass clippings and other bits on. It was also on the route to where one of the thatchers, Matt, kept chickens, so when he cleaned out their bedding, it could all go on the heaps. For us, it meant just a short walk with a wheel barrow. Early in the year another couple kept a few pigs in the old pig sty, so they used the heaps for the manure that the pigs produced.

 

What with all the garden waste and some old straw mixed in, it didnít take long before the bays were nearly full. In a year or so, there will be a mass of compost to use.

© Copyright Miranda Hodgson 2009

 

 

next journal entry: Digging new Vegetable Beds

 

previous journal entry: Planting Onions and Garlic

 

Kitchen Garden - journal index