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February 14, 2023
Mid February let propagation begin 🌱

Many of us have itchy fingers, waiting to sow seeds, and now is a good time to begin. On the understanding that we are reasonably likely, in temperate climates, to have suitable conditions for transplanting outside around the middle of March.

Homeacres is a temperate oceanic climate. We expect frosts until early May, and no great heat. Therefore, all early plantings are covered with fleece (see Gardening Naturally for all such products) to protect them from cold winds. All sowings now are of frost hardy vegetables.

Find more details in my sowing timeline, and Calendar. And in this newsletter which I published 13th February on Mailchimp.

14th February main garden. Under mesh and thermacrop are broad beans, spring cabbage and spring cauliflower
14th February main garden. Under mesh and thermacrop are broad beans, spring cabbage and spring cauliflower
I germinate all new sowings at this time of year, in my conservatory, where nighttime temperatures average 10 to 15 C, 50's F compared to 0 to 5 C in the greenhouse, 30s F
I germinate all new sowings at this time of year, in my conservatory, where nighttime temperatures average 10 to 15 C, 50’s F compared to 0 to 5 C in the greenhouse, 30s F
Small garden 14th February. Spinach and swedes have survived the winter, and under the mash is spring cauliflower, looking stronger than in the main garden.
Small garden 14th February. Spinach and swedes have survived the winter, and under the mash is spring cauliflower, looking stronger than in the main garden.

No dig

With no dig, it will soon be time to pass a rake lightly over beds to knock out any lumps in the compost. Also to disturb weed seedlings germinating. Mainly that is in early March and onwards.

It’s still not too late to make beds. In fact you can make new, no dig beds at any time of year, as in the video.

Older beds and fertility

The beds you see in my photographs are 10 years old. We never fork or disturb the soil. Just spread around 2.5 cm/1 inch of new compost every year. This feeds soil life, and we do it usually in late autumn, before the New Year. If you have not yet spread new compost for a year of fertility, you can do it now.

The depth measurement I give is after compost has settled. When first spread, it’s loose and fluffy and looks more, but then it loses volume. Therefore the 2.5 cm is a decent amount. It’s sufficient for a whole year of cropping with two plantings. We did not apply fresh compost in summer. I use no feeds or fertilisers either.

On pathways is 2cm or so of woodchip, often aged a little. Or you can use fresh.

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