Garden Update- March 2017
If you visit our garden at Oldstead you will see the evidence of our winter work and a welcome drying up of all the mud that seems to have been around for so many months.
The Black Swan garden reflects our background and is in some ways more of a farmers field than a pristine garden. We are lucky in having our own full-size tractors and equipment so if things continue to dry up it shouldn’t take long to spread the muck and prepare the ground this week.
The polytunnels are where the action starts at this time of year. It’s all about getting crops away to an early start. Early potatoes are planted in bags in the warm polytunnel and broad beans and peas are growing well and almost ready for planting outside. The first tomatoes and peppers are pricked out and growing away now among trays of onions, rhubarb and asparagus from seed; and our sights are set on dishes that are a true celebration of spring with radishes, turnips, carrots, beet and baby brassicas all under way.
The winter onions and garlic which have been slowly establishing have properly kicked into action with the recent warm sunny days.
Over winter we have planted more fruit trees; mainly cider apples, damsons and quinces. The Japanese wineberries which cropped for the first time last summer were given a Yorkshire verdict of “Not bad at all”, which was an obvious go-ahead to plant a whole lot more.
The citrus trees are giving a trickle of ripe fruit as well as flowering freely. Orange and lemon blossom really does have a truly wonderful smell. Our two trial bushes have only so far produced a grand total of 2 yuzu, but those were so special that we have been inspired to push the boat out and invest in half a dozen more. Peach and apricot trees have been flowering in the polytunnel for 10 days now and we have had several sessions tickling them with a paint brush to help with pollination.
After much anticipation, winter has finally given way to spring and everyone here is filled with a relish to “crack on”.