We have been thoroughly enjoying the beautiful sunny days that we have been blessed with this week. I hope you are getting some, too. The feeling of Spring air all around us and sunshine on our faces is so very cheering and has really inspired me to get outside and make a proper effort in the garden and prepare for the main growing season.
I thought I'd do a little update on how my first time overwintering vegetables went.
Motivated by Summer success on my veg patch, I ended up planting rather a lot for overwintering and then wasn't as careful as I should have been about fleecing and general protection from the cold. Despite my neglectful habits, I ended up harvesting a lot more than I had expected to.
Corn Salad leaves were the big surprise - they turned out to be incredibly hardy. I'm still harvesting them and the plants are strong.
Purslane did OK but the snails were very keen on it and the chinese salad leaves that are most commonly grown over Winter didn't fair very well at all (although, I'm aware this might be because I didn't cover them properly).
Spinach, chard and kale did very well. The leaves wilted with the morning frosts but bounced back and are still producing new growth. These have been so great to throw into the juicer and I've saved quite a bit of money by growing winter greens.
I harvested the last of the beetroot this weekend - again, I'm mostly juicing with this but I also like the beetroot houmous recipe in River Cottage Veg.
I had been thinking about forcing my rhubarb this year but I was surprised to find that it's already sprouting without any help!
Mostly, I've been doing a lot of digging - adding more of my homemade compost and preparing the soil.
Our garden has so many rose bushes and we've had quite a time clearing them and pruning back - some of the stems have grown about ten feet tall and entwined themselves in a tree.
Whilst weeding and clearing ground I've been finding my Spring bulbs popping up all over the place. I'm so pleased that I took the time to plant them back in November as this time of year can be very brown in the garden, I'm looking forward to the colourful flowers. My peonies are also emerging above ground.
Seed sowing is about to commence. I do love that feeling of hope and enthusiasm that comes at the beginning of the season.
What plans do you have for your garden this year?